photo: Leonard Freed
“On July 7, 1988, I was 38….. seems like yesterday.
We teed off at 12:01 AM and played non stop until 10 PM (22 hours).
We played with glow balls till the sun came up.”
Thank you Budrock “The Illuminator” Prewitt, for sending along this story from the past. Check out his website for more of his unique collection:
Budrock is still home in Texas, recovering from a work-related accident last June. Here’s the latest.
“It’s the absolutely perfect temperature for golf here in Willie World” — Budrock “the Illuminator” Prewitt
Buddy sent this photo and invitation early this morning. I’m too far away, but if you live in Austin and golf, what a nice place to spend the morning.
807 Paisey Drive
Spicewood, Texas 78669
by: Mario Tarradell
Willie Nelson inspires Tommy Alverson. He did back when Alverson was barely in high school, and he still does now. So it surprises no one that Alverson, 60, recorded and released Pickin’ on Willie, his ninth and newest album. The 15-track disc includes Nelson tunes that aren’t the usual batch of standbys – the underrated shuffle “Undo the Right,” the mournful “Rainy Day Blues” and the ornery “Shotgun Willie.”
Pickin’ On Willie opens with “Night Life,” the Nelson standard that not only features the American music icon himself singing but also playing his iconic guitar Trigger. For Alverson, getting Nelson to guest on his record was one of those I-must-be-dreaming moments. And that’s not it: Pickin’ also features welcomed musical support from Johnny Bush (“Whiskey River” is on the CD, of course), Walt Wilkins, Gary P. Nunn, Heather Stalling and Alverson’s late father, Tom Alverson, in a recording dating back to 1954.
This was a labor of love for Alverson, who is now based in Mineral Wells after two decades as an Arlington resident. But so is his annual Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering, the multi-day celebration of Texas country music. He’s still working out the details, he said, but it will be Oct. 3-5 at Hog Mountain in Mineral Wells. The line-up, ticket prices and an on-sale date will be announced in a couple of weeks.
Tommy Alverson paid homage to Willie Nelson and his late father on his new album, “Pickin’ on Willie.” (Middlin’ Creative )
You got Willie Nelson to sing and play his iconic guitar Trigger on Pickin’ on Willie. How did you score that honor?
It’s all because of Johnny Bush. He heard the song “Watchin Willie’s Hands” and asked me, “Can I play this for Willie?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “I am playing golf with Willie this weekend. I want to play the CD for him.” The more he played it, the more he liked it. So he said, “I’m going to call you from the golf course and I’m going to hand the phone over to Willie.” Willie said, “Hey Tommy, I really like the song and the things you said about me.” I said, “It’s all true. It comes from the things that I remember every time I had seen you or heard you on record.” I still can’t believe that it really happened. We talked about golf for a little while. We talked about our schedules and what we were doing. Then Willie said, “Why don’t we do a couple of songs together?” Then he handed the phone back to Johnny and I thanked Johnny profusely. I had no idea he was going to play on it, too. I thought he was just singing. When we got the track back and he was singing and playing I was blown away.
Any Texas country singer-songwriter worth his salt has played Willie Nelson songs onstage at least a dozen times. How long have you been interpreting Willie’s gems?
I would say probably 30 years. I have always played Willie’s songs ever since I have been playing in public. The first one was probably “Whiskey River.” What surprised me about that song is people who don’t know Johnny Bush have never heard his version and they think Willie wrote it. So every time I play that song I am giving them both some props.
Let’s talk about “Watchin’ Willie’s Hands,” the one original from you on the album. It’s a recitation song, and one that chronicles your intense passion for Willie’s artistry. When did you write that?
That has been coming for probably 10 years or so. We were sitting in a bar one night and getting ready to play. Austin City Limits was on and they had a close up of Willie’s hands. It just hit me that I was watching Willie’s hands. So I had to write a song. I remembered the first time I ever saw him was in Abbott, Texas 1966. I was a freshman in high school. That started me thinking of where I wanted to go with the song. It’s kind of my history with him.
Your late father Tom Alverson is singing “Uncloudy Day” in a recording dating back to 1954. Why was it important to you to put that vintage recording on the album?
My daddy is my biggest hero. I wanted to pay tribute to him at the same time. I remember hearing that tape that we had. I remember at a later date listening to some of that stuff. I remember “Uncloudy Day” was on there and I remember him singing it by himself. I thought, man if I could only find that. I always liked the gospel part of Willie’s show. My wife found the tape. Within two days of me talking to Willie we found the tape. So I had to go over that tape. Walt Wilkins is also singing on “Uncloudy Day” and he’s my soul brother. So it turned out really cool.
You have been a part of the Texas country music movement for more than 30 years. You have watched the scene grow, change and reinvent itself. What has remained a constant in the scene throughout the years?
The quality of the music has gotten better, the quality of the recordings. I’m not so sure that the songs are as good as they once were. But the constant is the people that come out and are a part of the music. It’s always been about the fans. It’s a pretty crowded market. I always stayed true to the things that I like, whether it’s a rhythm and blues kind of song or a straight ahead country song. I won’t play something to win over a crowd to get a bigger audience. I still stick to what I’ve always done.
by: Michael Stewart
NAPLES, Fla. — This week’s syndicated Where to Play Golf Radio Show’s “Featured Destination” is Pedernales Golf Club owned by country music legend Willie Nelson. You’ll hear lots of funny stories about “Willie’s Place”, which is located in Spicewood, Texas and only 8 songs or (5 beers) from Austin.
Our “Golf Vacation of the Week” highlights “thee” best place to stay if you’re coming to the PGA Show in Orlando or just for a vacation.
We also have an award winning special segment of “Golf: It’s a Crime” hosted by Michael Stewart and Where to Play Golf’s NBC/ABC Anchorman Mike Robinson.
In addition, Where to Play Golf’s traveling correspondent Tim Bona joins us live from the Sony Open in Hawaii with a special Mai-Tai “Drink of the Week” and we feature some great “New Products” including the www.shedrain.com WindPro umbrella.
Finally, “The Golf Doctor” Mike Calbot provides some playing tips from the brand new Where to Play Golf 50+ Senior Golf School in Naples, Fl.
Where to Play Golf Radio Show, TV Show, Articles & Golf School
by Turk Pipman
It’s been 30-something years since I teed my first ball at Pedernales Golf Club, Willie Nelson’s scrappy nine-hole course overlooking the Pedernales River. Willie and friends were watching as I choked down my nerves and managed to smack a drive down the fairway. That was the first of maybe a thousand rounds at Pedernales in which I’ve won and lost millions of pesos, lost and never found hundreds of golf balls, and heard and forgotten countless great jokes.
Though few seem to know it, Willie’s course is open to the public and one of the best deals in town. Where else can you bring your own cooler and also have a chance of seeing the red-headed stranger make a long one-handed putt?
Golf at Pedernales can be a wild ride. The fairways are rough and the greens are slow, but when I’m at Willie’s, I always feel like I’m playing the old-school game I learned as a kid, and I’m generally with my best and longest standing friends. Last year’s drought was hard on the course, but Willie called me up recently and said, “We’re working on the golf course to get it in the best shape we can, so spread the word and tell folks that Pedernales is open for business.”
I could tell you more, but thought Willie could do it better. So in Willie’s words, here are a few choice thoughts from the golf chapter in The Tao of Willie, a lovely little book Willie and I published awhile back. Take it away, Willie.
Pedernales Golf In Willie’s Words
Golf isn’t just a game—it’s an addiction. Think of it as the crack cocaine of sports. Like most addictions, doing it more doesn’t necessarily make you any better at it, it just makes you want more. My longest-running game has been at Pedernales Country Club, the nine-hole course I own in the hills outside of Austin. The course is a little rocky, but the greens roll true, and no one’s ever going to tell you to tuck in your shirttail at my course. I first saw Pedernales playing in a celebrity tournament in the mid-’70s, and a couple of years later, another guy and I bought it. For years, the standard game at Pedernales was somewhere between five and 15 of us in an equal number of carts, all of us racing from shot to shot claiming whatever ball we found as our own. The general philosophy was: May the man with the fastest cart win. Needless to say, I had a pretty fast cart.
If you never have a bad lie, you never have to tell a bad lie.
If you’re unhappy with your lie at Pedernales, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. We have a local rule called the Pedernales Stroll, which lets you lift your ball from a rocky lie and stroll it someplace greener. Ireland would be a little far, but otherwise, I recommend that you drop the ball within one length of your arm.
People want to know everything about the golf swing, but my golf pro Larry Trader always told me to “just hit the ball.” Little kids usually hit it great the first swing. Lots of people do. But when they start getting instruction, it all goes to hell.
It’s always better if you get a pro to tell you everything you’re doing wrong. You can still keep doing it, but at least you’ll know it’s wrong.
Golf is the last thing you should get mad about. The way I see it, if I play well, I’ll have bested my opponent. If I want to play better, the way to do it is through positive thinking. Talk to yourself, be your own best friend, be the coach you always wanted in school. If I continue to play bad, then what the hell—maybe I’ll make my opponent feel better about his game. Either way, we’ll be out under a beautiful sky, and my enjoyment of the hole, the game and the day is not going to be dictated by something as haphazard as a golf swing.
With that in mind, I’ll offer the two essential secrets of golf:
Don’t lunge before you lurch.
The game of golf is not that different than the game of life.
Play to your strengths and try not to get too wrapped up in the outcome. Let things happen and someday you’ll make a hole in one. I’m the living proof of that. And like I always say, you can’t lose ’em all.
photo thanks to Roger Allen Polson, who took this photo in 1980, at the Legends of Golf Tournament, Onion Creek