The professional golf career of local sportswriter Andy Krutsinger officially kicked off this spring and it has been going strong this summer.
Before the last few months, I had never golfed more than twice in one calendar year. I didn?t play in high school and I didn?t really have the money in college to get into the sport.
Well, guess what? This fall, while I was covering the state golf meets, I realized something. I?ve got a full time job now. I?ve got enough money to buy some clubs off of a buy/sell/trade Facebook group and go get some golf balls from Wal-Mart. And that?s exactly what I did.
Now, I?m not technically a member of any country clubs yet, but I?ve been traveling the area trying out all the public golf courses (and a few private ones), and I truly think with this experience that I am officially mentally ready to play for my country on the biggest stage.
So, if you?re a member or a recruiter for the 2016 Olympic golf team, I?ve got a message for you. I know a lot of the big hitters are afraid to go down to Rio next month because of the Zika virus. Spieth isn?t going. Rory isn?t even American, and Tiger is injured or having personal problems or whatever.
Well, I?m ready. I mean, I?m not, because I don?t have the vacation days but if we could work out a private jet situation or whatever, I will be there at Rio in the Red White and Blue. Oh, also I don?t have my passport yet so we?ll have to figure that out, too.
Anyway, let me tell you what I can bring to the table. First I?m going to start with my weaknesses and then I?ll go with my strengths.
My main weakness is that I?m not that good at golf, yet, and only have like a 150-yard drive from the girl tees. I?ve never technically made a par on a hole, but I came pretty close to one last week, so I know it?s coming.
Other weaknesses are that I?m not sure all my supplies are Olympic caliber. I?m not sure if there are any rules or regulations on that, but I know for a fact I?ll be at a disadvantage with my clubs. But I?ll still bring my own, don?t worry.
Also, I may make a few excuses when I play bad that other golfers wouldn?t make. Maybe it?s too hot or too cold, or I grabbed the wrong club. Maybe the sun was in my eyes and I brought my flat-bill when I meant to bring my Cubs hat.
Just know that I make these excuses to convince myself it?s not my fault that I?m playing bad, and it helps me get mentally prepared for the next hole.
Also, since I?m not a very experienced golfer, I still have a little trouble figuring out where I am on the course. Every once in a while I will walk on to the wrong tee box or aim my shot at the wrong hole. I?m sure that happens to a lot of the pros too, though.
Now for my strengths. Number one, right out of the gate, I can trash talk the golfers from the other countries. I?ve got four years of heckling experience in college and I can really get into their heads. My school was also very diverse, so while I may only speak one language, I?ve learned to heckle in four or five different ones.
I have to assume Olympic rules are just like high school rules, so I?ll be paired with opposing players. You?ll probably want to put me with the weakest group, but trust me. If you put me at the number one spot, I can probably rise to the level of my competition and play better.
Also, I assume you play with six guys but only four players score. That means I can shoot really terribly, place sixth on the team and still be just as much of an asset as the guy who gets fifth.
Now tell me this, can your other players get into the opponents? head like a fresh-out-of-college small town sports writer can? I doubt it. You just don?t get blessed with great golf skills and trash talk skills. It doesn?t work like that.
My opponent hits it into the rough. I ask the officials there if someone can get him a lawn mower so he can find his ball. Guy hits it into the water? I?ll talk about how big of a splash it made for the next three hours.
Let?s say I?m paired with someone from Finland and he hits a couple of bad shots on Hole 12. I lie and tell him I heard the guy from Sweden made birdie. Those two countries are pretty big rivals, so I?m sure he?d fold under the pressure.
I?m having a little trouble thinking of other strengths I have on the golf course, but I can tell you I?m a true patriot, so I?m sure my game will rise when I?m wearing Old Glory?s colors.
If you?re interested, just have your people reach out to my people and we?ll figure something out.
Also, I can?t stress this enough, but again, I don?t have that many vacation days left so flying me back and forth from America on days I?m not playing is super important.
I?ll head to Wal-Mart before I fly out on that first day and pick up some more golf balls, just incase any of the other players need a few extra.