By Joe Derus-NorthMyrtleBeachONLINE.com
North Myrtle Beach, September 3, 2007--No, I didn’t want to do it, but my editor asked me to help out and report on how an average golfer handles the “pressures of playing with a pro and in a big time tournament.”
The price to enter was a little steep, $225, but was going to two good causes – The North Strand Helping Hand and the Horry County Autism Advocacy Foundation. Plus you got a lot of goodies – a $20 Martin’s Gift Card, a $45 Nike Golf Shirt and an Awards Luncheon of steak and lobster catered by Outback Steak House.
Thanks to NorthMyrtleBeachOnLine.com and the Tidewater Charity Tournament Committee for taking off most of the pressure by sponsoring me in the tourney. It is truly appreciated.
Of course the “pressures” is said tongue in cheek. Sure there was a bit of anxiety on how I would play. I knew I could not compete with a pro but I did not want to embarrass myself either. My hope was to contribute something to the “team.”
The team was Phil from Maryland, Tom from New Jersey, me and E. Blair Lacy, our pro who is from the Atlanta area.
E. Blair Lacy, who’s somewhat formal sounding name is in direct contrast to his easy going friendly style. Lacy qualified for the U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI on July 5-8, 2007 and was the 2000 Tour Champion. This is his second time playing in the Senior Open at Tidewater. Last year he shot 77-69-73 for a total of 219.
The format for the tournament was Texas Scramble (pick the best drive, then each player plays their own ball, low net of foursome) each team was composed of three amateurs and one Sun Belt Senior Tour Pro. All of my concerns were quickly erased when I met my teammates and our pro.
One of the first differences I noticed from my usual round of golf and tournament golf was the amount of time others players took to warm up. For me getting the clubs in a workable order in the bag and tying my shoestrings tight is about the extent of my warm up.
I did manage a few warm up putts that turned out well for me later in the day.
The shotgun start format put us on 18 as the first hole. I liked that right off the bat, because 18 at Tidewater, to this player, is the toughest on the course.
Oh! With Lacy’s average drive of 253 yards, how nice it was to ride way up the 18th fairway and take advantage of the pro’s tee shot. I actually had a chance to reach the green in two. No, I didn’t do it but at least I had a chance.
I realized this is how it would work all day so I relaxed and did not worry about my weak tee shots the rest of the day.
The third hole was a par three about 117 yards and, don’t laugh I pulled out a seven iron and dropped the ball about two feet from the hole. I made the birdie putt and with my handicap our team netted a one. Joe was the hero on that hole.
I putted another player’s tee shot on another par three in the hole to net out a one also.
Those shots made me feel that I was a part of the team, and got my competitive juices flowing a bit.
What’s nice about playing in a tourney like this is you never need face the disaster hole. So what if you chunk one in the water and are laying four on a par four hole. Just pick up your ball and let your team mates carry you.
Each of us had that kind of hole but each of us also took turns in covering for the others when their shots went bad. There was good natured laughter when poor shots were hit and high praise when a good one was made.
I know this golfer felt really good when Lacy said that was a great chip shot Joe, very nice touch.
So that’s how it goes playing in a Pro-Am. It is fun even for average golfers; plus you get to play on the better courses.
Tidewater in North Myrtle Beach is a very picturesque course. It seems as each hole is posing for a photo that is framed with trees. Can’t tell you how many times the others in the group commented on the beauty of the Tidewater course. Geez! I wish they had made those same comments about my golf.
The winners of the Pro/AM were 20 under par.
Our group finished up 14 under par. I can’t prove it but I have a feeling 14 under was the average of all the foursomes that participated.
|(continuing) - 22nd May||Zumba – Join the Craze!||PM 0:00 - PM 1:00||Ballroom Dancing||22nd May||Zumba – Join the Craze!||23rd May||Abs and More||23rd May||Conway Republican Women's Club||23rd May||Music On Main Concert Series - Horseshoe||23rd May||The Child Forgotten||24th May||Atlantic Beach Bike Week||24th May||Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon||25th May||NMB Chess Club|
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