Globe and Mail columnist Lorne Rubenstein will have my undying respect as someone who has pioneered golf writing in not only Canada, but the world, over the last three decades. Still going strong writing for the Globe and others, Rubenstein, 60, has just issued a collection of his columns and features from a wide variety of publications under the title “This Rounds On Me: Lorne Rubenstein on Golf.” I’ll do a review upcoming, but in the meantime I asked five questions of Rube, who is enjoying the Florida warmth, and this is what he came back with:
G4G: Why a compilation of your columns now? Is there anything specific about the timing?
Touring Prose, my last collection, was published in 1992, and a lot has happened since then. Tiger Woods and Mike Weir have come along, to cite the obvious. My interest in the endless ways golfers try to improve, and coaches try to teach, remains strong, and so I wanted to include a chapter on searching for a better swing. Meanwhile, theres been a renewed interested in course architecture, a subject Ive tried to explore on many fronts. Ive continued to travel the world, and have written at least 2,500 columns and stories since Touring Prose.
It seemed time to sift through them and see which would make sense for another collection. Many of the pieces are from U.S. publications and arent online, so I wanted to include them for Canadian readers.
G4G: You’ve been writing for the Globe for almost three decades — what has changed most about the gig during that time?
The gig itself hasnt changed. The Globe has from the start provided me the opportunity to range far and wide across the game. Theres so much to the game. I liked to get out on the course and follow the play when I started the column in 1980”caddying on Tour, in fact, gave me my start as a columnist”and thats where I find my stories. Thats where I meet not only the players on tour, but their coaches, families, friends etc. Meanwhile, theres much more to golf than the professional side. Golf in my opinion is the quintessential participant sport. Thats the way it was 30 years ago when I started writing. Thats still how it is.
G4G: You’ve accomplished a remarkable amount over your career, including your Hall of Fame induction. What is left to do? How long do you envision continuing what you’re doing? Here’s hoping there isn’t a gated community in Florida, a pair of white pants and an early bird special in the near future.
Ill keep finding stories and Ill keep writing as long as I enjoy getting out on the course and following the game. I dont see myself stopping anytime soon. Regarding the gated communities in Florida and the early bird specials, there are plenty of golf stories even in those places. I live in Florida in the winter, and theres a golf story a day”or twenty. Dont get me started. (But I’ll never wear white pants)
G4G: Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus — who is the game’s greatest player?
Tiger is a complete player. Nicklaus always said his short game wasnt up to the rest of his game. But Nicklaus was as powerful in his day as Tiger is in his, and he still holds the record for winning the most majors. Im just lucky to have seen Nicklaus when he was still winning majors”I was there in 1986 when he won the Masters. And Im lucky to be writing when Tiger is so much the best.
G4G: Five favourite courses — not best — but favourites you’ve played, and one unknown course you’d recommend.
Ill answer it this way. If I had one course in the world to play, it would be Royal Dornoch (no surprise to my readers or anybody who knows me). In Canada, it would be the Devils Paintbrush.
Outside these, my five favourites are New South Wales in Australia (also called La Perouse); Chicago Golf Club; Garden City Golf Club; San Francisco Golf Club; and Royal West Norfolk in England (also called Brancaster).
St. Georges Hill near London, England is the one unknown course Id recommend. Two more in this category: The Addington, also near London; and White Bear Yacht Club in Minneapolis.