Adam Jensen: The highs and lows of truly terrible golf
October 15, 2014
NBA great Charles Barkley is a notoriously bad golfer, yet he continues to show up to the celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course year after year to subject himself to national ridicule for his hiccuping, cockeyed slash of a golf swing.
I, for one, won't be laughing at Barkley this year. His struggles on the links hit a little too close to home.
Next to all of the scores in the 50s, 60s and 70s on the board at the 21st annual Boys & Girls Golf Tournament at Edgewood on Monday was a slightly higher number: 87. Now, this score wouldn't have been considered a particularly effective round for a single golfer at the par-72 course. For the scramble scoring used during this week's tournament, which allows players to use the best ball between four golfers on every shot, it was downright disastrous. It's the kind of score that inspires stunned disbelief among other competitors in the clubhouse.
Every person on the Tahoe Daily Tribune squad, who shall remain nameless for their own protection, contributed to the score at one point or another, myself included. There were drives that shot directly into the trees never to be heard from again, approach shots that would be correctly categorized under "failed to launch," splash hits that would have made the San Francisco Giants proud and sand — so much sand.
But, among those atrocities, was some occasional brilliance. A few 20-foot putts were sank and a couple shots came to rest so nicely on the green it was easy to forget the haphazard method displayed on the previous hole. It's these moments that keep the average duffer coming back for another round. It only takes one swing of the club to go from feeling like Charles Barkley to Rory McIlroy.
And, until my golf improves, I'll take Barkley's advice on the matter.
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"I am not going to get upset," Barley has been quoted as saying about his golf game. "There are worse things in life than sucking at golf."
Cheers to that. With acres of stunning scenery, Lake Tahoe spread out in front of a tee box and the sun shining down in the middle of fall, it's hard to count an 87 as anything but a win.
Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.