News From Terre Haute, Indiana

On & Off the Course

August 5, 2006

On and Off the Course: There are no points for having style in golf 

TERRE HAUTE — One of the nice things about golf is that it doesn’t take a judge to tell you your score, unlike gymnastics, diving or ice skating.

The scorecard has numbers on it, and as long as they are correct when you sign your card and turn it in, it doesn’t take a judge to tell you what place you came in. Have you ever had an “ugly par”? One where you mis-hit every shot except you ended up chipping in or making a long putt for par? If there had been a judge present, you would have had points deducted (or added, as the case may be). As it is, you can one-putt or three-putt and the scorecard just doesn’t care. All it knows is the number you wrote down.

In that vein, I’d like to write about some interesting things that have happened on the golf course. The first happened to Amy Ramer on July 15. Her husband Jeff had convinced her to play in an event with him at Geneva Hills and it was her first time to play golf. He wrote to mention the amazing feat she accomplished that day: She had an eagle on No. 13 when her 8-iron approach shot went in the hole! I don’t know if anyone keeps track of how many first-time players get an eagle, but there can’t be too many.

Sometimes a par can be just as phenomenal as a birdie, but makes a funnier story. During the Terre Haute Junior City tournament, I witnessed Clint Baldwin’s par on No. 16 at Rea Park and I told him I was going to have to write about it. No. 16 is a par-five, but not really all that long. You wouldn’t think it would take three 3-woods to reach the green, but that’s what Clint did. The first one off the tee was pulled hard to the left, hitting a tree solidly. He searched around for his ball and finally found it right in the middle of the fairway. He hadn’t made a lot of forward progress so he needed his 3-wood again. This time, he sliced it into a tree on the right side of the fairway, whacking it hard. But the ball landed back in the middle of the fairway. He took his 3-wood again, but this time hit it straight, right onto the green. He then two-putted for par. The scorecard didn’t care; it just missed out on the adventures. Clint preferred that I write about something good he had done, so I also have to mention that in the same tournament, he had a hole-in-one on No. 4 at Hulman Links, witnessed by Phillip Myers, Evan Miller and Arthur Foulkes. I wasn’t there to witness it, so when I did show up to watch, that was the first thing they told me about. Being a natural smart aleck, I had to ask, “Did you use a 3-wood?” No, it was a pitching wedge.

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