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Posted: Wed January 28, 1998
This is the time of year I like to go on tour. Not a concert tourJanuary and February aren't good months for thatI mean the celebrity pro-am golf tour. For myself and the other celebs lucky enough to be invited, we are now in prime time.
I played in the Bob Hope Classic, which was a blast, two weeks ago and in the Phoenix Open pro-am last week. The attendance Wednesday in Phoenix was more than 50,000, they said, and I don't doubt it. I signed about that many autographs. That's really why I go: to sell records, sign every last autograph and line up putts for my team. I'm not there to win. With my two handicap, I'm not much help. What am I going to do, shoot 66?
The best part about Phoenix is the 16th hole, a par-3 that's one of the loudest places I've ever been. The hole is also the site of my most memorable pro-am moment. I made a hole in one there in 1993 and won some couple a house. Officials had drawn the names of 65 people, each of whom was assigned a pro-am team. If anyone made a hole in one, the person assigned to that team would win a $175,000 house and $25,000 in cash. I hit a sand wedge that landed four feet right of the hole, hopped up and backed into the cup. The place went nuts, as did the guy who won the house.
I play in Phoenix to get ready for this week, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which is the Masters of celebrity pro-ams. You play three roundsfour if you make the cutwith just one guy, your pro partner, and you count one low ball. For a decent player like myself, that's much more fun than the usual Wednesday pro-am with four amateurs who get lots of strokes.
After Pebble, I'll play in Tucson and then at Bay Hill with Arnold Palmer. I was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in November and called Mr. Palmer to ask if he would induct me. He agreed on one conditionI had to play with him in his tournament's pro-am. I said, "Oh, gee, let me think about that."
My only problem with golf is that I'm just good enough to think that if I'd applied to the game what I applied to music, I could play with these touring pros. In my heart I know I made the right decision. That's why I'm happy to play in pro-ams, do the best I can and have a big time. I'm real good at that last part.
Vince Gill and Joel Edwards missed the cut at the '97 AT&T.
Issue date: February 2, 1998
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