SI Vault
 
The Game That Done Him Wrong
Roy Blount Jr.
September 08, 1986
A reluctant participant in Chet Atkins' celebrity golf tournament, the author found comfort in country music as catastrophe followed calamity
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 08, 1986

The Game That Done Him Wrong

A reluctant participant in Chet Atkins' celebrity golf tournament, the author found comfort in country music as catastrophe followed calamity

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

It is a source of confusion and embarrassment to me that I am just now writing about my participation in the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Celebrity Golf Tournament, which was held at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., last September.

It has taken this long for the experience to sink in, or hole out (I can never get golf terms straight). The truth is, the tournament itself was a source of confusion and embarrassment to me. Of course, so is life.

But at least in life I don't get into the wrong golf cart.

At the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Celebrity Golf Tournament, I did that several times. Got into the wrong golf cart. Used the wrong club. Hit the ball off into the woods where everybody had to help me find it, and then sat down in somebody else's golf cart. Also put my clubs in the wrong...what do you call it? Bag. I knew that. The wrong bag. I think that's how I lost a three-wood. I understand it's fairly common to lose a wedge, but a three-wood, no.

I told Chet, when he called to invite me, "Chet, I'd be proud to be in your tournament, but I can't play golf."

A simple, straightforward statement: "I can't play golf."

Nobody ever believes it. It's like "I can't sing." Nobody believes it until you show them.

So I went down to Callaway Gardens, and they asked me what my handicap was. I said, "I can't play golf." And they laughed and sat there with their pencils poised, and I said, "Well, if you want me to narrow it down any more than that, I guess I will soon enough." And I did. Right out there on the course. I found out what my handicap was. It was 86. Not counting water.

But first I met my four partners. I told them, "Hi, howdy, hey, nice to meet you. I can't play golf."

And they chuckled. Thought I was hustling them, I guess. I mean, there I was, with my Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Celebrity Golf Tournament visor and my Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Celebrity Golf Tournament shirt and my white golf shoes. I had bought the white golf shoes at the pro shop. With black rubber cleats, not metal spikes. I figured, where will I ever wear shoes with metal nails sticking out of them? Whereas I might be able to wear white shoes with black rubber cleats to a reception, or something.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Related Topics
  ARTICLES GALLERIES COVERS
Chet Atkins 1 0 0
Golf 5247 0 148
Callaway Gardens 5 0 0
James Garner 6 0 0
Johnny Bench 95 0 6