Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy


Doyle’s golfing career

by Doyle Brunson |  Published: May 19, '09


As you probably know, I was a world class athlete in track and basketball as a youngster. I broke my leg severely which ended all of that. I then played poker for a number of years and then found golf at the age of 30. I still had great hand and eye co ordination and became reasonably good in a short period of time. I am a natural gambler and started playing for lots of money. Due to my background, I have always been able to perform under pressure so I always tried to play as high as possible, getting my opponent out of his comfort zone. I was always willing to make fair matches, sometimes even taking the worst of it, because I was confident I could out perform my opponent. So, I developed a nation wide reputation in the golf world and got lots of high action. Lee Trevino used to watch some of our games and was amazed at the stakes we played for.

Jack Binion, the owner of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino started a gamblers golf tournament in the early 70’s. We got all the high playing golfers from all across the US coming and playing. I got to know all these guys and each summer I would travel to their home cities and play high stakes golf with them. I had a “circuit” starting in Dallas, moving down to Mobile, then Nashville, Oklahoma City and several towns in California. Most of these fellows have died and the action dried up.

I had always wondered how the pro golfers would fare playing for a winner take all tournament. After talking to some of the big name tour players, we started advertising this type of tournament. Deane Beamon was in charge of the PGA tour and forbade any tour player from entering, threatening them with suspension from the PGA tour. Joe Black, a college friend, was head of the PGA and told me to invite club pro’s and mini tour players, which I did. This was in the 70’s and we held it for several years, until the old Dunes golf course was torn up. The players loved it, calling it “The Dolly” named after me. I remember Larry Rinker and Mark Weibe were two of our winners.

As I got older and heavier, my leg bent from my old injury and I quit playing. A younger group of poker players started playing and after going out watching them, I saw they had no idea how to match golf games. So I started practicing and even though I could barely break 100 and had to use a crutch to walk, I won well over a million dollars my first summer back. I have continued to play and ESPN has televised two tournaments [I won both]. Golf is all about matching games and I can still perform under pressure, which allowed me to beat these youngsters.

There is a golf book called Texas Golf Legends, featuring all the great golfers from my home state. In the Prefix, there is an apology to a group of names for being left out. The authors said they might put out a second edition. My name was one of the list. lol. what a joke, me listed with those great golfers. Dan Jenkins, who has several golf books out, used to write for Sports Illustrated and covered a couple of our tournaments, so he was probably instrumental in my name being on the list.

I’m 75 years old now, still have to use a crutch to walk, but still enjoy matching up with these young gamblers. I hope I play until I die. Actually, what could be a better place to draw your last breath than on a good golf course!

Doyle "Tex Dolly" Brunson is a 10-time WSOP bracelet winner, best-selling author, and is known worldwide as the father of modern poker. His list of poker accomplishments and awards are endless.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
Newsletterbanner Twitterbanner Fbbanner

Most Viewed Blogs