‘Hey Dean, Tell Don to Get Off The Stage’

UP resident Don Addington, probably holding on for dear life emotionally.

There’s a story in this week’s paper about University Park resident Don Addington, one of the greatest amateur golfers in Texas history and — in my limited time with him — a real mensch. We ran the above photo in the paper, but I didn’t have room to fully explain why SMU senior Don Addington got to play a round of golf with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Ben Hogan.

So here goes.

So it’s the fall of 1952, and Addington’s gearing up to play in the Texas Cup, which pits the state’s top 12 amateurs against its top 12 pros. Hogan agreed to play in the tourney, but only in an exhibition. The day before the tournament, Addington gets a call.

“Hey Don, would you be available to play tomorrow, in an exhibition” the voice questions.

So he cleared his calendar, and the next day he was on the first tee at Lakewood Country Club, sharing greens with Hogan, Martin, and Lewis.

I asked him why he was invited, instead of any of the other 11 amateurs.

“I never asked,” he said. “I just showed up.”

(Side note: If you want to waste a decent portion of your morning, head to YouTube and watch this Colgate Comedy Hour clip. Warning: it’s a wormhole I’m only now returning from.)

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