Doug Sanders: Golf's original playboy

2016 06 Sanders6 Sanders talks with a particular fondness for Sinatra. Even now, at the age of 82 and almost two decades on from the legendary singer’s death, you get the feeling that he is still a little dumbstruck that he was ever able to forge a friendship with such a major celebrity and cultural icon.

“Ah, ‘Old Blue Eyes’,” he laughs as I push for more information about their friendship. “That’s what they all called him - Old Blue Eyes. To me, though, he was always ‘Francis Albert’. He was a wonderful man, but only if he liked you. If he did, he was very friendly, very generous and loyal. But if he didn’t warm to quickly, he wouldn’t give you the time of day.”

He pauses for a few seconds, clearly lost in a memory. “Yeah, we had a lot of fun back then. I met all the big names: Willie Nelson, Buddy Greco, Evel Knievel, Bob Hope, lots of presidents. I was in my element. It was a great time.”

If Gary Player was ahead of the curve when it came to physical conditioning, Doug Sanders was was a pioneer of golf fashion. The self-styled ‘Peacock of the Fairways’, he found fame for his colour-coordinated outfits.

“People used to place bets on which colour I’d wear,” he laughs. “They would even offer me money to tell them.”

CONTINUES BELOW...

Sanders5

He admits going to ‘extraordinary lengths’ to get his outfits right. He even went in to pharmacies where he would pick the colourful medicine capsules he liked best and have the pharmacist empty the medicine from them, so he could send them to the factory where his clothes were made to have his outfits colour-matched.

“Everything was coordinated,” he says. “My shirts, my slacks, my shoes, my socks, even my underwear. I had six suitcases of clothes that I took to every tournament with me. The better I felt I looked, the better I felt I’d play.”

I ask if his penchant for fashion was the result of a childhood spent wearing other kids’ used clothes. “I don’t know,” he says. “All I know is that I liked to look good. I still do.”

With apologies to his great friend Frank, regrets? Yeah, Doug Sanders has had a few but he’s not prepared to dwell on them.

“This game has been so good to me,” he notes. “It has given me everything and more. The things I’ve done, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, the friends I’ve made – I wouldn’t trade any of it. People want to talk about the chances I had that I didn’t take and that’s fine. Way I see it, it’s better to have had those chances than not. It doesn’t bother me. Truly, it doesn’t. Like I told you earlier, I’ve been very blessed.”

Elephant? What elephant?

<<< PREVIOUS PAGE

Doug Sanders in bunkered


This interview with Doug Sanders first appeared in Issue 147 of bunkered (May 2016).

146
Prev 4 of 3 Next

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
A ROUND WITH MARC WARREN (Epic Mission EP 6)
Epic Mission
play button
Motocaddy S1 & Pro-Series REVIEW & GIVEAWAY
Motocaddy
play button
MASTER YOUR SHORT GAME (Epic Mission EP 5)
Epic Mission
play button
REVIEWED! TAYLORMADE 2019 P790 IRONS!
TaylorMade
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

WATCH - Phil Mickelson agonisingly close to par-4 ace
Tiger Woods reveals “big goal” he has yet to tick off
Former Open champ splits with long-time caddie
Marcel Siem loses tour card after rules blunder
Pro hit with FIFTY-EIGHT penalty shots for rule breach

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods puts new irons in the bag
New Fife golf course gets go ahead
REVIEW - Adare Manor, Ireland's rejuvenated masterpiece
Win a spot in the ASI Scottish Open Pro-Am with Hilton
Padraig Harrington targets 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Denis Pugh gives a lesson for beginners
Watch
play button
How close to the golf ball should you stand?
Watch
play button
How to keep your swing on plane
Callaway
play button
Swing and shoulder plane
Watch
See all videos right arrow