Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Jerry Rice played his first round of golf as a professional golfer Thursday in the first round of Nationwide Tour's Fresh Express Classic golf tournament at TPC Stonebrae. Rice will always be remembered as the best wide receiver that ever played the game but this week he wants to try his hand on the links playing against some of the best players in the game and attempting to make a name for himself as a professional golfer.

When you sit back and watch the way the world’s best players play the game, most of us can’t help but think to ourselves “wow that doesn’t look that hard”. I mean they seem to just walk around the course, make nice easy swings, sink putts and make lots of money. I mean who couldn’t do that with a little practice, some good coaching and the right equipment? How hard could it be? I would love to ask Jerry Rice that very question right now.

After his first round as a professional, Jerry rice found himself 20 shots off the lead and in last place after shooting an 83. Three numbers higher than his jersey number with the San Francisco 49ers. Rice struggled to say the least and quickly found himself plummeting down the leaderboard. Rice was humbled to say the least by his play on Thursday. “It really let me down today. I could not get the speed of the greens. I don’t think I struck a really solid putt today at all.” Rice said His round was highlighted by a birdie on the par-5 seventh, but he also carded eight pars, five bogeys and four double bogeys.

I can remember when Michael Jordan announced his retirement from professional basketball, rumors surfaced that he might try his hand at professional golf. When his college roommate and good friend Davis Love III, a major Championship winner was asked about Jordan’s chances of making it out in the PGA Tour he said “ I have a better chance of playing in the NBA than Michael has of making it out on the PGA Tour.” By the looks of Jerry Rice’s scorecard Davis Love was right.

I think that great athletes that excel at sports other than golf think that since they were good at their sports it’s only natural that they can do the same thing in golf. They are usually single digit handicaps or in some cases even scratch golfers, so it only makes sense that they can go out and make it on the tour. Wrong! Take it from someone who has walked inside the ropes with the worlds top players, don’t even think that you can get out there and compete with these guys. They play a different game. A game we are not familiar with. Yes they make it look easy but it no way; shape form or fashion is professional golf an easy undertaking even for the best players in the world.

Edward S. Wanambwa

Senior Editor, African American Golfers Digest

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