The art of getting autographs

Posted June 10, 2014

— Part of attending any major sporting event is getting an autograph from a favorite player.

At the 2014 U.S. Open, it can be as easy as standing in line and patiently waiting as the USGA shuttles players right in front of your pen. Jason Day Tuesday signed for about an hour.

Some fans bum rush players in the stands as they make their way from hole to hole. Sometimes that works.

Autograph seeker Stewart Windell listed his take, "Jason Day … I want Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Ricky Fowler and Rory McIlroy. Bubba Watson. Bubba Watson too,” he said.

But some were disappointed. .

Fan Jeff Bond said his top priority was an autograph from Raleigh native and 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson.

“You just yell at ‘em and hopefully they’ll sign it for you,” Bond said.

When Simpson didn’t sign, Bond had a bit of a change of heart, saying through laughter that his new favorite is Ricky Fowler.

The trick is to be ready at all times..

"Being at the U.S. Open, I mean, anything you’ve got on, you just have them to sign it,” said Andre Springs, athletic director at Livingstone College. “You can sign on my hand, on my arm right here. Anywhere, just get the signature."

"I got everybody. You name it,” said Charlie Laffery. “I got Ernie Els right here.”

Charlie Laffery is an autograph pro. He's got the signatures and the strategy to prove it.

“You’ve got to constantly scan the crowd,” Laffery explained. “You have to be vigilant about where the players are. You have to really have your eyes peeled and move around. You can’t stay in one spot.”

What makes players go to Laffery instead of someone else?

“I come to them. They actually come to me. I’m very polite. And I’m an old guy so they probably feel sorry for me,” Laffery said with a laugh.


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  • Hammerhead Jun 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    And in the irony of irony departments, he charged YOU for it.

  • Lightfoot3 Jun 11, 2014

    I autographed a check to my plumber this morning.

  • disgusted2010 Jun 11, 2014

    Why does WRAL publish drivel like this?

  • proudgrandmomma Jun 11, 2014

    I got Tom Kites autograph in 1977 in the Greensboro golf tournament. He was done for the day and he invited me to have a sandwich with him. He talked about golf the whole time. I lost the autograph though in a boating accident years later.

  • Vincent Vega Jun 11, 2014

    I saw Webb sign every autograph leaving the 11th green.

  • Hammerhead Jun 11, 2014

    "Some fans bum rush players in the stands as they make their way from hole to hole. Sometimes that works."
    “You just yell at ‘em and hopefully they’ll sign it for you,”

    Um, cool.

  • Stilllearnin Jun 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    If your not a collector than why get them, if you are you display them.

  • KT doesn't accept EBT cards Jun 11, 2014

    How about you just don't bother them when they're on the course?

  • sunshine1040 Jun 10, 2014

    And after you get an autograph what do you do with it? Most people are lucky if they keep them a year before loosing them or misplacing them.

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