Jack Saylor enlivened the local, state and national golf scene with his deft touch at the keyboard, first with a typewriter, then on a computer and frequently a piano where he always drew a crowd, whether it was the stately Carolina Inn at Pinehurst, North Carolina, or at the Mission Inn in Carmel, California, where Clint Eastwood dropped in for a memorable duet.
Known as much for his colorful outfits as his colorful writing, Saylor stated at the Pontiac Press, then the Detroit Times and found a home at the Free Press for 43 years.
He covered all sports, including the Detroit Pistons, Jud Heathcote’s Michigan State basketball and Notre Dame football , but golf was No. 1.
Asked once if he ever thought of retirement he said: “I’ve thought about it, but my office is a golf course or a ballgame – retirement should be so good.”
A rookie reporter once questioned whether he as a poor golfer should be covering golf and Saylor told him: “Heck, you don’t have to be dead to write a good obituary.”
He wrote many memorable opening lead lines on his stories, too. For instance: “Being summoned for a tax audit, jury duty or a command appearance at his mother-in-law’s birthday party – all on his league day – probably rank 1-2-3 on the list of worst things that can happen to a golfer.”
Saylor passed away in 2003 and donated his reliable putter to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
“Honest, I’m a 16 handicap,” he said often before hitting every fairway and breaking 80.