George Archer’s Secret

This isn’t anything like Ben Hogan’s “secret.” In fact, George Archer’s secret doesn’t have anything to do with golf.  You see, the Master’s Champion (who passed away in 2005) was unable to read. The problem went undiagnosed throughout his life, but likely was dyslexia and a non verbal learning disability.

In a heartbreaking article in Golf for Women, his wife tells of the efforts that they went through to both hide, and cope with, his problem. She read the mail and the contracts, filled out the tournament entry forms, paid all the bills, read the road maps and the local rules sheets. Archer avoided endorsemetns because he was afraid that he might have to read something; he apparently was worried that some fan would ask him to personalize an autograph.

I know a thing or two about coping with a handicap. With a “profound” hearing loss since birth, I have developed numerous defensive strategies for coping in the hearing world. Most people never realize that anything is wrong, since I have become a master lipreader (although my school-for-the-deaf-manufactured speech does apparently sound a little odd to most—but people always tell me they just thought it was a regional accent). And my life has gotten a lot easier since I’ve been married. My wife orders for me in noisy restaurants, makes phone calls and generally runs interference whenever possible.

I’m not an emotional guy (just ask my wife. It’s her biggest complaint), but the Archer story got me. You should give it a read.

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