“Long-haired freako” embraced by the Mill Valley golf society By Jason Walsh
This article appeared in the Pacific Sun in March of 1977
The Legend of Bagger Larry
One of Marin’s finest golfers of the 1970s was facing something of a personal dilemma – should he give up Marijuana if it would lower his handicap?
Larry Kimzey, a “confirmed pot head” of eight years, according to Sun reporter George Frazier, wasn’t taking lightly the possibility of sacrificing his passion for the “greener” in favor of his passion for the greens. But alas, he worried his frequent lighting of the chronic was hurting his short game.
“It’s affecting my memory,” lamented Kimzey, whose average score was then in the 80s. “And what is putting the memory – trying to remember that ‘touch’ of ‘feel’ of putting” The 26 year old held dreams of going pro, but was concerned the he too often “ends up looking like a spazo around the greens.”
Kimsey, at the time, was living in a diplapidated truck near Sausalito’s Gate 5 and he estimated his cost of living at about $250 a month. He was also the newest member of the prestigious Mill Valley’s Golf Club.
“That long hair freako often seen hitch hiking between Sausalito and Mill Valley with a bag over his shoulder is Kimzey,” wrote the reporter. But why, in the words of Frazier, would the posh Mill Valley’s Men’s Golf Club “totally accept…a stoned golf nut?” Kimzey put it down to two primary qualities his fellow golfers were looking for in a club member: “I don’t run off at the mouth in a crazed manner…and I don’t smoke dope with the older guys.”
At this juncture in his life, Kimzey considered golf his chosen profession. ” I don’t play golf for pleasure,” he said. “It’s like a job…this is what I do.” But it wasn’t long before that when Kimzey was juggling a pair of careers that may have ultimately kept him out of Mill Valley “High Society”: selling pyramid schemes and dealing drugs.When the pyramid scheme/drug dealing scene turned sour (“people were getting killed”), he took a job scrubbing pots and pans at the famous Trident Restaurant. Just when it seemed his career in the service industry might be taking off (he’d been promoted to vegatable slicer) Kimzey’s fate took a turn: He cut his foot on a piece of glass while leaving the Trident. Several months and one worker’s compensation suit later Mr. Kimzey was $10,000 richer.
Still, that kind of money doesn’t last too long being an out of work golf fanatic in Marin. ” I pinched pennies, but I’m spending money and I just don’t like it,” said Kimzey. “Golf, food, and chicks, my money just dribbles away.” Kimzey, now 56, currently lives in San Francisco and has upgraded from a truck to an apartment. Aside from that, not muched, has changed. “I’m still the last of the independents. I didn’t go corporate. I’m still just a small time chisler just like I was then,” he says.
Kimzey still hits the links with regularity – he’s won flights in the San Francisco City Golf Championship and has an 8 handicap. All this despite never having abandoned the loco weed. “The one thing that has been universal in my life these 30 years has been golf and pot,” reflects Kimzey. “Your right, that’s two things.”
Special thanks to Jason Walsh and the Pacific Sun Newspaper for permission to reprint their article here!
And, Larry, how the hell are ya? Check in when ya can….will ya?