Woods and Irons

Funny as it sounds, I can proudly proclaim to be the defending champion of a certain golf tournament contested last weekend - 1/4 defending champ, anyway. Yep, I won (with the help of three other guys whose backs are likely still sore from carrying me) the inaugural "Friends in Low Places" tournament (scramble, best-ball) at High Point Golf Course near Lexington.

The field, organized by former UK tight end Darrin Clark, included several ex-Wildcat footballers, many of them linemen with little or no short games to speak of. In a masterful strategic move, however, I aligned myself with two former punters and a kicker, knowing that for nearly four months out of the year they had almost endless opportunity to practice their swings at Commonwealth Stadium while the rest of us blocked and tackled on the practice yards behind the Nutter Training Center.

They did not disappoint. And they, er, um, I mean, we finished 11-under.

So, uh, given my recent rise to the top of the golf world and all, I thought it necessary to weigh my game against every other defending champ out there. Naturally, I looked first to the defending champ of certain golf tournament (the British Open, a non-scramble format) contested this weekend at the Royal Lytham and St. Anne's Golf Club near Lancashire, Scotland: Tiger Woods.

Starting with Tiger Wood's a good place to stop, though. He's where everyone else wants to go.

And I'm well, I'm not even close, I concluded. But in case you don't believe me, I've listed below how Tiger and I compare (actually, contrast is more accurate) on several of the finer points in golf.

Punch: (1) Low, controlled shot into the wind made when Tiger slams his club down into the ball with a short swing. (2) What I want to do to the guy who invented golf.

Bite: (1) The backspin Tiger imparts on the ball, making the ball stop dead, or almost so, with little or no roll. (2) What my golf skills do.

Lie: (1) The position in which the ball rests on the ground, in terms of the nature of terrain where is rests, the slope, and the level of difficulty in playing it; Tiger's lie is seldom poor. (2) To say that my golf game is high quality.

Fade: (1) A term used to describe how Tiger can make a ball slightly turn from left to right at the end of its flight. (2) What my performance begins to do after leaving the clubhouse for the first hole.

Draw: (1) When Tiger plays a shot so that it curves, due to sidespin, from right to left. (2) What I do on my golf card after the front nine.

Bend: (1) The curve Tiger puts on his shot by using sidespin. (2) What I want to do to all my golf clubs after playing a round.

Handicap: (1) The number of strokes a player may deduct from his actual score to adjust his scoring ability to the level of a scratch golfer - for Tiger, this is 0. (2) What every club in my bag is to me.

Scratch: (1) A zero handicap, i.e. Tiger. (2) After I hit my drive, the repeated motion I apply to my skull as I wonder where my ball went.

Stony: (1) The term used describe a ball hit close to the flagstick, something Tiger often does. (2) The typical topography of the terrain in which I often find my ball (if I ever do find it) after I scratch a lot.

Chili-dip: (1) To hit the ground before the ball, producing a weak lofted shot - something I always do. (2) What Tiger dunks his Tostitos into.

Explode: (1) When Tiger hits the ball from sand using a steeply lofted club with the club hitting into the sand behind the ball and spraying a large amount of sand. (2) What my temper tends to do after I hit a chili-dip.

Dead ball: (1) A ball is said to be dead when there is no doubt that it will be sunk on the next shot. This term is used almost every time that Tiger hits the ball onto the green and used almost every time that I tee up over a water hazard.

Windcheater: (1) When Tiger plays a shot low against the wind; it is played with strong backspin and starts low and rises only toward the end of the shot. (2) An expression that would accurately describe me if I claimed to have shot par on a particularly blustery day.

Potty Putter: (1) The phrase used to describe what kind of putter I am. (2) The device that made Tiger such a good putter, and something he probably still uses. The Potty Putter is actually a putting-improvement kit - no joke. It's comprised of a good-sized piece of artificial turf that is cut to fit around one's toilet; a shortened putter; two balls; and a putting cup and pin.

What one does with (and while using) the Potty Putter is - or should be - self-explanatory. Forget reading golf magazines while in powder room now you can actually practice the game!

The Potty Putter can be yours for one easy payment of $19.99 + shipping and handling. Call 1-800-575-7722.

Order today, and your PP will come complete with a free "Do Not Disturb" door hanger.


The Check BETTER be in the mail.

The Fayette County Attorney's Office, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office and the Division of Child Support held a press conference on Friday, July 13th to announce a plan that will stop negligent parents in their tracks.

Under a pilot project, boots (immobilizing devices) will be placed on vehicles registered to individuals who ignore warnings to pay their child support. To avoid having vehicles booted, a 30-day program is in effect that will allow individuals who are delinquent with their child support payments to pay off arrearages or to enter into a payment agreement plan. -Loree Stark

Big names, big sticks

Looking for an opportunity to network with the stars and fine-tune your putting skills at the same time? (Ok, so it might be more like watching the stars fine-tune their putting skills, but what's the difference, really?)

The Central Baptist Hospital Charity Classic will be held August 9-12 at Lexington's Kearney Hill Links and will feature such notable names as Charles Barkley, Ivan Lendi and Jim McMahon. Proceeds from the 2001 Charity Classic will benefit Healthy Kids, a variety of health and wellness-related programs for Central Kentucky children. Tickets for the event can be purchased for $10 at any Shell Food Mart location in Fayette County or by calling the Tournament Office at (859) 225-6550.–LS

The Wave of the Future

An answer to the traffic congestion in Lexington will be arriving in the next 8-10 years in the form of fiber optics. The fiber optics will replace telephone lines as the source of communication for the majority of the 320-plus traffic signals in Lexington. Federal and state government transportation grants will pay for up to 80 percent of the project, and the use of fiber optics may pay for itself in as few as five years. According to studies on the new technology, fiber optics systems will provide improved protection from storm damage and will last approximately 15-20 years. -LS

G'head, Gas it up

Quit complaining. Even though it may seem like gas prices are through the roof, the current local average of $1.33 is pocket change compared to $1.62 at this time last year. And, according to information monitored by AAA Bluegrass Kentucky, Lexington gas is approximately twenty cents less than the national average of $1.53. It seems that gas prices in the southeast states are generally lower than the national average. Road trip, anyone? -LS