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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Martin column: Before you criticize a golf score, take a look in the mirror

  • I shot an 89 in my first round of the year at Minakwa Golf Course this past weekend.
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  • I shot an 89 in my first round of the year at Minakwa Golf Course this past weekend.
    While watching Martin Kaymer tromp through the U.S. Open field this past weekend I got to thinking how difficult it must be for competitive golfers to have their scores posted in the newspaper.
    Specifically at the high school and college level but I'm sure every professional has some scorecards they would like thrown into an incinerator.
    Golf can be the loneliest game sometimes.
    If you have a bad game in basketball you have zero points. If you have a terrible hockey game you have zero points. If it's a bad day on the tennis court you lose 6-0, 6-0. A tough day at the plate results in going 0-for-4. A bad day on the soccer pitch results in zero points.
    If one of those athletes has a bad day it goes, for the most part, unnoticed.
    However, if a golfer has a bad day it's right there for everyone to see in their shots over par. It's the hardest game in the world. It makes the greatest athletes look like it's the first time they ever used their body before.
    I don't play competitive golf, but I have stood on the first tee box during the Ernotte Hiller Labor Day Golf Tournament with tons of people watching me swing. I know the game is entirely from playing on the weekends with your brother or playing in a scramble.
    We take for granted many of the scores we see posted at the high school level. This past week Pirate senior Brady Heppner competed in the state tournament. He recorded rounds of 84 and 88, which I'm sure he was not thrilled about.
    And us fans of Brady sitting comfortably back in Crookston, reading Brady's score in the newspaper from the comfort of our recliner probably thought, "jeez, I wonder what happened to Brady. He usually posts scores in the 70s."
    It's easy for us to say. However, Brady has to go out there and lug his bag around for 18 holes in 80-degree temperatures with family, friends, coaches and opponents watching him a pressure-packed tournament.
    We need to appreciate every competitive golfer, those competing at the state tournament, those that didn't quite make it and those that are playing junior varsity golf.
    Props to all of them for putting the time in the hardest game on earth and letting us post their scores in the newspaper.
    I know I wouldn't want all of my rounds broken down and slapped on the internet for everyone to read.
    If so, it might read something like this: "Well, today Derek's approach shots were off line and his putting was horrendous. He got out of a rhythm with his driver for a few holes and put a few sevens on the scorecard and didn't have any birdies. He played awful."

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