Golf is not senior’s game anymore

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Ever pull out the big dog, step up to the tee and let ‘er rip?

And you hit the ball so solid it makes that wonderful pinging sound as it bounces off the face of the driver.

The club shaft feels like a tuning fork in your hand with the note landing right on key and your ball landing right down the center of the fairway.

Your friends all say, &uot;Nice shot&uot; and &uot;Good ball.&uot;

And you smirk and say, &uot;It’ll play.&uot;

Nothing is better than a day on the golf course, especially if it can get you out of an afternoon biology class.

Such is the life for the student golfer competing on one of Shelby County’s high school teams.

Kids who are checking in at home room in the morning are hitting the links by the afternoon.

Those fortunate enough to make the team get to play golf, and sometimes they even get to leave school early.

These kids aren’t competing on cow-pasture courses either.

They get to play some of the most beautiful and exclusive golf courses in Shelby County.

The places they play make up a list that would make just about any golfer as green as the fairways of Greystone Golf and Country Club.

But before you start thinking it just isn’t fair that some teenager is hacking up the grass on courses you would kill to play on, you might want to take a look at some of their scorecards.

Players like Oak Mountain’s Jake Nolen play near scratch-golf. He even shot a 1-under par at Greystone.

If your not sure how good that is, take a look at the scoreboard at the Bruno’s Memorial Classic when the Champions Tour comes to town this spring.

Golf is no longer just a sport for the retired.

Tiger Woods is partly to thank for that.

Several Shelby County schools even offer golf teams at the middle school level.

And it shows, according to Pelham golf coach Bob Parker, who said players come to his team with skills they picked up at Riverchase Middle.

The kids who get to play golf competitively are fortunate not only because of their ability but also because they have the opportunity.

Part of that is due to the recent popularity of the game, but even more is based on the work of coaches, athletic directors and school board officials who have made it possible.

Not every school offers a golf team and even fewer offer the chance to compete on courses as beautiful and challenging as the ones in Shelby County.

Just one more reason athletics in Shelby County can truly be called &uot;above par.&uot;

Ashley Vansant is the sports editor at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at