Ten days ago, I was strolling the rolling terrain of the Goat Hill Ranch golf course in Oceanside, Calif., at times alongside PGA player Charley Hoffman.
Hoffman, splendidly attired in a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, grinned widely while chatting with the gallery and holding his smiling daughter’s tiny hand. That leisurely stroll raised funds for a worthy cause, and Hoffman was four under par through fourteen holes.
Five days ago, I watched from my recliner as Hoffman and 17 other PGA tour players, including eight of the top 10 in the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings), teed up in Albany (the Bahamas) at the Hero (motorcycles) championship, hosted by Tiger Woods. More on Woods in a minute.
Four days ago, Hoffman had 12 birdies in a single round and shot 63; meanwhile, I had no birdies and shot … well, another total that contained a “3.” Two days ago, Hoffman had but a single birdie and turned in a score seven shots higher than the day before; I had a birdie and scored seven shots better than the day before.
You might recall that I am reading Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.” I had to read the first 50 pages twice. I might ultimately have to read the entire book twice — but as I always say sometimes — that’s neither here nor there.
On page 74 of Tyson’s No. 1 bestseller, he offers a hint at why the game of golf can equally reward and punish the likes of a highly skilled player like Hoffman and, well, the rest of us. The answer is found in cosmic rays traveling at 99.9 percent of the speed of light!
“Remarkably, these single subatomic particles carry enough energy to knock a golf ball from anywhere on a putting green into the cup.”
I am now on page 174, where begins the chapter “On Being Round.” Stay tuned!
Oh, remember Tiger Woods? Surely you do; but, you likely do not remember that many columns ago I vowed not to write about him until there was something to talk about. He competed and completed all four rounds, even topping the leaderboard for a moment on day two. His ninth-place finish was respectable, given the elite field. That’s all until he does something else worthy of ink.
Coach Kayla Williamson’s Clear Creek Wildcats found themselves trailing the Clear Lake Falcons by eight shots at the end of the first day of the Fall District Preview last week at Galveston Country Club.
Bianca Zamora and Ana Vallejo led a second-day rally (second and fourth medalist) as the ‘Cats won the event, with Clear Lake finishing second and Pearland third. Clear Lake’s Stephanie Banach shot 75-75 to win medalist honors. Trinity Le, Caroline Singletary and Michelle Pardivala turned in fine performances to bolster the victory. Ball High JV golfers Landon Parsons, Hanson Root, Daniel Golan, Garrett Peters and Noah Jansen pitched in to claim second place out of nine schools competing in the Texas City Boys 9-Hole Fall Classic at Bayou Golf Club last week. Parsons led the Tors with an individual sixth-place finish out of 43 players.
Jim Muntzel, Terry Earl, badge buddy Charlie Totty and Roger Herndon kicked a lot of dust into their competitors’ faces, winning last week’s senior scramble at Bayou Golf Club with a hot 57.
Muntzel continued out-of-this-world play on Thursday, shooting an even par 72 to claim low gross in the Thursday Cash Game at Moody Gardens Golf Course. Frank Bohn won individual low net with a 66; Ken Ramsell, Mike Yarotsky and Paul Elmer raked in the low team net cash.
The ninth hole on the Harbour 9 at South Shore Harbour is a par five with an island green; it is a hole that victimizes golfers of every skill level, tempting that “go for it” urging that often replaces visions of greatness with drowned hopes — and golf balls. Last Thursday, Ann Shea and Linda Landrum looked on as playing partner Sandi Dull grappled with the hole and carded a rare Eagle 3. No word on who picked up the tab for the extended 19th hole celebration.
OK, some was dark, some not so dark; some had beans, some did not. Tasting was available post round at last Sunday’s annual Chili Cook Off at South Shore Harbour Country Club. Team Astros, led by Linda Duryea and Betsy Pendergast with assistance from husbands Rick and Jim, served up their World Series Chili and took home bragging rights for the next 12 months.
Be safe, on and off the course.