It turns out pro golf is harder than NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice thought.
Rice made his pro golf debut this past April, shooting 83-76 to miss the cut at the Nationwide Tour’s Fresh Express Classic. Then the wheels really fell off. He shot a 92-82 at the junior league’s BMW Classic Charity Pro Am this past week. And then he was disqualified because his caddy used a range finding scope.
I think it highlights the fact that golf is a lot harder than it looks. Anyone who plays knows that. And although the pros make their game look nearly effortless, what they do is absolutely otherworldly.
While eating at the fish fry following last night’s golf league, a couple of the players wondered if—given a year or two of solid practice—they couldn’t manage to get to pro levels. “When I play three or four days in a row on our annual golf trip, I can see myself getting better,” one opined. “I start out shooting 100 on the first round, then 90 in the second, and by the end of the week, I’m down to the mid eighties. If I got to play every day, I could get there.”
Another went on to say that he had played the TPC Dearborn, where the Ford Senior Championship used to be played, and didn’t think it was that difficult. Of course, he had played from the white tees … but with a bit of practice …
I’m sure they’re all kidding themselves. With families and jobs, they’re never going to play every day. And even if they did, it’s unlikely—at best—that they’d reach the necessary level of proficiency. These guys are all athletes of a sort, having played various high school sports and are now coaching at the high school level. They are capable of making good athletic moves. But I don’t see it happening. Anyone who wants to see an average golfer’s difficulty in just breaking par ONCE—let alone getting a handicap down to zero or better—should read Dream On: One Hack Golfer’s Challenge to Break Par in a Year. Most tour players would come in at a +5 or a +6 handicap. Back in the day, Greg Norman’s handicap was estimated to be a +9. Given that, a Tour player likely is eight to ten shots better than even a scratch player.
But given his recent playing experience, I’m certain that a couple of the guys in my league could give Jerry Rice a run for his money.