Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2000

Odd couple of the links struggle with principals of golf

June 8, 2000

When it comes to golf, I am what you would call a hack (some would use the same word to describe my journalistic abilities). I've never denied it - in golf, that is.

In fact, I've reveled in this - cloaked myself in my golf futility.

In actuality, I consider myself the common golfer.

I love the game, but I don't have a lot of time - or money - to devote to it. Someday when I'm living on a golf course and not writing and reporting for a living, my game will improve.

But for now, while I'd love to shoot in the 80s on a consistent basis, I'm perfectly content with hitting about one of every three or four shots right.

OK, now you know my mindset.

Now try to picture my publisher Dan Simon, the antithesis of me on the golf course. We have one common trait: We both love the game. But while I am a hack, Dan is a player - a picture perfect swing to go along with his desire to constantly improve his game.

Case in point, when Dan misses a putt, he holes out then practices the putt he missed - over and over until he makes it. I shrug my shoulders - maybe say a cuss word - and move on to the next hole.

This is the story of what happens when golf's version of the odd couple takes on Eudora's top golf twosome in a match. I'll give you a hint: It's not a pretty picture.

Eudora West Elementary School principal Rod Moyer and Eudora Middle School principal Dale Sample, we've since learned, have teamed up to win the CPA Picnic tournament the last couple of years.

Of course, Rod never passed the information on to us prior to the big match. They simply proceeded to torch the Eagle Bend course last Friday and beat us by a whopping 33 strokes.

If it were a boxing match, it would have been called.

If it were a softball game, the Mercy Rule would have come into play.

But it was golf and - heck, it was a lot of fun.

Knowing I am a hack makes losing pretty easy to accept. My round of 100 was a few strokes higher than I would have liked it to have been, but when Dale, who seemingly hits the ball wherever he wishes every time he picks up a club, turns in a round of 77 and Rod comes in with an 81, it didn't take long to realize I was out of my league.

By the way, my partner struggled with his putter all day and turned in a 91.

And, I came out of it with a few things on which to build. For example, the only player in the foursome to finish with a triple-digit score was also the only player to have a birdie.

The blessed event took place on the 380-yard, par-4 10th hole, which features a large oak tree right in the middle of the fairway.

I avoided the tree by hitting into the rough on the right side of the fairway. I then dropped my second shot from about 150 yards to within 3 feet of the cup - proof that even a blind squirrel sometimes finds that acorn.

Of course, a little confidence on the golf course for me is a bad thing. Just when I think I've mastered the game, reality rears its ugly head. The end result was it took me 39 strokes to play the next six holes.

Oh well, the competition was secondary to the camaraderie. There's something about sharing a day on the golf course with people you work with on a professional level. It's only a matter of time before the barriers are broken.

We had a great time and look forward to taking them on again. Yes, we'll probably lose again, but I'm willing to keep trying.

It's like mastery learning. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

It might take me all summer, but I plan to make the honor roll in golf.

By the way, if you are interested in playing against Dan and myself, drop us a line. You could find your way into the weekly golf column and, who knows, you might just have a pretty fun time.

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