HOYLAKE, England – Captaining the U.S. Walker Cup team does a lot for a person’s self-esteem. Ask Nathanial Crosby. The 2019 U.S. skipper is finally getting some respect, and adding to the Crosby family legacy.
Crosby, youngest son of famous crooner Bing and actor Kathryn Grant, is a pretty good golfer in his own right. Winning the 1981 U.S. Amateur and finishing low amateur in the 1982 U.S. Open paved the way to selection for the 1983 U.S. Walker Cup team that won at Royal Liverpool. He went 1-1 in a team that featured future PGA Tour star Brad Faxon.
Crosby spent three years on the European Tour in the 1980s, but professional success was more elusive than amateur glory. Third in the 1985 Portuguese Open is the highlight of his professional career. So the Hillsborough, California native went back to the amateur ranks in 1994.
Trying to impress his six children with his exploits on the links hasn’t been an easy sell. Until the Walker Cup captaincy came along.
“I’ve got a litter of four of mine and two of hers, all between 23 and 29, and I’ve been telling them how important I am the last year and a half, and they’re finally giving me a little bit of respect after some 29 years with the oldest,” Crosby said. “It’s a sensational experience for me really. A lot of self-esteem has come back.”
Bing Crosby was a big fan of the royal and ancient game. His legacy is the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which the singer first hosted in 1937 at Rancho Sante Fe Golf Club in California. Sam Snead was the inaugural winner, and the event found a permanent home at Pebble Beach in 1947 when it became known as the Bing Crosby Pro-Amateur Golf Championship.
“He left his mark in golf with a lot of club championships and creating the pro-am format and legacy of the Pebble Beach golf tournament,” the U.S. Walker Cup captain said. “So for me to have this legacy is really important for me, and a continuation of the Crosby brand in the golf sector.”
Bing Crosby died of heart attack in 1977 after playing golf at La Moraleja Golf Club near Madrid. His youngest son is hoping his famous father can exert some influence this weekend from that great clubhouse in the sky.
“Hopefully we get a little divine intervention this week, knocking a few balls from the rough or making few putts fall in. I’m hoping for a little energy from on high.”