Alex Bregman’s line-drive home run in Game 1 of the ALDS was reminiscent of the sound of a Tiger Woods “stinger,” which assumes a similar trajectory but travels more than twice as far.

If I correctly heard the stadium announcer over the roar of the crowd, Bregman’s shot came off the bat at about 106 miles per hour, which according to experts at Trackman, who measure such things, is about the same ball speed of a 7-iron struck by the average recreational golfer. (Results may vary, depending on age, fitness and number of beverages consumed). Ball speed off the driver of the average male golfer is 132.6 mph.

The average ball speed for PGA Tour players is more than 167 mph; the big hitters like Brooks Koepka often exceed 184 mph. Sadly, an errant drive by Koepka during the recent Ryder Cup matches, struck a spectator in the eye; the result is that the woman has permanently lost sight in that eye.

Rarely are fans injured, regardless of the sporting event. Heck, I’ve even seen video of baseballs being caught by fans without a spill of their overpriced beer or on occasion IN the beer. There is an assumption of risk associated with fandom, and admonishments of danger are typically printed on tickets, and stadium reminders are made by public address.

The best golfers in the world hit bad shots. Lately, TV announcers have begun to speak out about the danger of spectators crowding around players who have just hit really bad shots and now are trying to recover. Duh!

Recreational players hit lots of bad shots. That’s why golf courses put up signs prohibiting walkers, bicyclists, joggers, skateboarders and people pushing strollers from using cart paths. Yet, too many ignore those signs, and way too many take exception when golfers try to explain why they should not ignore the signs.

I no longer bother. I just wait until they are in earshot and loudly exclaim to my playing partners that our education system is failing, as evidenced by the fact that the walker, jogger, cyclist, skateboarder or stroller-pusher must surely be unable to read. They tend to look straight ahead rather than challenge us by word or gesture.

Enjoy the sport of your choice, whether playing or watching. But please, heed the warnings and obey the signs.

SAFE!

Not many foul balls were hit by the Ball High Tors and Lady Tors last week as they defeated a feisty Texas City Stings squad by a margin of 6 ½ to 3 ½ in the annual Causeway Cup matches at Moody Gardens Golf Course.

In singles matches, Texas City’s Nate Brooks and Dasia Moore each scored a point, and Aerica Moya picked up half a point. Ball’s Landon Parson, Hanson Root, Aidan Knupple and Brooke Hopkins gained points and Elizabeth Donlon got a half-point. Brooks and Cole Dunkel (Stings) defeated Bailey Premirelli and Landon Parsons 3&1 in four-balls competition. Also, Hanson Root and Aidan Knupple (Ball) defeated Cameron Rainey and Noah Fox 2&1, and Elisabeth Donlon and Marie Livenac (Ball) defeated Aerica Moya and Dasia Moore 1-up.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

There were likely a few stray shots in the senior scramble at Bayou Golf Club last week; but, not so many by Jim Muntzel, Loren Lance, Tom Francis and Ramon Orazco as they carded a winning 59. One shot back were Penny Perez, Marc Napier, Les Flynn and Ron Beesley.

The cash game at Moody Gardens featured scores of 69, posted by low gross winner Jamey Taylor and low net winners D.J. Termini and Patrick Schoenvogel. Taylor, Schoenvogel, Carl Holzapfel and Chris Caldwell won the team competition.

Be safe, on and off the course.

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