As a round Lane Hawkins would like to forget neared its close, his dad, Mark, approached me Tuesday morning.
“Can I hire you to follow him around next week?” he asked.
Sadly, the answer was “No,” thanks to journalistic ethics. Lord knows I could use the cash, though. Especially since it’s starting to look like I’ve donated my fantasy football entry fee. But that’s another column.
On Tuesday, I was zipping around on my mobile reporting unit (read: golf cart) trying to snap as many photos of as many Oregon and Rock Falls golfers as possible during the Big Northern Golf Meet at Timber Pointe Golf Course. Hawkins carded pars on the two holes I followed him.
He was 18-over on the other 16 holes, for a 90.
I assured both of Lane’s parents that my presence just about always has a distinct effect on golfers’ fortunes and that, more often than not, I’m more of a cooler than a lucky rabbit’s foot.
Just the same, I can’t blame Mark for looking for a little celestial boost. The next couple of weeks are where it’s at for the 12 boys golf teams in the Sauk Valley. With all due respect to conference tourneys, they’re primers, not the prime objective.
Being a brutally superstitious person – I insist that our black lab, Dexter, wears his UW bandana during big Badger games – I recommend all the local golfers double-check their bag before leaving the house Tuesday morning. Don’t be the guy who walks up to the first tee box without his lucky ball marker, socks, boxers, or whatever your personal talisman might be.
Let’s get super serious for a moment. There are a handful of great golfers in the area, and some pretty doggone good teams on the whole, too.
As Oregon coach Jim Spratt looked over the scores with his team Tuesday afternoon, he told them they’d need to shave off 14 strokes to be in excellent shape.
He knew a few of his golfers have a lot more in them than he saw in Poplar Grove. If they want to get back there for the sectional meet, now – well, tomorrow, actually – is the time to put all those offseason rounds to use.
Godspeed, golfers. Just for good measure, I’ll be sure to spin my “Caddy-shack” soundtrack on the record player while I whip up breakfast Tuesday morning. You know, to send out some good vibes.
Can’t hurt, right?