Golf and music go hand in hand

Betty Davis Eyes.

May 1981. This golf writer was playing in the biggest tournament of his young life, the Section 3A golf tournament at the Montevideo Golf Club. As our Benson High School station wagon approached the golf course Kim Carnes no. 1 hit "Betty Davis Eyes" came on the radio.

I played all 18 holes with that darn song running through my head.

"Her hair is Harlow gold

Her lips sweet surprise


Her hands are never cold

She's got Betty Davis Eyes"

It's still one of the most memorable rounds I ever played. The skinny little freshman wearing the blue velour sweater shot a 74 that day and qualified for the state tournament.

Couple things got me thinking about golf and music this past week. One was hearing an interview Angela Stanford gave on the Golf Channel after the fourth round of the U.S. Women's Open. Stanford went on to finish second in the three-person playoff on Monday. In her interview, Stanford said she had a song from the Dixie Chicks new CD running through her head all week.

"She'll turn her music on you

You won't have to think twice

She's pure as New York snow

She's got Betty Davis eyes."


The other news item that caught my eye was the death of singer Barry White.

Only 58, White was the singer with the unbelievably low voice who cranked out R&B; hits in the 1970's.

But it was one of White's songs that drove me nuts for years. The tune was the theme music for the old ABC-TV golf telecasts back in the 70's and early 80's. Think announcers Jim McKay and Dave Marr and the canary yellow ABC Sports blazers. If you are a golf nut, you'd recognize this tune in a heartbeat.

I loved the song. It was an instrumental piece with lots of sweeping strings and French horns and a cool beat. We all knew it as the golf song. My problem was I didn't know the group that recorded it. And if I didn't know who recorded the song, I couldn't go out and buy the CD.

My salvation came while watching TV late one evening. On came one of those Time Life infomercials for a compilation of "1970's Hits". I heard a clip of my golf song. The scroll on the screen said "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra. I grabbed a pen and jotted this info down on a scrap of paper.

A bit of research on the web and I found the Love Unlimited Orchestra was part of Barry White's band. I knew nothing about Barry White except the low voice, but I ran out to Best Buy and bought myself the Barry White All-Time Greatest Hits CD. Song no. 1 on this CD is "Love's Theme."

Four minutes and eight seconds of golfer's bliss.

One suggestion though: if you're looking to implant a song in your head just before you hit the links, I'd go with a song that has words.


Twice now I've popped in Barry's CD as I approach the parking lot before a golf tournament.

Both times my play hasn't been up to par.

The strings and French horns are nice, but I think a golfer needs some silly lyrics to really make this thing work.

"And she'll tease you

She'll unease you

All the better just to please you

She's precocious and she knows

Just what it takes to make a pro blush


She's got Greta Garbo stand off sighs

She's got Betty Davis eyes."

Greg Peterson of Rochester writes a regular column for the weekly Golf page.

What To Read Next
Get Local