I read Robert Price's column ("Everyone wanted a piece of Lonnie Shelton, and he delivered," July 11) on Lonnie Shelton and was intrigued with the descriptions of his athleticism. It reminded me of the time I met him.
About 1990 or 1991, I was playing golf at the old Valle Grande course. My playing partner and I were getting ready to hit our second or third shots onto one of the front nine greens, when a golf ball rolled up and past us. We turned to the tee box and realized we were way past 300 yards from it. We both exclaimed admiration for the distance it had been hit.
We putted out, walked over to the next tee and hit our shots. Meantime, this huge man, put both of his balls within 15 feet of the hole, walked up and putted out.
He drove up, got out of his cart and apologized for hitting up on us. We introduced ourselves, and he simply said, “I’m Lonnie.” We asked if he would you like to play through or join us, and he opted to play through. He striped two balls right down that fairway, got in his cart and called out, “Thank you very much! Have a nice round.” Now remember, this is back when many golfers were still hitting persimmon wood clubs.
An all around athlete for sure!
My partner and I looked at each other and said, “That was Lonnie Shelton!”
I’ve always remembered his humble attitude and relaxed demeanor. A true gentleman.
Bryce Henry, Santa Rosa