July 18, 2009

Where getting old isn't quite so bad

Tom Watson, age 59, has a one-stroke lead going into the final round of the British Open. Watson has won five British Opens already, but no major championships in 25 years. Watson won't win, just as 53-year-old Greg Norman couldn't hold his 3rd round lead in last year's British Open.

Still, it is conceivable that Watson could win because I once was there to see an even older player almost win against a major championship quality field (featuring, among others, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Johnnie Miller) under major championship conditions. So, please forgive me indulging in some golf nostalgia.

The first time I saw Watson play in person was 35 years ago at the final round of the 1974 LA Open at historic Riviera, back when he was known as the best player on the PGA tour without a victory. Powerful Santa Ana winds dried out the greens making them US Open fast. The wind also made the course play the opposite of normal, when the prevailing winds blew off the ocean. For example, playing into the wind on the 426 yard 9th hole, Lee Trevino had to hit driver off the fairway to reach the green. In contrast, on the downwind 315 yard tenth hole, Tom Weiskopf hit a towering teeshot that was blown at least 50 yards past the hole. That would be the equivalent of about a 450 yard drive today with today's technology.

In a wild scramble, Watson took the final round lead and looked headed for his first victory. Then he hooked his approach shot out of bounds on the 12th and faded. As the leaders faltered in the wind, an unlikely contender began to rise up the leaderboard, a player in his 39th PGA season who was only two weeks shy of his 62nd birthday: Sam Snead. A double-jointed marvel who liked to win bets by kicking the ceiling, Snead's swing was as fine-looking as when he had defeated Ben Hogan in a playoff at the famous 1950 LA Open at Riviera, which was Hogan's first tournament after a horrific car crash 12 months earlier that almost led to Hogan's legs being amputated.

In golf, your fine motor skills are the first to go, so Snead had taken to putting croquet-style through his legs. When that was banned as undignified, he shifted to the semi-croquet side-saddle method, with his feet together, facing the hole. It looked odd, but that windy day in 1974, it worked.

When Snead birdied the 71st hole to pull only one shot behind 32-year-old Dave Stockton, the roar was the loudest I ever heard on a golf course until I turned on my TV during the 1986 Masters just as 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus's eagle putt on 15 fell in.

On the 18th tee, Snead, a master psychological gamesman, slyly told Stockton, "'You probably don't remember this, but in 1950, I birdied the last two holes to beat Hogan." Snead fought his way to a par on the uphill, into-the-wind 18. Stockton drove weakly, barely clearing the cliff. In In the rough, 245 yards from the green, with Snead standing close to fluster him, Stockton slashed a three wood as hard as he could swing to knock it to 12 feet for his winning birdie. Stockton told Snead, "I'll bet Hogan didn't hit it that close."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always liked Dave Stockton--watched him clean up on the Seniors' Tour. I hadn't taken up golf when the Snead/Stockton thing occurred, but having read a great deal about Slammin' Sammy, I am glad Stockton won.

I'll be pulling for Tom tomorrow because 1) he is to the British Open what Nicklaus is to all the majors 3) like Nicklaus and Palmer, Watson knows how to act on a golf course with a gallery and a tv audience(Tiger ticks me off with all his f-bombs, and club slamming), and because...well, the hottie from Australia, while nice to look at, is not almost 60 and still kickin.'

If Tom doesn't win it, I hope Cink can win himself a major.

Anonymous said...

Nostalgia's good, after all.. this is ' Man bites dog ' stuff.

jody said...

all it means is that the level of play in competitive golf is not that high.

it gets old having woods covered in the US as if he were some kind of god. this makes it impossible to observe him from a neutral perspective. he seems like a good guy, with his charity and all, but i can't stand him anymore because of how the american sports media treats him. the level of reverence that some of these jock sniffers exude for him is positively sickening. they don't even try to be objective anymore.

i would not care about this stuff if it weren't for ESPN constantly, endlessly pushing the idea that woods is some kind of athletic marvel, a man with no equal in any other sport, a truly unique dominator with no peers. he is absolutely not the athletic equal to great players in major sports. the field in competitive golf is very weak compared even to sports that ESPN does not cover anymore.

no matter how many tournaments woods wins, he's still only out-golfing chumps. athletic also rans. the wimps, the guys who played golf for 2 hours every day when they were 15 when the athletes with good hand eye coordination were playing major sports instead. ben roethlisberger, who barely gets to play any golf relative to how much a PGA pro plays, goes out and shoots an 81 at the US open. that was better than a few of the rounds turned in by professional golfers.

Steve Sailer said...

The percentage of kids who have the opportunity to become a pro golfer is much smaller than the percentage who try their hand as children at team sports.

On the other hand, the average age when golfers finally reach their prime is much later than just about any other sport, suggesting that the mental and emotional demands of the game are very high compared to, say, tennis.

Steve Sailer said...

But, yes, Roethlisberger, Brady, and Manning are on a different plane of athleticism than any golfer, even Woods.

Anonymous said...

You really need a "Dear Steve" feature to this site:

Dear Steve,

I played football for 8 years, but can't golf worth a lick. Do I have teh ghey?

Guts Strongman said...

"
On the other hand, the average age when golfers finally reach their prime is much later than just about any other sport, suggesting that the mental and emotional demands of the game are very high compared to, say, tennis."

Isn't that just another way of saying the athletic and hand-eye coordination demands of golf are very low?

Red said...

It's the sheer decency of Watson's face that makes him so apeealing.

Steve Sailer said...

Not really. The interesting issue is not how long you hang around near the the top of your game (obviously, golf is less physically demanding than, say, football), but how long it takes you to reach your peak. It took Vijay Singh, for example, until his early 40s and Kenny Perry until his mid-40s to peak, which suggests there's a lot to learn.

Jack Nicklaus's career, which peaked around age 32, is generally considered representative. Nicklaus started playing at 10 and had the near ideal personality and brain for the game, and yet it took him two decades to figure the game out.

This is not to say that golf is harder mentally and emotionally than, say, being an NFL quarterback. But an awful lot of NFL quarterbacks and other great team sport athletes become obsessed with golf.

Danindc said...

I like Goosen today.

Tiger is a sports God- don't care for his behavior on the course or his buck-toothed caddy but credit is due. He's probably (90%) going to break Jack's major record against great competition. Hard to compare Woods to great qb's in athleticism but will say that under pressure no athlete ever consistently performs like Woods. Don't know if you ever played high level sports Jody, and I doubt it- but that's what really matters- how you perform under pressure and Tiger is the best ever.

Anonymous said...

This reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons, where Kent Brockman was describing a soccer match as the boring event it is, and some Mexican announcer was using the same words but in a rushed, excited, and exuberant fashion.

Guts Strongman said...

Steve: Interesting point about the time-to-peak performance. It's curious that such a long lag exists. Perhaps it has to do with the difficulty of learning so many different layouts.

Maybe I should start playing golf now: I might be decent by the time I'm in my mid 40's, and it would be a better business move than sticking with tennis.

Anonymous said...

Would have loved to see not only Jack, but also scrappers and pit bulls, guys like Trevino, go up against a Tiger.

I believe that Jack and Tiger both had/have the same kind of mind that is/was necessary to produce excellence, but there's no doubt that Jack faced a different kind of competitor than Tiger faces.

No matter their talent and superior equipment, it's hard for today's top golfers to have that extra motivation of need that Jack's competitors had and which Tiger's lack. Hungry mouths to feed--the best motivator of all.

It's all part of the fun of comparing a class performer of one era to that of another.

Danindc said...

Golfers today start younger, are tested earlier and practice more than Nicklaus' peers.... they are just running into a once in a lifetime talent.... The "golfers today are pushovers" meme is bizarre...

Truth said...

"No matter their talent and superior equipment, it's hard for today's top golfers to have that extra motivation of need that Jack's competitors had and which Tiger's lack. Hungry mouths to feed--the best motivator of all."

Yup, Hence Nickulas, Player, and Palmer's Ghetto upbringing.

MacSweeney said...

It's interesting how baseball pitchers can last so much longer than hitters. You'd think that the extremely unnatural motion of throwing a baseball as hard as they do and at weird angles to create things like curveballs would destroy their arms after a while. Instead, pitchers can still be very good into their 40s, whereas non-godly hitters are pretty much done by the late 30s.

Hockey goalies also last longer than forwards. Again, unusual, since it's so dependent on reflexes and flexibility.

albertosaurus said...

Late in his career Jerry Rice suffered a serious injury which the media called "tragic". I speaking fearlessly to my home TV, countered, "No, the tragedy is the unknown High School player who got that same injury at 18. He will never be rich and famous.".

I call my right foot my Basketball Foot. I call my left foot my Baseball foot. Neither foot works as well as it should in spite of all the casts, splints and operations. If I had ever been any good at sports I imagine I would also have Football Knees.

Many, maybe most sports, damage your body before you have much of a chance to get any good. Golf is different because it is a walking sport. It's all that running that causes injuries.

ricpic said...

Interesting you should mention Snead's beautiful classic swing. That's true of Watson as well and may explain this superb showing so late in his career.

jimbo said...

I guess its like the difference in academics between mathematicians and historians. Math depends purely on brainpower, so most methematicians do their best work before they're 30. History requires a lot of reading, and no metter how smart you are it just takes time to absorb it all. Most historians don't really start making their mark until their 40s.

Anonymous said...

Golf is the closest thing to a nerd sport. Check out Moe Norman, the unsung hero of golf, and one of its best technical performers.

airtommy said...

This reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons, where Kent Brockman was describing a soccer match as the boring event it is, and some Mexican announcer was using the same words but in a rushed, excited, and exuberant fashion.

"He holds it ... holds it ... hoooolds it."

"He holds it ... HOLDS IT ... HOLDS IT!!!"

Simpsons soccer riot

airtommy said...

It's interesting how baseball pitchers can last so much longer than hitters.

They don't. Hitters last much longer than pitchers.

Bestie said...

Well, you sure were right, Steve, he lost, but I finally figured out who his face reminded me of - Jimmy Carter.

Steve Sailer said...

Huck Finn at 59?

patrickk said...

Did Watson take some HGH to make one last attempt at victory?

I was watching an interview with Larry Bowa, now the 3rd base coach or bench coach with the Dodgers, explain the steroid/HGH scandal in the wake of Manny Ramirez's suspension. Bowa said when he first noticed the drugs being used, he shrugged it off. My feelings about this is because Bowa compared it to his generation of ballplayers regular use of "greenies" or amphetamines.

Then Bowa said that using HGH was especially worng because it not only makes a player stronger, he said it also improves vision. He said that HGH is like a fountain of youth, making an older player feel younger.

It's been alleged that movie stars use HGH liberally (Madonna) in order to defy aging. Maybe Watson had a little help?

Steve Sailer said...

Perhaps, but Watson would be down at the bottom of the list of athletes I'd suspect of that.

Bill said...

Hmm. I was born exactly two weeks before Watson's first PGA victory.

Golf's a great sport for men of any age, even though I never did more than dabble in it. My maternal grandpa got his last hole in one just six or seven years ago at the age of 80. It was only the third he'd ever had, and he's been golfing since he was a boy running around Manhasset in the 1930s. He still goes golfing, but uses one of those carts to get around now due to hip problems.

Anonymous said...

Soccer boring?

To us Brits (American) football is a complete yawn fest!

A few seconds of play, the game stops, nothing happens except the teams mill about. A few more seconds of play, it gets interesting...then they stop again etc etc.

jody said...

the field in competitive golf is totally weak compared to almost any sport. aside from nearly zero great athletes in first world nations selecting golf at an early age, almost no third worlders can afford to train in golf even if they wanted, as a golf course is by far the largest, most expensive playing surface out of any sport in the world. indeed, this is why the sierra club actively opposes the construction of golf courses.

before the 3rd year or so of the woods era, competitive golf was rightfully considered a totally minor sport and golfers were never promoted as awesome figures in sports or easily the equal of great athletes in major sports. anybody could rightfully state that competitive golfers were not as good at their sport compared to the best players in other sports, and nobody challenged that. it was even common for some people to clown competitive golfers as soft middle aged non-athletes. everybody understood that competitive golfers were only one or two steps above competitive bowlers. the upper class guys who were able golf 18 holes a day while the blue collar man satisfied himself with 10 frames. note that ESPN broadcasts both the PGA and PBA.

then ESPN started pushing woods as a transcendent figure. today, people object violently to that original description of competitive golfers, despite absolutely nothing changing about it between then and now. even ESPN themselves bash the other golfers for being exactly as described. so, how good could the best competitive golfer really be, when his strongest backers openly acknowledge that his competition is weak, and not worth watching? which other major sport would be reduced to "a bunch of guys that aren't that good" if a single player was removed from the game?

there is nothing inherently wrong with competitive golf. it's a decent game and works well as a spectator fair. but the level of play is simply not there yet. it could get there. the international field is growing at a steady pace, and worldwide, the middle class continues to expand, offering at least east asians a chance to get into the game. but i change the channel rather than listen to what passes as golf analysis. woods was universally considered by ESPN analysts to be the run away favorite in the british open because "He has never seen this course before. That means the other golfers are in big trouble." they said he was going to win by 5 shots because he'd never played there before, and look what he did when that same situation occurred a few years ago, as if nothing had changed when it clearly had. they then pass off their retarded hero worship as quality sportcasting.

jody said...

tiger woods is perhaps the best competitive golfer ever, which makes him about equal to the best volleyball player. his status as a "sports god" is a total fabrication of ESPN and american newspaper sportswriters everywhere, who simply can't understand how a guy could be that much better than them at golf despite

1) the sportswriters playing golf twice a month, starting when they turned 30 and were too old to play real sports anymore
2) woods playing 2 hours of golf every day, starting when he turned 4

yet these same guys have no problem believing that baseball pitchers can absolutely obliterate the average man at throwing a baseball, sometimes even into their early 40s, despite them starting all the way back at age 8 in little league, with a talent pool coming from around the world, even latin american ghettos.

so sportswriters, who were actually more likely to have played, and washed out of, baseball, can't understand why a guy in a sport that they didn't play until they were out of college, is a lot, lot better than them at it.

"Hard to compare Woods to great qb's in athleticism but will say that under pressure no athlete ever consistently performs like Woods."

these are ESPN created delusions. who is under more pressure:

1) the guy being assaulted by 250 pound super athletes as 60000 hostile fans scream directly at him and the weight of a literally 1 billion dollar sports franchise weighs on him
2) the guy whacking a ball that's not even moving, while everybody (what, 200 people) is nearly silent?

did you actually just suggest that an NFL quarterback is under less pressure than a competitive golfer? ESPN has done a fantastic job brainwashing people over tiger woods, using him to turn competitive golf into some kind of very weird anomaly. a sport that is completely credible and super difficult when woods competes and wins, yet at the same time a sport that is played only by non-athlete chumps and where the winner doesn't matter, strangely only when woods is not competing.

"Don't know if you ever played high level sports Jody, and I doubt it"

i was a DI scholarship athlete and now am a part-time sports scientist for the US olympic program. i know this stuff cold. that's why i know competitive golf is precisely nowhere with respect to participation rates. i'm paid to help the united states understand what it takes to win in sports and increasing participation rate is one of the most important ways to do that.

"but that's what really matters- how you perform under pressure and Tiger is the best ever."

the best golfer ever, no doubt. that makes him not even as good under pressure as the best ice hockey players, for instance.

if a competitive golfer is in his prime at age 32, then that would make golf almost exactly the same as boxing, a much bigger sport with a much higher participation rate. not to mention middle distance track running, another much bigger sport with a huge participation rate. ESPN doesn't like boxing much anymore now that boxers from former communist nations are allowed to compete. they have a habit of being competitive with black americans. participation rate before the fall of the soviet union = 0, now, much higher.

Steve Sailer said...

Jody says:

"before the 3rd year or so of the woods era, competitive golf was rightfully considered a totally minor sport and golfers were never promoted as awesome figures in sports or easily the equal of great athletes in major sports."

No, that's not true. Arnold Palmer won the Associated Press "Athlete of Decade" poll of sportswriters for the 1960s, and Nicklaus won it for the 1970s.

You can argue that golfers shouldn't have won those awards, but you can't argue that golfers weren't big names in sports going all the way back to Bobby Jones, who was honored with ticker tape parades down Broadway in 1926 and 1930.

Steve Sailer said...

Also, the top golfers have typically had by far the highest total incomes of all American athletes going back to the emergence of Palmer around 1960. Last time I checked early in this decade, a septuagenarian Palmer was still pulling in about $20 million per year in endorsements! Nicklaus was pretty close to that, too. Woods, of course, has been the highest earning athlete in the world for most of the last 12 years, pulling in about $100 million annually.

Forbes keeps track of the numbers.

Once again, you can argue that golfers don't _deserve_ to make more than real athletes, but, whatever, they do.

Anonymous said...

"Yup, Hence Nickulas, Player, and Palmer's Ghetto upbringing."

Re-read what I said. Jack had to face guys like Trevino and Snead--sinking a putt or not sinking it, learning to hitting a low boring one into the winds off the plains or not mastering it--the difference between eating and not eating.

The kids who earn their way onto to Tour today have a group of sponsors back home footing the bill.

Steve Sailer said...

Nicklaus came out of Ohio State onto the tour in 1962 with sizable financial backing as a two-time U.S. Amateur champion.

The really interesting players are the guys who made their livings not from winning on tour but from gambling on golf. Trevino might have been the last of this breed.

Truth said...

"Did Watson take some HGH to make one last attempt at victory? "

It's interesting that you should bring that up. For a 60 year old man who has never had a reputation as a workout fiend he does not have a gut. That's is unusual considering his excercise is walking and he is eating country club food everyday.

As a personal trainer in Los Angeles I can attest to the amazing benefit of HGH. Not only Madonna and Barry Bonds use it but Demi Moore, Stalone, LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett, Brock Lesnar, etc. You can tell because it causes a man's head to grow wider, and causes a woman to lose femininity.

From my personal point of view, I would say that HGH "turns back the clock" on one's appearance about 20%; hence an 80 year old on HGH will have the appearance of his 64 year old peers; fifty = forty, and so on.

The strange thing is that it also seems to turn back one's maturity level; witness Roger Clemens lying like a 13 year old with his hand caught in the cookie jar or Sylvester Stallone going to great lengths to prance about with his shirt off in his movies.

Remember, you heard it here first.

Steve Sailer said...

Yes, HGH and steroids and prescription testosterone aren't really compatible with the emotional maturity you need to win a major championship in golf. Watson lost because he hit his very accurate approach to the 18th hole too hard -- too much adrenalin flowing -- so the ball went over the green.

Eventually there will be a big juicing scandal in golf, but it's a tough sport to figure out how to get the right balance. It's not a one dimensional sport where just having bigger muscles makes you better and you can't put up with the side effects because they don't matter compared to bigger muscles.

Steve Sailer said...

I mean, which golfer acts like a juicer? Jose Canseco was pretty obviously roided up way back in 1988, as the Fenway Park crowd in the playoffs serenaded him with chants of "Ster-oid" while he struck Mr. Universe poses in the outfield.

But who among golfers?

The one name that comes to mind is David Duval, who was #1 in the world in 1999 and then disappeared.

I wouldn't be surprised if David Duval didn't wreck his career over fitness fanaticism. He got down to 5% body fat at one point, and then couldn't play anymore. Now he's borderline obese and finished second in the U.S. Open. Perhaps he feels he became a fitness addict and now simply won't do any working out at all, like an alcoholic who won't touch a drop of alcohol.

MacSweeney said...

They don't. Hitters last much longer than pitchers.

Oh?

Active hitters 39 and over who are still pretty good:

Gary Sheffield (I guess), 40

Active pitchers 39 and over who are still pretty damn good:

Mariano Rivera, 39
Randy Johnson, 45
Tim Wakefield, 42 (true, the knuckleball extends a career significantly)
Trevor Hoffman, 41
John Smoltz, 41


And then look at pitchers like Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, David Wells who were able to have very productive seasons well into their 40s. Except for Barry Bonds, I can't think of any hitters at all who were a major factor into their 40s.

Pitchers also peak in their late 20s/early 30s, whereas hitters peak at around 26.

Anonymous said...

The greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan, couldn't and can't break 80 on a consistent basis. Enough said re golf and athleticism, whatever that is.

Anonymous said...

Dandnc, don't listen to us, listen to Dan Jenkins, the foremost golf writer in the world for the past 40years.

He regularly writes about the lack of fire in today's golfer; better to punch out of the heather and take a bogey to preserve my $78,000check for the week than go for the green and maybe win.

That kind of thinking was alien to the Hogans, Sneads, Trevinos, etc.

Brutus

Anonymous said...

The 70 something Palmer netting $20M/yr is not because his athletic ability - it's because he's an upmarket brand and product salesman.

Who corporate america thinks is an a good pitchman and who is a singular athletic talent are probably very different. Who mainstream America thinks is a singular athletic talent is even more removed from the likes of Nicholas and Palmer.

Sideways said...

Hitters last longer than pitchers because hitters don't typically destroy their most important physical asset like pitchers do. However, pitching doesn't rely on fantastic reflexes like hitting does, so if you do happen to be a pitcher who has a freakishly durable arm or throwing style, you can pitch until you get old.

The result is that you lose a lot of pitchers before their bodies start going downhill in general, while hitters have a smoother path but one that ends at a younger age

Anonymous said...

"Now he's borderline obese and finished second in the U.S. Open. Perhaps he feels he became a fitness addict and now simply won't do any working out at all, like an alcoholic who won't touch a drop of alcohol."

Steve, do you recall how fat Duval was when he first joined the Tour and he was very young then. He was much heavier than he is today.

Duval is a very cerebral, private, guarded guy, not the kind you find much among jocks. While golfers have a rep for not being the stupid jocks that football players are, you'd have to concede that it's a small % of them them who read a whole lot of books. There are some, but most of their reading is limited to the subject of sports or maybe the occasional book on how to invest money. Duval was the exception.

I remember too that in his youth he was very ticked off at his dad for leaving his mother.It was an open wound. I think that Duval was not a tunnel-vision kind of guy and probably still isn't. He learned early that competitive golf wasn't his bliss.

When he embarked on his fitness program, I remember thinking he looked awful, just about anorexic.

Still, it's not uncommon for guys to reach that summit ("best golfer never to have won a major") and then, kerplunk. After the British Open victory, things weren't the same for Duval. In his private life, things tanked as well: his long-time relationship with his girlfriend went south.

I just think he lost that drive and with that, the swing mechanics broke down. Not at all uncommon.

Danindc said...

Dan Jenkins- good sportswriter but too nostalgic- also cursed those of us in dc with his daughter Sally

Anonymous said...

Soccer boring?

To us Brits (American) football is a complete yawn fest!

A few seconds of play, the game stops, nothing happens except the teams mill about. A few more seconds of play, it gets interesting...then they stop again etc etc.


Christ, not this again.

Football:

boring...exciting...boring

Soccer:

boring...boring...boring

~Svigor

Barcus said...

Golfers make a lot of money because golf is disproportionately popular with CEOs and doctors and lawyers, who themselves are terrible to not very good golfers, but they pay high prices for golf equipment that is very profitable to manufacture.

An interesting phenomenon is that despite having some of the most idiotic gun control laws this side of Singapore, the UK excels in the manufacture and sale of _really expensive_ shotguns and rifles. The young male royals, and even some of the females, are big on shotgunning sports (the UK equivalent of trap, skeet, or sporting clays, and upland bird hunting, there as here the snootiest kind). The prices charged by Holland and Holland and Purdey keep increasing at a rate well above inflation. Even though the really successful competitors shoot Italian guns or such un-pukka contraptions as the Ljutic Space Gun.

sj071 said...

"Where getting old isn't quite so bad"
So you say....

Healthcare Bill = Steve's New Treasure Trove
.

Anonymous said...

"The young male royals, and even some of the females, are big on shotgunning sports (the UK equivalent of trap, skeet, or sporting clays, and upland bird hunting, there as here the snootiest kind). "

Pretty much every upper class male regardless of age or title enjoys shooting.

It's also popular with 'proper' rural people of all socioeconomic levels. "Everyone and their mum's is packing round 'ere!"

"Even though the really successful competitors shoot Italian guns or such un-pukka contraptions as the Ljutic Space Gun."

Maybe, but the cowardice from the Italian gun might leak into your veins and render you unable to defend yourself against a charging buffalo or something like that.

Anyway Holland and Hollands nicest piece of ironmongery is their big double rifle.

If you want something that shoots brilliantly then Accuracy International also make some fine kit, but it's not normally the sort of stuff you can get a modification (on the firearm's certificate) for.

Anonymous said...

As a personal trainer in Los Angeles I can attest to the amazing benefit of HGH. Not only Madonna and Barry Bonds ......I would say that HGH "turns back the clock" on one's appearance about 20%

Bloody hell, that means Madonna must be at least 70!