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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

JUNE 2009

KC Baseball Report 8 9 11 11

Steve Fisch Publisher

If not playing baseball, Royals players would be... Tug-ing at the heart-strings with tragedy Royals enter June in a swoon Contending Royals and “new” stadium bring out fans

Chiefs Report 6 Chiefs needs to surround Cassel with quality talent

Sports Entertainment Report 4 Matthews wins $150,000 Black Jack Tournament 4 Harrah’s Entertainment Calendar

Great Outdoors Report 12 Sign up soon for charter privileges with Heartland Sportsman’s Association

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First Tee is biggest winner at Watson Challenge . . . .15 7 Questions with Tom Watson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 2009 Watson Challenge Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Rockhurst, McGee best in Missouri high school golf .17 2009 MSHSAA Class 4 Boys Golf State Rankings . .17 A love/hate relationship with golf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Chi Chi Rodriguez: When the game was a game . . .18 Historic Rockwood: Where Harry Truman played . . .20 Power Golf Swing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Play better without practicing: Golfing in “The Zone” .22 9 reasons pro golf is shanking its lofty image . . . . . .23 Golf fitness tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Chuck Ettinger: Stability at Sunflower Hills . . . . . . . .26 Kansas City Metro, Branson, Ozarks Golf Courses . .25 Golf tips from the Pros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Golf Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28-29 HORSE N AROUND HOOPS 31 June/July Update

FITNESS 14 Tips to improve your workout

PRO HOCKEY 6 Independence gets head coach

SPORTS COMMISSION 31 Event Calendar

Editor Alan Eskew Sales 913-764-2050 Steve Fisch sfisch@kcsportspaper.com Steve Fisher sfisher@kcsportspaper.com Contributing Writers Bill Althaus, Chris Balda, Audrey Harman, Tom Cannon, John Doolittle, Greg Echlin, Alan Eskew, David Garfield, Bill Grigsby, Alan Hoskins, Dr. Andrew Jacobs, John Landsberg, Jim Potoski, David Smale, Marc Bowman Contributing Photographers Scott Thomas, Ed Graunke, Alan Hoskins, Tom Cannon, Scott Weaver, Jim Gill, Warren Ingram On The Cover Tom Watson and Zack Greinke photos by Scott Weaver Published Monthly Entire Contents © Kansas City Sports & Fitness 2009. The views and opinions of the contributing writers contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editor and/or publisher.

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presents THE SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT REPORT By ALAN ESKEW, Editor

Mathews wins Harrah’s mammoth $150,000 Black Jack Tournament

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while Quach pocketed $25,000 for second place. Patricia Phillips, one of three women in the final table of seven, finished third, which was worth $16,000. “This is hard to believe,” Mathews said. “My heart was

He does play a lot of poker and the morning after the Harrah’s Black Jack tournament, he was leaving for Las Vegas for a poker tournament. He said he won “a little over $100,000 in 1992” in a poker tournament at Las

Photos by Katie Knox

obert Mathews was the chips leader by more than $2,000 and opted to play it conservative on the final hand, putting down just a $25 chip, at the Harrah’s North Kansas City $150,000 Black Jack Tournament in late May. Binh Quach, who was second at the time, decided to go for it all, putting in $2,500. It got real dicey when the dealer turned over an ace, but she did not have a black jack. Quach stayed pat on 20. Mathews hit on 15 and came up with a 20, matching Quach. That five card turned out to be the difference in $50,000 for Mathews. The dealer, also, hit 20, to push both. Mathews, who is from Kansas City, Kansas and one of the better poker players in the city, walked away with the $75,000 first-place money,

up in my throat, more than in poker. This is more exc iting. Poker tournaments start at noon and you play to 2 a.m. If you make it to the next day, you start at noon and play to 2 a.m. If you make it to the third day, that’s 54 hours in three days and you are dead tired.” In the Harrah’s Black Jack Tournament, there were two sessions Saturday to advance to the semifinals and finals on Sunday. “In Texas Hold ‘em, you might sit for an hour before you get a hand you can play,” Matthews said. In Black Jack, the hands move swiftly. The final table lasted about one hour. “I don’t play an awful lot of Black Jack, maybe once a month,” Mathews said. He said this is his third Black Jack tournament. The other two were in Las Vegas. He placed third in one to earn $5,000 and did not place in the other. He said he has been playing tournament poker for 20 years.

Vegas for his biggest payday. Mathews decided going the conservative route was the best way for the final hand in the Black Jack tournament. “I could have matched him (Quach), but that would have put me below the others (if he went over the 21 limit),” Mathews said. “I was going for second, if I didn’t win it. Second place guaranteed $25,000. If I matched him (and busted), it could have pushed me down to fourth place (which was worth $12,000).” The cards turned in Mathews’ favor for $75,000. Mathews, who owns a pallet company in Wyandotte County, has three grown children and six grand children. He said his son runs the business now, while “I’m an advisor.” There were 198 entries, including several from out of town, in the Black Jack tournament. Each player at the final table was given $3,000 in chips to start. “This is the first Black Jack tournament we’ve had of this magnitude,” said Katie Knox, who is in the Harrah’s marketing department. “We’re very pleased and impressed with the turnout.” Other places at the final table: Nilli Abramowitz, fourth, $12,000; Brett Goforth, fifth, $10,000; Ruth Becker, sixth, $7,000; and John Zaloker, $5,000.

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presents THE CHIEFS REPORT By ALAN ESKEW, Editor

Chiefs needs to surround Cassel with quality talent att Cassel had plenty of offense weapons he could utilize as the New England Patriots quarterback last season. Cassel took full advantage of those in Tom Brady’s absence to orchestrate the Patriots to an 11-5 record. He threw for 3,693 yards, completing 327 of 516 passes, with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. New England thought enough of Cassel to put the franchise tag on him, but with Brady expected back from a knee injury, the Patriots dealt Cassel to the Chiefs. A quarterback is only as good as the talent surrounding him. “We are trying to figure out what we have,” Cassel said. “We have to build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses and try and get better each and every day. We will get to where we need to be. I am going in with that mentality that I am the starter. I go out there with that mentality each and every day that opening day I will be the starter and we will be ready to rock and roll. It is about perseverance and overcoming adversity. “One of the things I always say is, ‘expect nothing; earn everything.’ It happens a lot in the NFL. You have to step up when you get your opportunity and I was able to get an opportunity last year and I showed a lot of people I could play, includ-

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ing myself. I am just happy to put myself in a position where I can continue to do what I love, which is play football. I am blessed and I am fortunate to have that opportunity because I believed in myself and I surrounded myself with people who believed in me.” So what will Cassel have to work when the Chiefs have their first River Falls, Wis. practice on Aug. 1? Larry Johnson will likely be back at running back, but do not confuse this LJ for the one who rushed for 1,789 yards in 2006 and 1,750 yards in 2005, while carrying the ball 752 times over those two seasons. “Larry is working hard,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said during the volunteer OTA. “He has made some runs in the last few practices that I thought were pretty special and showed signs of somebody who can run the football. I was very encouraged and

a couple of those flashed at me and the coaches to where you say, ‘that was pretty good.’ If Larry continues to work, stay on point and do the things asked of him, I think he will definitely have a chance to help us.” With Tony Gonzalez traded to Atlanta, Cassel will not be working with the future Hall of Fame tight end, who had 1,058 yards in receptions and 10 touchdowns last year. “Tony is a great player, one of the best tight ends to ever play the game,” Cassel said. “He is a guy that I have a tremendous respect for. I am sure he is going to go in and help Atlanta. I don’t make the decisions around here. Coach Haley and (general manager Scott) Pioli decided to go a different direction and I put my trust in them. We are going to move on. We will be successful if we just keep working.” No one expects Brad Cottam to put up the numbers of Gonzalez, who was the Chiefs leading receiver the past five years. Dwayne Bowe, a former first-round pick out of LSU (aren’t all the Chiefs’ firstround picks from LSU?), caught 86 passes last season. He would likely be Cassel’s primary wide receiver target. Of course, the best quarterback can’t throw with his shoulders pinned to the grass, so an offensive line to protect Cassel and limit the sacks is also a priority. “It is going to take some time, there is no doubt,” Haley said to get the passing

Independence Pro Hockey names head coach

game into high gear. “That is what’s good about this time of year and the fact that we have these OTAs. They are getting to know each other and the receivers, tight ends, backs or whoever is running the route is understanding the coverage. The defense is putting stuff in too, so they are throwing a bunch of different looks at them, which makes it difficult. “It’s not like running routes on air. When they run routes on air they look pretty good, but if you throw the defense in there then it changes things quite a bit. I am trying to have patience with it, understanding that it is early. It is really the first football work we have done and the passing game is an intricate deal. It takes time. “I think you get into that rhythm and mode. Again, we let them know what we expect and as time goes on, you improve. That’s really what you’re getting out of these sessions without contact. They’re learning the offense and they’re learning about each other out on the football field. They’ve been learning about each other in the weight room and running, but now they’ve got a chance to learn about each othe r on the football field and develop some chemistry there. That’s a big part of what’s going on this time of year.” Haley’s offensive schemes might put up huge numbers with Cassel and company, but there is only one column he will be focused on during the season. “I don’t really care what it looks like or what the statistics are even though I came from an offensive background that was pretty prolific at times in Arizona,” Haley said. “It’s was what we felt gave us the best chance to win. If it doesn’t look pretty, it is not going to matter to me if it’s a W (win). We are going to do what we have to, to give us the best chance to win. If that is three yards and a cloud of dust, we don’t turn the football over and we play great defense, I’ll be the happiest guy sitting here after games.”

The pieces of the puzzle continue to come together for Independence’s Central Hockey League franchise. Scott Hillman was introduced as the expansion team’s head coach in a press conference on June 2. Hillman, 35, will also serve as director of hockey operations.The Ontario native is no stranger to the CHL. Hillman spent his final eight playing seasons with the CHL’s Odessa Jackalopes. He was a four-time CHL All-Star in a career that saw him play 474 games and record 341 points as a defenseman. After finishing his playing career in 2007, Hillman stepped behind the bench as the head coach of the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Under Hillman, the Ice Bears won back-to-back regular season and playoff championships, and Hillman was honored as 2008-09 SPHL Coach of the Year.Under Hillman’s guidance, Independence’s new hockey team will start play in November at the Independence Events Center. The team is still without a name, but an announcement is expected soon. For ticket information, visit independenceprohockey.com or call (816) 252-PUCK (7825).


presents THE KC BASEBALL REPORT

If not playing baseball, Royals players would be... wo outs, tie game, bottom of the ninth, and the batter crushes a game winning home run in front of a packed stadium to lead his team to victory. Millions of American kids, Dominican kids, Japanese kids, and young baseball fans all around the globe shared some version of this dream. We played these games in the back yard, or the local park, one day hoping to put on the jersey of our favorite team and step on to the diamond, under the stadium lights. Over the years reality sets in for the majority of dreamers, with the exception of a small percentage, who defy odds and make the major leagues. Unlike most people, they get to play a game for a living, but what if that break never comes? What if they had to enter the “real world?” Strong interests outside of baseball help, so while Brian Bannister grew up around big league clubhouses, watching his father Floyd pitch, Brian always had a fallback. The studious Royals starter did more than just take the field for the Trojans at USC in college. He earned First-team Academic All-American honors while at Southern Cal studying art. His eyes light up when asked about the subject. “It seemed like that’s what I was doing in every other class anyways,” Bannister

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said. “I was always drawing in my notebook. It always seemed to come naturally to me,” said Bannister, who owns a photography studio in Phoenix. Most Royals fans know Joakim Soria as the calm, cool, closer with the slow curve ball. Before he became one of baseball best masters of the save, he grew up in a family with a dad who taught school and a sibling who studied teeth. What would Soria call his profession, if he could not pitch? “Math teacher or probably a dentist,” Soria said. “My older brother is a dentist and I admire my brother and probably would follow in his footsteps.” Utility man Willie Bloomquist shares a similar interest with Soria. “I grew up with kind of a medical background, with a family full of dentists.” Bloomquist said. “I couldn’t look into

people’s mouths the way my dad and sister do, but I’ve always been really interested in reconstructive surgery as far as knees, elbows, stuff like that. Open-heart surgery has always been kind of interesting to me because it’s intense. You’ve got to do things right. I like that kind of stuff and where it’s a pressure packed situation.” Not that Bloomquist is ready to break out the scalpel and turn in his bat. “I don’t know much about it but I think it would be fun to learn,” Bloomquist said.” Ron Mahay sees no future for himself on television, unless he’s throwing a baseball, but the Royals reliever experienced a brief moment of fame outside the sports world, playing a small role on the soap opera “All My Children.” His wife Alison worked for ABC at the time and sent head shots of Ron to the casting director. “I think I did a dinner scene and four or five scenes when I was a police officer,” Mahay said. “It was an experience I’ll always remember.” Might Hollywood come calling in the

future? Mahay thinks his acting days are over, but can forever talk about his role as an extra in the world of soap operas. Starter Kyle Davies began his “other career” as a teenager, working construction with his dad Joel and still moonlights in Goldberg the field during the baseContributing ball off-season. Writer “It teaches you hard work,” Davies said. “Also, it gets me out of bed early. I wouldn’t sleep until ten, but I wouldn’t get up at 5:30, I can tell you that.” Some players lift weights and run in the off-season. Davies sticks to the same fitness routine, but can add a hammer, nail and power tools to his winter regiment. “It keeps you in shape, a way to make a little money,” Davies said. “I know a lot of people wouldn’t ask for those jobs, but I think it’s pretty cool to watch a building being built from the ground up, especially if you’re there at the beginn ing. Deconstructing Albert Pujols or Jim Thome may be a tougher task. Many of the Royals see themselves continued on page 12


presents THE KC BASEBALL REPORT By ALAN ESKEW, Editor

Tug-ing at the heart-strings with tragedy ug Hulett might be the least known Kansas City Royal, but his story is compelling and could bring a tear to one’s eye. First, a little background. Tug is the son of Tim Hulett, who played 12 years in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .249 with 48 home runs and 220 RBIs. Tug was a Texas Rangers’ 2004 14thround draft pick out of Auburn. He led the Northwest League and Midwest League in walks his first two professional seasons. The Rangers traded Hulett to the Seattle Mariners on Dec. 12, 2007 for Ben Broussard. Hulett made his Major League debut last July 12 in Kansas City and singled off Gil Meche for his first hit. “It was a broken bat single to center.” Hulett said. “I got the ball. I’d trade a bat for a hit everyday of the week.” He hit .224 with one home run and two RBIs in 30 games and 49 at-bats last season with Seattle. When the Mariners put Hulett, an infielder, on waivers just as spring training started this year, the Royals claimed him on Feb. 19. Hulett was called up on May 23 from Class AAA Omaha, where he was hitting .296 with 28 runs, 11 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 32 RBIs in 39 games. So what are Hulett’s assets? “Besides my rugged good looks, Tug said and laughed. “Consistency, coming out and doing the same thing every night, putting good swings on the ball, being in the right place at the right time. Really just doing something every night to help us win.” This is, however, not a story about Hulett, the baseball player. This tragedy goes back to when he was 10, the oldest of four boys. Joe was eight, Sam was six and Jeff was five. It was 1992 and the Hulett family was in Baltimore with Tim playing for the Orioles that year. The Hulett boys had a game of racing across the street, something they did nearly everyday. “Us being kids, the competitive nature that we have, we would play a game, we would look both ways and then run across the street,” Tug said. “Gold, silver, bronze. One guy was left out. I usually got the gold because I was the oldest. “I remember Sam saying, ‘I’m going to beat you.’ Me being the compassionate older brother that I was, I said, ‘You’re never going to beat me.’ We were getting ready for dinner time, time to come home, right at dusk. We had to be home before dark.” Sam eager to win the race and beat Tug decided to get a head start on his older

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brother this day. “I’m looking this way,” Tug said for traffic. “Then I hear Joe say, ‘Sam, wait.’ As I looked back this way, I reached to grab him and missed and the car hit him. I remember at that point for the first time in my life, really feeling completely helpless and having no control over anything. The only thing I knew to do was to pray. I grabbed the other two younger boys and I slammed them back down away from the curb and I just prayed, ‘God, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. Mom came out and took him to the hospital.” Tim, who was playing a series against the White Sox in Chicago, returned home. “The next day they had to make a decision on whether to pull the plug or not and they did,” Tug said. “He didn’t respond, no broken bones anywhere, just head trauma. That was the defining moment in our family. Our brothers were close anyway because we traveled so much. We were tight. They were my play buddies, my play partners. “I remember Dad coming home and gathering the family together and saying, ‘A tragedy like this either tears your family apart or brings it closer together and we will not let it tear us apart. I remember him saying that. That made our brothers even closer. Our family is so close right now.” Tug, however, shouldered most of the blame for his brother’s death, but kept it inside for a long time. “I remember feeling guilty, like it was my fault. It was my stupid game. I was in charge, me being 10 years old and in charge. For two or three years I carried around a serious burden, where I’d be very withdrawn from people. I wouldn’t get attached to people. I wouldn’t have a lot of emotions. I was pretty dead inside. I was very guilt-rid den for a long time. I remember I got to a breaking point. I tried to be strong for my brothers and for my Mom

and everybody that was there. I was just trying to do it by myself. And I just couldn’t do it anymore. “On the anniversary, I think it was three years after his SEASON: 2008 death, and I went in and TEAM: SEA just cried. All G: 30 I could say AB: 49 was I’m sorry. My Mom R: 2 knew what H: 11 I was talking 1B: 15 about. She had 2B: 1 felt the same way I guess. 3B: 0 She said, ‘Son, HR: 1 let me tell you RBI: 2 something, BB: 5 we’re going to pray right now IBB: 0 and this is SO: 17 going to go SB: 0 away.’ I was CS: 0 like, ‘whatevAVG: .224 er.’ I had been raised in the OBP: .309 church. I knew SLG: .306 about God and OPS: .615 about Jesus. GO/AO: 1.40 I never really had an understanding about how real he could be until I had this encounter with my Mom.” She prayed Philippians 4:7: “God will grant you a peace that passes all human understanding.” “Soon as she prayed that, I had my eyes closed, and I remember just having a peace I hadn’t had in a long time,” Tug said. “I could start to see where yeah that stinks where our family had to go through, but now I can use it to maybe help someone else who is maybe going through tragedy. And I can tell them the only way I can deal with it, the only way I can get through it was by my faith and my relationship with Jesus. Otherwise, I was dead inside. I don’t know how people deal with tragedy without some kind of belief or faith that they are going to see him again. I know when I die because of my relationship with Jesus I will go to heaven and I will see Sam

again. He’s got a 10-15 year head start on me, so he’s going to be my tour guide when I get there. “For me, that was how I dealt with the tragedy, to rely on my faith and my family and without that there is no way I could have dealt with it. The guilt would have eaten me up completely.” That is only half the story, however. Hulett tells his story in speaking engagements. One of those was to a school in Alabama. “It’s a public school and I’m not really supposed to talk about certain things in a public school, especially faith related,” Tug said. “I remember the principal saying, ‘Hey, do what you’ve got to do. I know your story, just say what you’ve got to say.’ That meant a lot to me. It gave the freedom to do that.” It was not, however, a receptive audience to Hulett’s message. “It was really non-responsive,” he said. “Usually, I get some kind of inneraction with the kids or I can talk to them a little bit. This particular event it was like crickets. The kids were blank stares everywhere. Man, I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know if I should have come. I hope somebody got it.’” Somebody did, but Hulett did not learn the rest of the story until a couple of years later when he received a letter in the clubhouse. He thought it was an autograph request, but noticed there was no card to sign. He began to read the letter. “The kid went on to tell he was a freshman and he was there,” Tug said. “The kid talks about how he had this suicide note written. He’s ready to end his life because he had lost a brother and did not know how to deal with it. He said because of what you said, I gave God a chance. I asked Him to help me deal with it. He said I started to feel better and I didn’t kill myself because of what you said. “I’m in the locker room and I’m bawling. I’m like this is unbelievable. Everybody is coming over and looking at me like I’m nuts. I let them read the letter and everybody was floored by it. I come to find out it was the principal’s son. All things kind of work together for good.”

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presents THE KC BASEBALL REPORT By ALAN ESKEW, Editor

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three-game lead in the AL Central. The Royals would finish the month by losing 16 of 21 to start June four games below .500. The swoon into June dropped the Royals from first to fourth in the standings. They lost five of six games to division rivals Detroit and Chicago to end May. The Royals were so bad at the end of May that they could not even count on a victory on the days when Zack Greinke started. In his final five May starts, Greinke was 2-1 with two no-decisions, both of which the Royals lost. In his lone loss, the Royals were shutout 1-0 Mike Jacobs

Photo by Warren Ingram

Royals enter June in a swoon ay was setup perfectly for the Kansas City Royals to rock and roll and seize a sizeable lead in the American League Central Division. The Royals played nine consecutive games, seven of those at home, against last-place clubs – the Cleveland Indians, the Oakland Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles. They also had 17 games at Kauffman Stadium in May, the most home games of any month. Compare that to 11 home games in June, 14 in July, 12 in August and 14 in September. May was made for the Royals to make their move. And they did, but in the wrong direction. After losing on May 1, 7-5 at Minnesota, the Royals reeled off a six-game winning streak, their longest of the season. On May 7, after sweeping a four-game homestand from the Chicago White Sox and the Seattle Mariners, the Royals were sevengames above .500, 18-11, and held a

at Anaheim. So what went wrong? It is not a coincidence the Royals’ tailspin started whe n closer Joakim Soria went on the disabled list with right rotator cuff inflammation. The Royals placed Soria on the disabled list on May 10, retroactive to May 8, a day after he logged his seventh save in as many opportunities, albeit a shaky one against the Seattle Mariners. The Royals went 5-16 with Soria absent, but he was due back in early June. The bullpen was lights out with Soria at the backend. Without

him, they were out of sorts and in shambles. Juan Cruz, the primary closer used by manager Trey Hillman with Soria out, was 2-for-4 in save opportunities. He also lost to the White Sox and in another defeat against Chicago permitted two inherited runners, both charged to left-hander John Bale’s ledger, in the ninth. The offense, too, must share in the blame. The Royals scored three runs or less in 27 of their first 50 games. They went 7-20 in those games. The Royals ranked 25th among the 3 2 big league teams in runs scored, 205, entering June. They were hitting .253 with second baseman Alberto Callaspo, .307, the only Kansas City regular hitting higher than .300. Callaspo, however, was hitting .380 on May 3 and finished May with a .260 average for the month. Designated hitter Mike Jacobs is as advertised – all or nothing. He has nine continued on page 12

Contending Royals and “new” stadium bring out fans y early June, the Major League baseball season will be one third over and it is encouraging to see the Kansas City Royals giving their best effort to get in a playoff position by October. The Royals ended May in a slide with their veteran ace Gil Meche going through a tough stretch. It was hoped the six game losing string in May would be their worst string of losses, but late in the month they lost five of six and it coincided with Meche’s difficulties. Hopefully, by the time you read this, he will be back in winning form and the Royals will be turned around. The pitching staff - with Zack Greinke pitching historically well the first two months - can go up against any of the American League Central division teams, but consistency is the final answer. A 162 game schedule exposes any weaknesses the team might have. Funny thing, Toronto mirrored the Royals, starting well but slumping at the end of May, including a debacle that found the Blue Jays looking for answers. Baseball is a game of winning streaks and losing streaks. Hardly any t eam can escape them, but don’t have too many extended losing skids or the season goes down the drain. The Royals organization has to feel good with the fan enthusiasm that comes with

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winning. It’s been a good while since the last playoff contending team took the field. With the new Kauffman Stadium as a backdrop, this would be a natural if the boys in blue could stay in the race. The same situation exists across the parking low, where the Chiefs’ new management team is making every effort to get a team back to playoff standards. A couple of sorry seasons have brought a falloff in season ticket and suite sales enough that owner Clark Hunt has spent a bundle on new front office and coaching personnel. The draft, free agency and trades have brought new talent to town. Now the new coaching staff will have to wrap up a package of players ready for the tough season ahead. The Chiefs, like the Royals, will be opening a new playground next year with Arrowhead Stadium renovations in full swing, so it will be necessary for this team to keep a strong fan base happy and ready for a killer schedule. The Chiefs could fare well in their division since the other Western teams have undergone major changes, too. Hopefully the Chiefs can muster enough wins to make it an interesting race. Then all would be set for opening of a new Arrowhead in 2010.

The new stadium will give Kansas City one of the most spectacular dual stadium complexes in the world. It was a fortunate day for Kansas City when Lamar Hunt made the decision to bring his American Football League franchise from Dallas to our town. Lamar not only changed our lives, he also changed a nation’s professional fan base. His move led to the expansion of pro football to 32 major markets and turned Sunday afternoon into a mass movement of people to their favorite team’s game. Our town got to see our team play in the first ever World Championship game in 1967 - a game that became the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world. It has been a great ride for all of us. And we might say the same for Ewing

Kauffman and what he did for baseball in Kansas City. We have been blessed with great ownership. Today, Clark Hunt has taken his father’s role and kept a strong organization at Arrowhead. The Glass Bill family accepted the Grigsby baseball ownership role Contributing and the Royals have Writer made steady and positive growth. We fans are the fortunate ones. Let’s keep supporting the team owners. We can never afford to lose our teams through lack of support.


presents THE GREAT OUTDOORS REPORT

Sign up soon for charter privileges with Heartland Sportsman’s Association ow I don’t know if you guys have been out hunting lately but it is getting pretty tough to find a place to chase birds, deer, ducks, or whatever. Sure there are some public conservation areas that one can visit, but these are usually over-run with hunters, littered with trash or had all the game chased out by the late night partiers. Finding a place to take your son, daughter or other family or friends is becoming difficult to do and may be the reason a good percentage of hunters are leaving the sport. Let’s face it, finding a golf course is much easier than finding a place to hunt and fish. That’s where the Heartland Sportsman’s Association, Inc, (HSA) comes in. Founded by outdoorsmen, the Heartland Sportsman’s Association, Inc. is new company that is striving to lease attractive farms and property for its member’s to hunt and fish. Since Heartland is still in its infancy, they offering a special bonus to

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new members. The new members will be the charter members of the organization

and they will help choose what type of property is leased for the club members. Additionally, HSA is offering those c harter members a one-year money back guarantee, and a special discount on their

On KCXL 1140 AM and KCTO 1160 AM Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-10 pm and on Sundays from 12-9 pm

Local and National Sports Coverage Sports Page Forward Progress Wise Guys Courtside Go Deep Sports Smucks BLT Don’t Talk Back KC Sports & Fitness Radio Show 







membership dues. Once 100 charter members are signed up, this special offer will cease to exist. Then membership will still be a good deal, but it would not have all the extra perks of the charter group. What sets Heartland apart from some of the other hunting clubs is Heartland members will be able to hunt in various other clubs throughout the United States. HSA has worked out a deal with a national group that allows his members to get a reciprocal membership in “sister” clubs throughout the nation. Members will thus be able to travel and hunt other states easily. Heartland has also has integrated high technology into their club. They will offer arial photos of properties available, well as GPS coordinates, so finding the right farm is easy for members. This will also ensure no one trespasses unknowingly onto another property. Members should be able to utilize the maps to find a property that suits

their purpose, whether hunting upland birds, deer or small game. One unique benefit of the Heartland plan is members would be allowed to bring their family members along with them at no cost. Thus if a potential hunter is checking out the club he/she could save some money by investing in the charter membership and still take advantage of all the perks without having to pay extra for the wife, kids or whomever. Heartland is setting up meetings with potential clients daily, so call and listen to their recorded message. They can arrange a meeting with your group, answer your questions and iron out any details. HSA can be reached via the web at Heartlandsportsman.com or by phone at 877-405-1110. Happy Heartland hunting and fishing!

June swoon - continued from page 11 double and nine home runs, but he also has struck out 50 times in his first 157 at-bats. He hit 32 home runs and 27 doubles last season with the Florida Marlins and had a .247 average. He enters June hitting .249. Willie Bloomquist was hitting .350 on May 13 and is an excellent utility player. With shortstops Mike Aviles and Tony Pena Jr. both landing on the disabled list and center fielder Coco Crisp missing games with a sore right shoulder, Bloomquist was forced into becoming an everyday player and he was soon exposed. He ended May in a 3-for-24 skid and his average dropping to .284. The Royals are not going to win if David DeJesus is hitting .237, Crisp .233 and Aviles .183, their averages starting June. DeJesus hit .307 last year and Aviles .325

as a rookie. Crisp entered this season with a career .280 average. As one advance scout for an opposing American League Central team said, “No team is strong enough to run away with the division. Nor is any team weak enough to be counted out of it.” The Royals are not out of it because they have Greinke, the best pitcher in the majors the first two months, and the Central has just ordinary teams, no super power, although the Tigers’ pitching staff make them a team capable of putting together prolonged good stretches. The Royals cannot stand another month like May and hope to remain a viable contender even in a weak division.

Jobs - continued from page 8

ding,” Gordon said. Good thing. Gordon’s tough, but maybe education’s the key. “I’d probably go back to school, get my degree and go from there,” Gordon said. Fortunately, Gordon and the Royals can focus on baseball. There are numerous other athletes, like Angels pitcher Matt Palmer, who nearly put his Missouri State horticulture degree to work after years of kicking around in the minors. Ready to enter the world of landscaping, his wife talked him into staying in baseball He won his first big league game at the age of 30-years old earlier this year, and beat the Royals as well. The “real world” can wait a little longer.

somewhere in the word of sports. Miguel Olivo’s known as one of the nicest and amiable players in baseball, except for when his short fuse is snapped. Any surprise that Olivo would pick a sport that would not suspend him for throwing a punch? “If I didn’t make it in baseball, I think I’d be in boxing,” Olivo said. “When I was growing up, I used to do that. I saw my grandfather and father. I think its fun. We go in the ring, throw a couple of punches. That’s what I did before baseball.” How about Alex Gordon in the ring? “I’d be a UFC fighter. Nah, just kid-


THE HEALTH & FITNESS REPORT

Tips to improve your workout f you are a lifelong fitness buff, you know exercise can be at times… monotonous. Think how many times you have done a curl. How many miles you’ve run, outside or on a treadmill? How many “down-dogs” in yoga? Fitness should, of course, be a lifelong pursuit, but even the brightest of us can get in a “same old same old” rut. Exercise is just like everything: you get out what you put in. So here are some tips to put that “spark” back in your gym time.

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Get a fitness check up. Yup, even if you are very experienced, try getting a fitness evaluation. And by this I do not simply mean someone figuring your body fat percentage. I mean a through evaluation, where you see your aerobic capacity, fle xibility and strength. Once you have done this look at a weak point and make it a goal to improve it.

Try wearing a heart monitor and make sure every cardio session is at least 70 percent of your maximal heart rate. Go opposite Many of us inherently avoid exercises we don’t do well. Coincidentally, those are

for 20 years. You find your enthusiasm up with your new challenge. Try “super slow” Another weight training technique that is very effective. Lift and/or lower a weight within 3-5 seconds. This reduces momen-

If you exercise consistently and intensly, it will show. The opposite is also true.

Make a small realistic goal and FOCUS This can be anything from “add five pounds to my bench” to “lose one inch off my waist” to “I’m finally doing that half-marathon.” By narrowing down and making a goal you automatically improve your time in the gym. No longer are you going through the motions, now you are working toward something.

Put a “spark” back in your gym time.

Try “supersets” This is for strength training. “Supersets” are two exercises done back to back and can improve your workouts and reduce your workout time. Try combining two exercises next time and watch the productive intensity ratchet up! Wear a heart monitor So many times I see people leaning on a stair master or holding onto a treadmill. The end result, you are working less hard.

usually the ones that would benefit you the most. I suggest putting anything you avoid FIRST. For example, yes it’s comfy for you to do your Monday bench routine. But those squats, which are usually done minimally, should maybe go to Mondays for awhile. Not only will you get your whole body stronger, your bench will probably improve from the de-emphasis and from previous overtraining. Do something outside your current routine Kind of like the above, but with a bigger emphasis. If all you do is run, try a strength class. If you are an aerobics freak, enroll in a boxing class. If you are a weights guy, take a boot camp class. Fitness is all about adapting to a variety of things not simply doing the same routine

tum and keeps the muscle in constant tension. Quick lifts can be beneficial, especially for sports specific applications, but often times people lift too quick for good form. This technique can dramatically improve strength. Remember you are what you do. If you exercise consistently and intensely, it will show. The opposite is also true. Good luck!

Chris Balda is a USA Weightlifting coach, National Strength and Conditioning Association Trainer and owner of FixXprt, a fitness and training consulting business. Contact him at (913) 244-0287 or at fitxprt@hotmail.com.

Chris Balda Contributing Writer


First Tee program biggest winner at Watson Challenge

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cloud on the horizon. I see golf not including all specters of life. It’s difficult to get kids involved

because it’s expensive to play. “Without the caddy program golf used to have,

Photo by Alan Hoskins

he 2009 Watson Challenge champion will be decided over 54 holes, June 13-15. The impact, however, will be felt by kids throughout the metro area for months and even years to come. The first two years of the Watson Challenge, $125,000 has been pumped into The First Tee of Greater Kansas City, the educational-based program that not only introduces boys and girls 7 to 17 years of age to the game of golf but teaches the character skills and core values that will follow them off the golf course and influence how they live their daily lives. Founded in 1989 as the Junior Golf Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City program became the model for the national First Tee program initiated in 1997 and is endorsed by the PGA Tour, PGA of America, LGPA, USGA and Augusta National. Tom Watson was a member of the founding group in 1989 and continues to be one of its biggest proponents. “It’s special to me,” Watson said. “What it does in this day of golf is bring kids into the game who otherwise wouldn’t be into the game. I see a dark

In addition to founding the Watson Challenge to determine Kansas City’s best golfer and raise funds for The First Tee program of Greater Kansas City, Hall of Famer Tom Watson put on a golf clinic for kids at the Heart of America Golf Academy and Course, one of five First Tee learning centers in Kansas City.

golf needs programs like The First Tee, programs that gets kids on the course. Our support of The First Tee, I think, is essential. With the economic downturn, we see rounds going down and people without the whether all to Alan play the game from the botHoskins tom up.” Contributing “It’s a huge part of our Writer fund raising,” said First Tee Director Pat Zuk, who is involved in a drive to create a $1 million fund that would annually provide 10 $4,000 golf scholarships. “Hopefully, we’ll have 10 kids in college every year.” First Tee learning centers are at five golf courses throughout the Kansas City area, including the Heart of America Golf Course and Academy in Swope Park where a Watson clinic highlighted a Kids Day in May. “It’s the kick off for junior golf in Kansas City,” Zuk said. It also raised more than $23,000 for First Tee on Heart of America’s par 3 course. Between continued on page 16


Watson Challenge...continued 8 am and 1 p., 20 adults played 100 holes of golf for the project. The event also include d a girls only clinic by UMKC women’s golf coach Courtney Mahon, a rules clinic by Steve McMillin of the Kansas City Golf Association and informative programs on affordable health care for kids, personal financing for teenagers and assistance in getting college scholarships in golf. Kids were introduced to SNAG (Starting New at Golf), which is basically golf equipment that can be used indoors and outdoors, including plastic clubs and balls and Velcro balls that will stick to a target. “For a first-year event, we were very pleased, especially with the marathon in this kind of economy,” Zuk said. “Next is making improvements on what we’ve done. The big push next year will be to get more people here.” Approximately 155 attended the initial event. As the centerpiece of the First Tee program, Heart of America offers the whole works – a 3hole junior course up on “The Hill,” a 9-hole par 3 course called “The Rock,” a 9-hole regulation course called “The River,” driving range and chipping and putt ing greens. Golf instruction is provided by veteran Director of Programming Mike Brown. “He and his staff run beginning classes that fill up so fast that Mike has had to increase the size or add sessions every year,” Zuk said. Under the auspices of Orion Management, the nine-hole course has a new head pro, Craig Martin. “Combined with Swope Memorial which is just a mile down the road, we’ve created a golf ladder where kids can start on the junior course, then go to the par 3, then the regulation 9-hole

and on up the road to Swope,” Zuk said. “We believe it’s as good a place the game as anywhere in the country.” As much as part of the program as the instruction, The First Tee’s Nine Core Values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment provide the character development designed to carry out through an entire lifetime. “It’s doing the right thing when no one else is looking,” Watson told youngsters at his clinic. Other area First Tee training centers are at Sunflower Hills, which has a six-hole junior course; IronHorse Golf Club, which has three holes; and Drumm Farms and Overland Park, which make their executive or par 3 courses available to First Tee participants. A full field of 48 golfers – 20 professionals, 20 amateurs and 8 special invitees – is set for the Watson Challenge at Shadow Glen, The Golf Club, a course he helped design and where he’ll be defending the championship he won at Milburn last year. Others in the field include Blake Graham, the 2007 champion at Hallbrook, where he’s an assistant pro; and last year’s runners up, Sean Dougherty, Mike Tanner and Chris Mabry. One-day donation tickets to The First Tee are $25 (two for $40) and three-day passes are available for $40. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Kansas City Golf Association office at 10540 Barkley in Overland Park or online at www.kansascitygolfer.com. Also, they will be on sale in the parking area at Shadow Glen near the first tee at Cedar Creek Parkway and South Cedar Niles Boulevard.

7 Questions with Tom Watson The following is from the “Behind the Stats” radio show with Matt Fulks and Dave O’Hara, who were joined by Kansas City golf legend Tom Watson 1. My idol growing up was...? Tom Watson: Arnold Palmer, because at the time Jack Nicklaus was considered the villain. 2. If not for golf, I would’ve been a...? TW: I would have liked to have been in the medical profession, I would have liked to have been a surgeon. 3. My greatest day in golf was....? TW: Saturday, June 14th, 1964, at Blue Hills Country Club. I beat Bob Devine for the Kansas City Men’s Match Play Championship. Incidentally, that was the Saturday of the 1964 Men’s U.S. Open. 4. have stayed in Kansas City because of...? TW: My family and friends. 5. My favorite golf movie of all-time is...? TW: The Greatest Game Ever Played. 6. My favorite kind of music or favorite musician is...? TW:: Jazz piano and Erroll Garner.

7. A perfect day for me would be...? TW: Waking up healthy and around my loved ones. “Behind the Stats” is hosted by Matt Fulks and Dave O’Hara. For more information or to find out their next broadcast time, please go to BehindTheStatsRadio.com. “7 Questions” appears most months in Kansas City Sports & Fitness.

Tom Watson joins Behind the Stats radio hosts Matt Fulks (left) and Dave O’Hara (right).

2009 Watson Challenge Field Mark Addington Doug Albers Randy Apgar Tom Bachelor Kris Casburn Ron Eilers Matt Ewald Jimmy Gates Steve Groom Jay Hepler Tom Kmak Don Kuehn Bryan Norton Jon Platz Patrick Roth Jason Schulte Tyler Shelton Kyle Smell Andy Smith Jon Troutman Don Walsworth Kyle Yonke Tyler Alt Bill Amundsen Mike Boring JD Brake Sean Dougherty Tyler Dunn Ryan Fitzpatrick Blake Graham David Jenkins Todd Loechler Chris Mabry Brandon Marshall Barrett Martens Gary McClure Matt Murdoch George Plassman David Resch John Richman Jamie Schmitt Rick Schultz Jeff Sedorcek Jeff Sheppard Todd Stice Mike Tanner Tom Watson Rob Wilkin

Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Amateur Not only does the Watson Challenge bear his name as the founder of the Amateur cup event, Tom Watson’s name is on the champions list after his 2008 victory. Amateur Photo by Alan Hoskins Amateur Amateur Amateur Professional Oakwood Country Club Professional Golf Galaxy Overland Park Professional Shadow Glen Golf Club Professional The Golf Club of Kansas Professional Milburn Golf & Country Club Professional Lake Quivira Country Club Professional Kansas City Country Club Professional Hallbrook Country Club Professional Adams Tight Lies Tour Professional Blue Hills Country Club Professional Gateway Tour Professional Leawood South Country Club Professional Loch Lloyd Countr Club Professional Professional Mission Hills Country Club Professional Dick’s Sporting Good Professional Shadow Glen Golf Club Professional The Golf Club of Kansas Professional Professional Winterstone Golf Club Professional Fred Arbanas Golf Course Professional Brookridge Golf & Country Club Professional Oakwood Country Club Professional Milburn Golf & Country Club Professional Champions Tour Professional Heritage Park Golf Course


Rockhurst, McGee best in Missouri high school golf two-round total of 145 and tied with Taylor Cox of Columbia Hickman for the medalist honor. ockhurst senior Mike McGee knew he had “I’d be interested when you talk to Mike,” to pick up the pace on the final four holes O’Leary said, “what he would have rather done. if he was going to claim the medalist honThere is no playoff at state for medalist honors, ors at the Class 4 state golf tournament at but I’m betting he’d trade that tie for a chance at Rivercut Golf a playoff. I’ll be Course in interested in Springfield. what he says.” “Mike is the When asked, complete team McGee just player, a young chuckled. man who is very, “Are you kidvery special to ding? Of course me and the I’d take the playRockhurst golf off,” McGee said. program,” “I was really on a Hawklets golf roll over the last coach Mike few holes. But I’ll O’Leary said. take that tie and “He’s usually the team title.” just interested in McGee has the team results, been a part of but he really three state wanted to be the Mike McGee (left) tied for medal honors in helping coach championship Mike O’Leary’s Rockhurst High School golf team win its medalist and at teams – his state and he was third state championship in the past three years freshman, five shots down with six holes to play.” junior and senior years. But that did n’t overwhelm McGee, who will The past three years he has finished earned play golf at Indiana University in the fall. three state medals. And he capped his brilliant “I knew three of the last four holes were Rockhurst career with the medalist honors birdie holes, so I became very aggressive,” this year. McGee said. Oh, by the way, the Hawklets shot a team That approach paid off as he finished with a score of 593 to win the team championship by 23 strokes over Chaminade and Holt. Park Hill South was the only other team from the area that 2009 MSHSAA finished in the top 10, coming in eighth at 634. Class 4 Boys Golf “I’ve had some great, great teams at State Championship Rockhurst, but this year’s team was one of the Rivercut Golf Course most special,” O’Leary said. “And Mike was such a great team leader. Final Team Results He’s the only kid I know who went out (at 6 am) Rank School Total and practiced the day of graduation (and the 1. Rockhurst 300-293=593 day before the state tournament). He’s that 2. Chaminade *307-309=616 dedicated.” McGee was joined by Matt Ledom, who 3. Holt 314-302=616 was third; David Best, 10th; John Geha, 14th 4. Glendale 319-303=622 and Bobby Thompson, who shot a 77 on the 5. Ozark 311-317=628 opening day. 6. DeSmet 317-312=629 “Those kids deserved that title, they worked 7. Francis Howell 309-323=632 hard for it and they deserved it,” O’Leary said. 8. Park Hill South 313-321=634 By BILL ALTHAUS, Contributing Writer

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9. 10. 11. 12.

Poplar Bluff Rolla Christian Bros. Jefferson City

329-312=641 329-326=655 333-325=658 332-341=673

* awarded Second-Place per tie-breaking procedure in MSHSAA Golf Manual

Bill Althaus is an award-winning sports writer/columnist for The Examiner (www.examiner.net). His columns appear Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.)


A love/hate relationship with golf t is not an easy task for me to write a column about golf. I rarely play the game and am terrible at it when I do. In fact, one of my best friends, Joe Rotarius, is the general manager at Dogwood Hills Golf Course in the Lake of the Ozarks. Joe and I have never played a round of golf and never will. Playing a round with Joe would be like me playing a pick-up basketball game against LeBron James. It probably wouldn’t be much fun for either of us. Ironically, golf is a game that has had a major impact on my life - for good and not so good reasons. On the bright side, my first byline as a sportswriter at The Cleveland Plain Dealer was a tribute piece about golfer Tony Lema, who had lost his life in an airplane accident in 1966. At the time, “Champagne” Tony Lema was just 32 and the second-most popular golfer in the world behind Arnold Palmer. Having my name on an article was a thrill and reinforced my love of sports writing for years. When you work with the likes of Hal Lebovitz and Chuck Heaton in Cleveland it is an experience you never forget. On the other side, golf is a game I learned to resent. My father was a scratch golfer for most of

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his life. That means his handicap was “zero.” That meant that he spent lots and lots of time on a golf course. One lesson I learned early from my father was anyone with a handicap of 10 or less who says “I rarely have a chance to play” is a liar. Golf is not a game that can be perfected without lots and lots of playing. If it was Saturday my dad was gone from about six in the morning until late in the evening. He often played 36 holes. On Sunday it was often the same. Heck, it was true for three or four other days during the week. It seemed as if his handicap went down the more time he spent away from the family.

My brother and I learned to hate golf because it took our father away from us for such long periods of time. He played in tournaments and I am sure he also won considerable sums gambling, but that didn’t mean much to us. If dad asked either of us to join him, it was as his caddy. My father’s golf bag was about the same size as Rodney Dangerfield’s in “Caddyshack.” It was agony carrying that darn thing. Don’t get me wrong. In many respects my father was a wonderful man. He was deeply religious and loved his family. It was just that it was difficult to get between him and a golf match.

It has been several years since my dad went to that great golf course in the sky (probably the Doral Gold Course in Miami). Right now, he is probably telling his favorite story about the guy who had a great belowJohn par round going until he hit Landsberg five straight balls into the Contributing water on the final hole. Writer The guy exploded. He started breaking clubs and throwing them into the water. He tossed his bag in. He then went into the shower in the clubhouse, slit his wrists and began bleeding to death. All of a sudden a voice yelled into the shower, “Hey, Fred, can you play tomorrow?” At that point Fred frantically put his wrists together to stop the bleeding and yelled back, “Sure, what time?” In many ways golf is a great game. In my case, I genuinely have a love/hate relationship with it. Send your thoughts, comments, complaints, etc., to John at jlandsberg@bottomlinecom.com.


When the game was a game olf is one of the most popular pastimes that many of us love to hate. If you hit just one bad shot, your entire day could be shot. If you shoot in the 70s or in the 90s, golf seems to be the one sport that size and strength does not quite matter. It truly comes down to mainly technique, focus and discipline. Growing up, I envisioned myself competing with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino. Sure, the Golden Bear was the best back in the day, but it was Chi Chi Rodriguez who I would watch religiously. His passion for the sport and sportsmanship made the sport more humanlike to me. Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez grew up poor in Puerto Rico and taught the game to himself. His success story from ground zero to becoming the one of the most beloved golfers of the world has influenced many youth from all over. As a child, I would emulate his signature “toreador dance” in not only golf, but in billiards as well. Although his passion was unconventional, it provided many of us moderate golf fans a reason to watch the sport on TV. He amassed eight PGA tour wins through his career before crossing over to the Senior PGA tour, where he accumulated 22 wins from 1985 to 1993.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Chi Chi Rodriguez at Kauffman stadium a few years back and sat down next to him as he signed autographs behind home plate. The game was being delayed by rain, but the golf icon stayed out to sign numerous autographs for the droves of kids and golf fanatics that lined up to sign whatever they had. Tickets, hats, programs you name it, he signed. When the marker dried up, he sent for a couple of more. Once the crowd dissipated, he and I sat down for a five-minute chat that I will never forget. I asked what his most defining moment in his life was and I was quite surprised by his answer. He rattled through various names of golfers, a few army buddies, and members of his family.

But it was a chance encounter with Mother Teresa that changed his life. Her influence led to his Youth Foundation for troubled kids geared to build self-esteem. I watched first hand his true passion for the youth. Even though I am a member of the sacred media, I was thrilled with the chance to meet a childhood hero for me and to witness his character in action. I love to call athletes like Chi Chi Rodriguez ambassadors to the sport they play. They are not always the best player, but a fan favorite none the less. Much like Buck O’Neil was to the game (baseball) he loved so much, Chi Chi is one of the few professional golfers who respected the fans as much as the game itself.

Many players were annoyed and complained about his antics, but that did not stop him from performing for those who came to the see the greatest. I know most of those who respect the game they played came James from a humble beginning Peuster and never forg ot what it Contributing was like to grow up with Writer very little. The bottom line is all sports are suffering during these trying economic times and I truly believe that players still do not respect he game they play. With seats not filling up, well as corporate sponsorship on the downfall, the athletes need to appreciate we continue to support the sport we love. Granted, too often we put professional athletes on a pedestal and they become role models to our children. I am fine with that as long as they contribute back to society in a genuine way. Chi Chi Rodriguez actually showed me that he is just not an ambassador to golf, but to professional sports as well.


Historic Rockwood: Where Harry Truman often played

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throwback to the early days of golf. “It’s an old style layout with small push-up greens, probably some of the smallest in the city,” Judy said. “But every fairway is lined with

from the reds. “With the small greens, there’s a premium on accuracy,” Judy said. “There’s definitely holes in which the driver comes into play but there’s also

Photo by Beverly Sawyer

ave you played Rockwood Golf Course lately? If not, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. “In the last couple of years it’s in the best shape it’s been in a long time,” general manager Ross Judy said. Owned and operated by Kemper Sports, the course located at 2400 Maywood Road in Independence has been given a huge facelift. “Before Kemper came, the course had really been let to run down,” Judy said. “There was no grass on the fairways and the course got the reputation of being something of a goat trail. Unfortunately, people who have not been back in recent years still think that way and it’s not like that. It’s beautiful; an awesome layout. Our up and coming young superintendent, Daniel Kaleikau, has done just a great job in improving the course. We think its Kansas City’s No. 1 golf value. For the price there’s not a better course.” One of Kansas City’s oldest public courses, it was one of the city’s premier courses when it opened in 1946 and to this day boasts unique history. “It was formerly a country club and Harry Truman was a member,” Judy said. “The rumor is that Mr. Truman was in the clubhouse when he learned of his election to the presidency.” Designed by John Davis, it is very much a

Tree-lined fairways are the standard for Rockwood Golf Course, an 18-hole public course in Independence known for its unique tournaments and daily specials.

trees, making it more challenging than the scorecard might indicate.” Relatively short, it’s played at 6,125 yards from the blues, 5,649 from the whites and 5,235

some holes in which you can keep your driver in the bag and play for position.” The challenges start at No. 1, a 351-yard par 4 that demands a carry over a pond and contin-

ues all the way to the 358-yard 18th which offers a scenic tee shot from an elevated tee box through a narrow gap of trees. One of the other things Rockwood does best is make g olf fun with a unique Alan series of 12 tournaments Hoskins throughout the season. It Contributing started this year in March Writer with the 2nd Annual Opening Day scramble with a baseball theme that included the Zach Greinke Rule (throwing the ball on one hole) and the Alex Gordon Rule (hitting a drive off a batting tee). April featured the Rockwood Masters in which players were paired with the scores of two PGA players in the Masters while the “Battle of the Bars” was held in May. “Everyone really has a lot of fun,” Judy said. Tournaments still to come this summer: Father’s Day Classic: June 21 – For fathers teaming with sons or daughters. Independence Day Scramble: July 4 – A four-person scramble with a blast. continued on next page


Casino Classic: Aug. 15 – A Vegas-type casino with lots of games in cluding rolling the dice to see which drive must be used. Fourth Pigskin Scramble: Sept 12 –Unique football scoring based on punts, passes and kicks. Tournament of Champions:, Oct. 10 – Twoperson scramble matching winners in the tournament series. Halloween Scramble: Oct. 31- Six holes scramble, six holes alternate shot and six holes best ball. Wear costume for mulligans. In addition, Glow Ball Tournaments featuring nine holes in daylight and nine holes at night are July 25 and Sept. 25. Men and women are offered nine-hole league play, the ladies on Mondays and the men on Tuesdays, both at 4:30 p.m. The Rockwood Ladies20League is an individual event with an optional clinic conducted by Judy on the first Monday of each month. Men play in a two-man team format. Players in both leagues will be handicapped through GHIN and will feature different teams and different games once handicaps have been established. In addition, Rockwood has something special for each weekday: HERO MONDAY – Military personnel, firemen, police and teachers can play for $16 with

cart between 8 a.m.-noon. 2 for 1 TUESDAY – Two for one green fees between opening and 1 p.m. Must include cart. SENIOR WEDNESDAY – Senior citizens play for $20 with cart between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. LADIES THURSDAY – $5 green fees for ladies all day. $1 BEER FRIDAY – All domestic beer for $1.

Fridays and $20 to walk and $34 to ride on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Seniors 55 and over can play for $3 less during the week and $4 less on weekends while juniors 17 and under get $6 discounts during the week and $820on weekends. Early twilight rates are available from noon-4 p.m. and regular twilight rates from 4 p.m.-closing and can be found

lege while earning a degree in business marketing from Miami (Ohio) University in 2002. He joined Kemper Sports in January of 2003 and was assigned to Rockwood as assistant pro. He moved to Kemper’s Falcon Ridge course in 2005 but returned a month and a half later to take over as general manager. Judy put the finishing touches on his Class A PGA card in Florida on May 20 and hopes to compete this summer in Midwest PGA Section events. (Editor’s note: Ross Judy will be moving over to another Kemper Sports-owned course as the GM for Adam’s Pointe).

Power Golf Swing

Photo by Alan Hoskins

Rockwood - continued from page 18

The challenges at Rockwood Golf Course start at the 351-yard first hole where a pond must be carried to reach the green.

Rockwood is a very walk-able course with tee boxes in close proximity to greens, the green fees are among the most generous in town $16 to walk and $30 with cart Mondays through

with other course information at www.rockwoodgolfcourse.com. Judy, a native of Toledo, Ohio, where he played high school golf, did not compete in col-

On the hunt for a power golf swing? What have you done so far to achieve it? Has it worked? Do you know what it really takes to get more power in your golf swing? It's different than you think! You don't hit more balls to improve your power. You don't take more golf instruction to increase power. What you should do will not surprise you, but taking action to do this will be the solution you're looking for. You MUST strengthen your golf muscles by programming theme to produce power. This programming of your body takes place with golf specific resistance exercises targeted at your core muscles, specifically from a rotational standpoint. The stronger your golf muscles are the more power your body will generate on every shot and every drive. The more you can do rotational exercises with resistance the faster you'll see results. Source: Mike T Pedersen PerformBetterGolf.com


Play better without practicing: Golfing in “The Zone” he zone is that unique place that indicates one is in the right physical, emotional and mental space. The keys to getting into the zone are confidence, focus, pleasure calmness and excitation. You need to master the art of calmness despite feeling pressure and excitation. These are some very easy to use tools that will help you learn to get in that very pleasurable and unforgettable place known as, the zone. Playing in your focus zone provides such spectacular pleasure and results because you are having fun, and when you are enjoying yourself, you are playing without pressure or worry. When you are truly in the zone, someone could hit you on the head during your backswing and you would still execute well. This level of focus is far different from ordinary focus in golf. It is customary to hear golfers complain about talking or noises around them and ask for silence. That is a sign of poor focus and not being in the zone. We’ve all been there – enjoying music, art, travel, conversation, a favorite project, sport or book. You feel relaxed, alert, and fully engaged.

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Concentration comes easily and energy flows. You are in the zone. In the world of golf it is easy to get knocked out of the zone. During a typical round, we have many challenges, obstacles and decisions to make. If we make a decision that wasn’t right or we make a bad shot, it causes an emotional response within us that disrupts our zone focus. When you learn some simple, yet powerful strategies, you can learn to return to your focus zone at will. Why do you have your best attention when you’re in the zone? Brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are responsible for attention. Neurotransmitters are in the adrenaline family and they rev you up. You need some of these adrenaline-based brain chemicals to keep you alert and focused, but too much adrenaline makes you hyper and does not allow you to focus to your fullest extent. Does everyone have a focus zone? Yes. Everyone has the ability to get into the zone. But it’s different for different people. It’s even different for the same person from activity to activity. You

can learn to identify your focus zone and adjust your level of adrenaline to fit your activity. How can your focus zone be different for different activities? If your activity is mostly physical, you need more adrenaline. If it’s mostly mental, you need less. You can see this in sports, for instance. Football requires more strength than skill, so you need lots of adrenaline. Your focus zone is at the high end of the range. Golf requires more skill than strength, so you need less adrenaline. Getting into the zone for golfers is possible for anyone, but it is a skill, and, like any new skill, you have to practice to get good at it. Here are some tricks of the trade that professional and amateur golfers around the world are learning.

Getting and staying in the zone. 1. Keep a record of your adrenaline levels and rate yourself on a scale from 1-10. Then go out and play and see where you play the best. Keep track of that number. You may find out that you play your best golf when you are at a six. That means the next time you play golf you should rate your current adrenaline level and try to move it up or down to get it to your six. 2. Make a list of ways to psych yourself up.

If your focus zone is a seven and you are feeling like a four you need to use techniques that will raise your adrenaline level. You could use techniques like upbeat music, positive affirmations, visualization or a Jeff quick jog. Miner 3. Make a list of ways to Contributing calm yourself down. If your Writer zone focus is a five and you are at an eight, you want to use techniques that will bring your adrenaline level down. Use techniques such as deep breathing, relaxation, visual imagery, soothing music or a relaxing mantra said over and over. 4. Focus on the shot at hand and forget about scores, bets or competitions. If you are focused on every shot, you will naturally play your best golf. 5. Perform a centering ritual. For example, a golfer may take three deep breaths before every shot. 6. Perform a mental rehearsal or visualization. Close your eyes and see yourself making the perfect swing and watch the ball as it lands close continued on next page to the pin.


9 reasons pro golf is shanking its lofty image ast month I spelled out my top nine beefs with Major League Baseball and batted around the realities of high ticket and parking prices, tweeting fans and funky uniforms. Many agreed with my rationale and offered their own pet peeves. Since we’re now completing the front nine of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America’s tour, here are my top nine bad lies per what’s taking place on the PGA’s pastoral playgrounds: 1. I recently read where several of the top-tier players travel with or fly-in-for-the-weekend swing coaches, nutritionists, trainers and psychologists. Diva, party of four?! Then there are the wives, girlfriends, children and nannies. Holy payroll – “will someone please iron my slacks and give the kids a bath?!” I bet Arnie and Jack scoff at all this pampering and posturing by the leader board elite and lesser-known hacks. Back in the day, let’s assume they cleaned their own clubs and devoured three-dollar steaks on Sunday night at many a roadside diner. 2. Caddies can wear them. LPGA players can wear them. Why can’t the Big Boys with the Big Sticks wear shorts? This rule is way outdated. At least make it optional. Some of the younger bucks might attract more female viewers if their “pins” were exposed. Many would get fake bakes and appear browner than UPS. Playing 18 holes in blended slacks in the middle of summer in the middle of Ohio makes about as much sense as Donald Trump moonlighting at Super Cuts. 3. What recession? Players are walking billboards. An A-lister might have the name of a hedge fund on his hat, a pharmaceutical giant on his shirt and the requisite club-maker on his bag. It’s like NASCAR – without the televised pit stops. Niche marketing has its privileges. 4. Speaking of advertisers and deep pockets – how the heck does the Golf Channel stay in business? All those hours, all those sub-par panel

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discussions. How many ways can you analyze Sergio’s swing and Vijay’s putting stroke? Apparently more hours than average Americans spend on Face Book. A few weeks ago I came across Happy Gilmore Jim airing during a prime time Potoski window. Beating a dead Contributing horse can’t be profitable?! Writer 5. I’ve been down this road before. The equipment (clubs and balls) used today is so NASA-derived that it’s turned a Sunday stroll into Home Run Derby. Imagine if Louisville Slugger found a way to make bats more aerodynamic and torquefriendly. Pitchers would be wearing body armor and goalie pads. Seems obvious that 400yard drives are coming ‘round the next dogleg. Wave goodbye to par 4s. 6. Golf etiquette dictates that fans must be QUIET during a swing or putt. Sorry, don’t want to ruin Padraig’s concentration. Balderdash! The ball is sitting there totally immobile. The gallery should be allowed to scream and shout and bang ThunderStix as Boo Weekley settles in for his bunker shot. If baseball players can stand at the plate as the fans go bonkers and the pitcher is throwing 95 MPH darts, then Zach Johnson should be able to man up at the ninth tee and mentally get past all the hootin’ and hollerin’. It will revolutionize the snotty game. 7-9. The Boys of the Four Day (or less) Work Week need a shorter season. There’s irony for you. The ultra-elite players have already trimmed their schedules and said sayonara to the nonsexy tour stops. Greater Greensboro Open – keep in touch. In September, Sunday golf goes up against the start of football and the finish of baseball. No Tiger or Phil means that’s an unplayable lie.

The Zone - from pg 22 7. Capitalize on what you are doing well. Say a loud “yes” with a clenched fist as the ball slides perfectly into the hole. This reinforces the subconscious. 8. Finally, remember the trick to getting into the zone is a mixture of confidence, relaxation, visual imagery and knowing where you perform best and bringing you to that level of adrenaline.

Olympic Committee assisting athletes to reach their peak performance. He has also worked with the Utah Jazz basketball team and several other professional athletes. Miner has published four books on helping coaches understand psychological aspects of sports. Minor owns and operates a business called Nothing By Chance in Kansas City, Missouri. He continues to work with individuals that want to reach their peak performance in sports and business. You can contact Nothing By Chance at 816 237-1820.

Jeff Miner is a performance enhancement consultant. Miner has worked for the United States


Golf fitness tips olf fitness. Two words one might not believe go together if you have seen too many beer-bellied guys riding in carts. However, golf fitness is important for those golfers that want to improve their games and who want to improve their physical abilities. Golf fitness means addressing strength, flexibility and balance. Paying attention to golf fitness can improve your scores.

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Walking Rather than Riding Can Help Your Health and Score The United States Golf Association thinks you should be walking the golf course. Riding in carts has become the preferred transportation mode for many weekend golfers, but one should try those legs out again for several reasons. David Fay of the USGA has written, “We strongly believe that walking is the most enjoyable way to play golf and that the use of carts is detrimental to the game. This negative trend needs to be stopped now before it becomes accepted that riding in a cart is the way to play golf.” Walking a golf course is good for your health, good for the course’s health and good for the game’s health. The PGA does not allow carts. Everyone knows that walking is the most fundamental of all exercise programs. It makes sense walking a course is good for you. Walking a course is a great part of any exercise program, as has long been proved by numerous scientific studies...not to mention anecdotal evidence and good old common sense. Golf Warm-up Proper warm-up is essential for peak performance in any sport. If one attends any professional sporting event, you see athletes going through a

pre-game warm-up, and pro golfers are no different. By the time tour professionals step to the first tee, they are fully prepared to make their best swings from the opening tee shot.

Try the following routine: 1. Get to the course early. You need enough time to take care of your business in the golf shop, use the restroom, change your shoes, etc. It is important that you do not feel rushed, so a llow time to complete this entire warm-up period at a leisurely pace. Remember, your warm-up routine sets the tempo for the day, so move slowly, and relax. Arrive at the course a minimum of one hour before tee time. 2. Begin warming up on the putting green. Putting is 43 percent of golf and the putting stroke is the slowest and smoothest of all strokes in golf. By spending time warming up on the green first, you will not only be prepared for the speed of the greens, but you will also be starting the day with smooth, deliberate tempo. It makes no sense to visit the range first and get stretched out and limbered up for the opening drive, then stand for 15 minutes nearly motionless on the putting green. Spend the first five minutes putting to a tee or a coin from 20, 30 and 40 feet, plus from a variety of angles. Watch the ball and pay attention to how much the ball rolls. Speed control is critical in putting and time spent judging pace will pay off

on the course. Many students ofte n complain the greens on the course are not the same as the practice greens. The only difference between the two is the pressure to perform. The practice green is cut at the same height with the same mower and is usually constructed in the same manner as the greens on the course. The putts on the course count and the pressure to perform makes the greens seem different. You should then spend another five minutes or so rolling putts to a tee or coin from three to 10 feet. Do not putt at the cup. You never want to see the ball miss the hole, so just use a tee or coin. In addition, if you roll putts at a small target like a tee or coin, the hole will seem huge and, therefore, your confidence level will be high. Confidence is vital to good putting. 3. Spend 10 minutes hitting chips around the green with a tee as a target. To determine how much the ball will roll one must test the firm-

ness of the greens. On hard greens, the ball tends to roll more than on soft greens. In addition, different types of rough make the ball react differently when the ball hits the green. Spending time around the green will give you some Audrey ideas that will help you Harman choose the best greenside Contributing shots during the round, and Writer where to land the ball on the putting surface. 4. Begin your full swing warm-up with stretching. Stretching can improve your range of motion by up to 17 percent. It also helps you avoid injury and it helps relieve chronic joint pain. Dr. Frank Jobe outlines the best pre-round stretching program in “Exercise Guide to Better Golf.” This portion of your warm-up should take approximately 15 minutes. 5. Walk slowly to the practice tee and begin your full swing warm-up with short wedge shots. You should use a short tee for all your shots on the range. This will help you contact the ball crisply, which will breed confidence. Beginning with wedge shots also helps one start his routine with smooth continued on page 26


Chuck Ettinger:Unmatched stability at Sunflower Hills

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school wrestler, reaching the substate as a senior. With 31 years in a business where change is He plays to about a 10 handicap – when he gets the norm, Ettinger is an aberration – as well being to play. a huge asset. He estimates he knows about 60 “I play once a week at the most. If you want to percent of the golfers who play Sunflower includplay golf, the ing nearly 100 last place you percent on want to work Saturdays is at a golf before 10 a.m. course.” “We have He does one guy from have a holeOlathe, Todd in-one. “A 9Millburger, who iron at No. 4,” comes up here he said. “The because he ball hit short knows he’ll see of the green a familiar face and took one in the Pro hop and went Shop,” Johnson in. My said. “He says strangest the faces For an unprecedented 31 years, Chuck Ettinger (right) has shot came on are always worked in the Pro Shop at Sunflower Hills, the last 28 with the 12th hole different at master head professional Jeff Johnson, who is the dean of club at Oak Tree. other courses.” professionals in the greater Kansas City area. I was about Ironically, 150 yards out and hit a 5-iron about 10 yards wide Ettinger had no knowledge of the game of golf of the green but the ball hit a big tree and bounced when he started working at the course while a 14in the hole for a birdie.” year-old sophomore at Piper High School. One golfer he occasionally plays with is his “I started playing that first year with a friend, former chemistry teacher at Kansas City Kansas Dennis Kitterman,” said Ettinger, who was a high Photo by Alan Hoskins

s far as can be determined, no one has worked at one golf course in Kansas City longer than Sunflower Hills master professional Jeff Johnson – except for Chuck Ettinger. The assistant manager at Sunflower Hills, Ettinger started working at the course three days after it opened in 1977 and except for a one-year absence, has been there ever since. And he’ll be there for years to come if Sunflower Hills patrons have anything to say about it. “If I owned a golf course, the first person I’d hire would be Chuck,” offers one long-time golfer who works for a rival course. “Chuck is probably the best tournament director in the world,” said Jerry Reid, one of a large number of Sunflower regulars. “Chuck is the one who does all the tournaments, scoring them and keeping all the handicaps. There are 140 or more seniors, about 100 who show up about once a week and he scores them and makes sure everyone is here when there are special ev ents. He also assigns teams and when someone doesn’t show up, he rearranges the order. He’s always here and the most amazing thing, he’s never made a mistake that I’m aware.” Paul Palmer, a long-time regular who has worked with Ettinger the past three years in the Pro Shop, agrees. “I’m not sure Sunflower could function without him,” Palmer said. “He is really a well organized conscientious young man who just does everything and does it well. He’s very much in the know about everything Sunflower has to offer and is just so totally conscientious about his job.” Ettinger and Johnson first teamed up in January of 1981 when Johnson was named the second head professional at Sunflower Hills. “Any successful operation cannot h appen unless the people who work for the operation are dedicated to that success and without Chuck, our success over the years would not have happened,” Johnson said. Johnson calls Ettinger “Radar” because “he usually knows what I am going to say or ask before I do it. My favorite nickname is ‘Chuckgyver’ after the TG character Macgyver because he has a knack for figuring out things that seem complicated to me. He could fix a golf cart with a paper clip.” Ettinger makes the complicated chore of setting up pairings, tee times, handicaps and tournament scoring with 100 or more golfers look almost effortlessly “Jeff runs the tournaments, I do the paper work,” said Ettinger, who will spend up to two hours in preparation for each event depending on its size. “He pays great attention to detail, keeping track of handicaps, tournaments and the bookkeeping,” Johnson said. “He’s also great when it comes to dealing with the patrons and the general public.”

Community College, Dave Klein. Ettinger earned an AAS in 1981. Not one to back off from a challenge, his rounds are usually played in the company of such big hitters as Reid, Palmer, Bill Fenton, Bob Chatterton, Alan Roger DeLong, Charlie Hoskins Nichols, John Smarekar Contributing and others. Writer Ettinger has seen a lot of outstanding golfers pass through Sunflower Hills in its 32 years including Rob and Jeff Sedorcek, Richard Laing, Chris Gaunce, Dan Mullin, Eric Lashbrook, Chip DeMoss, Don Kuehn, Steve Groom and the late Jack Laurie. Ettinger’s one year away from Sunflower Hills came in 1986 when a better paying job lured him to the GM plant in Fairfax, but when GM opened a new plant, he was one of many who were laid off and returned to the course. He and h is wife, Annette, continue to live in the Piper area. “What else can I say about someone I have worked with for 28 years, longer than I have known my wife,” Johnson said. “His attributes are his ability to improvise and think on his feet and he’s responsible, trustworthy and punctual. But above all else, he’s one of my best friends!”


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Golf fitness - continued from page 24 tempo and rhythm. After hitting 10 wedges or so, begin working from your short irons up to the long irons and woods. Make each swing rhythmic and swing with complete balance control. Your last few full swings should be with the club you intend to use on the first tee, usually a three- or five-wood. Save the final five balls for some smooth, short wedge shots or make full, slow-motion swings that only go 50 to 100 yards with your driver (the Fred Couples Drill). This will help you reinforce the controlled rhythm and balance one would use on the course. 6. Time your routine so that at its completion, you can stroll to the first tee just in time for your group’s assigned time. You never want to stand around for more than a few minutes after warm-up. If there is a delay, stand to the side of the tee and make slow swings and stretch to stay loose. Remember, if you fail to warm up properly, you are setting yourself up to fail when you play. Use the mentality of a professional: make and take the time to warm up for peak performance and better scores. Audrey Harman is a nutrition consultant and can be reached at 913 707-4717. She can also be contacted at NutritionbyAudrey.com.


Golf tips from the Pros ith the golf season under way, many golfers are looking for “The Edge” something to help improve their game. On page 22 we show you how to get in “The Zone.” Add the tips below to those to get in “The Zone,” the next time you’re out on the course

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Short Game Epidemic Deceleration is the #1 cause of death of short game shots. That is why you should take the necessary preventative steps to avoid deceleration. When your club slows down, you loose control of the club and your short game shots will lack quality. Why do you decelerate? The answer is simple; your backswing is too long. If your club goes too far back you have to decelerate to keep from hitting it too far. To avoid deceleration in the short game you

must accelerate. Sorry to sound like “Master of the Obvious” but what I say is true and must be stated. Adopt the ratio of “one part back, two parts through” on nearly all of your short game shots, including putting. For example: if you take the club back 1 foot from the ball, take it through 2 feet past the ball; 2 feet back, 4 feet through; 4 inches back, 8 inches though, etc. This ratio will guarantee an accelerating stroke into the ball, you will maintain control of the club and you will be able to make crisp contact with the ball. Consistent, crisp contact results in predictable flight and roll to get the ball close to the hole. With practice, each backswing length will produce a given, predictable distance. A good distance to use as a key is the 15 yard carry. The club shaft should go back to parallel to

the ground at about thigh height, and then accelerate through until the shaft is vertical with the grip in front of your chest in the followthrough. For distances longer and shorter than 15 yards, adjust the backswing but keep the “one part back, two parts through” approach to the short game. Larry Hadden has been the General Manager and Head Golf Professional of Shawnee Golf & Country Club for 8 years. He has been a PGA Professional for 12 years. He can be reached at Shawnee Golf & Country Club at 913-422-8357. Visit the Club online at www.shawneegolfcc.com. Does the Perfect Golf Swing Exist? The jury is out on whether or not the perfect golf swing exists, and you have to consider that if it did, what would it be. In fact, whose would it be...? Tiger Woods? Arnold Palmer’s? Or perhaps that of Jack Nicklaus? These three guys all have different swings, and who is to say that one is better than the other. None of them are perfect in any case or they would never lose. The Perfect Swing Doesn’t Happen: The

perfect golf swing is likely a personal thing, and if you can swing the club the same way every time, and use a specific club to send the same ball in the same direction and same distance every time, then that is the perfect swing to you. However, can anybody actually do that? I would say no, because it does not happen. There might be the perfect golf swing that is made once in a while by individual players, but nobody has what could be described as THE perfect golf swing. A golfer holing in one has obviously played the perfect golf swing for that particular shot, but everybody who does so can’t possibly claim to have the perfect golf swing. Golf tour pros all seem to have different swings, yet they are all good players. Yes, they make mistakes now again, but they are good, and can’t all have the perfect swing. The Perfect Swing Is A Personal Thing: That must be a personal thing and you can improve your chances of getting as near to it as possible by practicing it as much as possible. If you can play the same shot every time you play it, then that is getting as near to perfection as you are going to get. So, where would you start looking for your perfect swing? First have your existing swing checked out. continued on page 29


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Blackberry Trails Golf Course Blackberry Trails Golf Course is a place where you can enjoy a round of golf in a country atmosphere where you are treated special. Located just 35 minutes south of Kansas City on 71 Highway, Blackberry Trails features bent grass greens, blue grass/fescue fairways, a driving range. Individual, group or junior lessons are available from Blackberry Trails LPGA pro. The facilities are available for tournaments and fundraisers. Leagues and special programs include: Senior (50+) Day on Mondays, Senior Discounts on Wednesdays, Junior Leagues plus a Tuesday night league. For friendly, affordable golf, visit Blackberry Trails 201 E. State Route A Archie, MO 64725 816-430-5737 blackberrytrails.net

Brookridge West Golf Course Brookridge West Golf Course is a challenging 9 hole golf course located off of Antioch just south of 435 in Overland Park. The Par 34 layout will challenge seniors, ladies, juniors, and the advanced golfer alike. Tight fairways and water hazards will keep you focused as you enjoy the scenery of mature trees and meandering creeks. The course is kept in excellent condition with zoysia fairways and tees, featuring difficult but fair bent grass greens. Carts are available, but walking is a breeze. Our Pro Shop offers refreshments and equipment to suit all levels of golfers. Our staff professionals can take care of your every golf need. Call for your tee time today.

10500 Antioch Overland Park, KS 66212 913- 648-5326 brookridgecc.net

Dub’s Dread Golf Club Since its inaugural round in the early 1960’s, Dub’s Dread has hosted several high profile matches between historic golfers such as Jug McSpaden, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicholaus. Walk in their footsteps at this historic golfing landmark. Known for its superb design, premier playing conditions, and outstanding service, Dub’s Dread is a local favorite and a must play for area visitors. Designed with five sets of tees Dub’s Dread offers a yardage range from as little as 5200 yards to as long as 7200 yards. Dub’s Dread is a course that will provide a memorable and enjoyable experience. 12601 Hollingsworth Road, KC, KS 66109 913-871-7616 dubsdreadgolfclub.com

Eagles’ Landing Golf Course Eagles’ Landing Golf Course is regarded as one of the best valued Public golf courses in the Kansas City area. The golf course features bluegrass fairways, bentgrass greens and a choice of four sets of tees to accomodate players of all skill levels. Our golf assocation is one of the largest in the area and has reserved tee times daily for association members. The restaurant/bar is open daily and our banquet facility can accomodate groups from 20 to over 100. Eagles’ Landing is truely the place to play in the southland. 4200 Bong Ave Belton, MO 64012 (816) 318-0004 eagleslandinggolfcourse.com

Golf MD Two of the top golf club fitters in the nation are right here in Kansas City at Golf MD. Golf MD has been serving the golfing community since 1992 by repairing and building custom golf clubs. Bring your clubs to Golf MD for re-gripping, re-shafting and lie, loft and shaft frequency analysis. We have two of the world’s top club

fitters on staff and we take pride in our workmanship and dedication to customer service. We want to make your new club experience the best it can be. Just like the pros on tour, we use the Trackman Launch Monitor to get you a custom fit. And when we build custom clubs we only use quality components. Golf MD is conveniently located at 11231 Strang Line Rd. in Lenexa just south of College Blvd. Visit us online at golf-md.com, call 913-663-5050 or email Mike Dickerson at golfmd@everestkc.net.

GolfStakes.com With Golfstakes.com, you can score golf rounds and side games on ANY web enabled cell phone while playing golf. Sign up is easy and best of all it is FREE! There are over 18,000 courses and 22 different side games to choose from. Games can be played across multiple groups and players can see LIVE updates on the course. Scoring leagues and tournaments has never been easier. Golfstakes also keeps scoring stats so you can see how many birdies, pars, and bogeys you have made and you can lookup previous rounds anytime. Sign up FREE today at golfstakes.com.

Grand Summit Golf & Country Club With an emphasis on quality and affordability, Grand Summit Golf & Country Club offers a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course maintained by one of the most attentive staffs in the area. The entrance to Grand Summit Golf & Country Club is bordered by a progression of trees and shrubs leading to the southern-style clubhouse. Inside, you will be greeted with hospitality from both the golf shop and the grill personnel. The course is demanding but spectacular with its rolling terrain, numerous large trees, and rocky creeks. A wide variety of shots are required of its players. 15101 Grand Summit Blvd Grandview, MO 64030 (816) 331-3978 grandsummitgolfcc.com

Lake Valley Golf and Country Club Voted #1 golf course at the Lake of the Ozarks for the third successive year, Lake Valley offers a unique course layout that features six par 3’s, six par 4’s and six par 5’s. Multiple sets of tees and generous fairways offer players of all skill levels an enjoyable round. The gently rolling terrain offers lush bermuda fairways, zoysia tees and the trickiest greens in mid Missouri. Designed in 1967, the course has matured to perfection. Don’t miss the scenic beauty and friendly atmosphere that make Lake Valley a must play for any golf trip to the Lake. Call (573) 346-7218 to reserve your tee time today! Or find us online at: lakevalleygolf.com

LedgeStone Championship Golf Course A Branson golf course unlike any other. Described by Golf Digest as a “masterpiece of mountain golf architecture,” LedgeStone’s 18-hole championship layout offers the kind of golfing experience where “players don’t want the round to end.” With panoramic vistas of the ancient Ozark Mountains and the spectacular natural beauty of serene water, faultless bent grass greens and tree-lined zoysia fairways, LedgeStone inspires Branson golfers and non-golfers alike. Along with your woods, irons and putter, be sure your golf bag includes a camera when you tackle this Branson golf course! Book your tee time online or contact LedgeStone at: 50 StoneBridge Parkway Branson, MO 65737 417-335-8187 stonebridgebranson.com/ledgestone/

Pro Tour Card The PRO TOUR CARD is the most unique, effective and easy to use golf practice and training aid ever developed. The PRO TOUR CARD is equally effective on right or left handed golfers of all ages and skill levels, it’s easy to use, very affordable and it’s the only golf training aid in the world that provides the instant visual feedback needed to immediately improve all areas of your golf game; while easily fitting into your pocket or golf bag. To learn more about this amazing new


Golf Resource device including video demonstration of select drills, to purchase or find a retailer near you, visit www.protourcard.com or call us at: 1-888-584-6569 Get your PRO TOUR CARD today, play better golf tomorrow!

River Oaks River Oaks is a 18-hole golf course and a 5000 sq. ft. fitness center that features $29 a month family memberships. Membership includes unlimited green fees, access to the fitness center, and includes 8 other courses in this incredible package. GPS equipped golf carts will provide critical information to help focus and improve your golf game. Major improvements have been made to the clubhouse and golf course over the last several years under the new ownership. River Oaks is truly an oasis for the serious golfer, designed by Mother Nature, creating a natural landscape that winds through the foothills. River Oaks is highlighted by rolling fairways and challenging approach shots to the greens. 14204 St. Andrews Drive Grandview, Missouri 64030 816-966-8111 www.greatlifegolf.com

Rockwood Golf Club This short but challenging course rewards accuracy off the tee, while the mature trees lining the fairways will punish a wayward shot. The small and quick greens make Rockwood a quality test for the most skilled short game players and challenges beginners to develop quality short games. Rockwood was once one of the premier golf clubs in the Kansas City area. In fact, Harry S. Truman was a member and report-

Golf Tips - continued from page 27 Video swing analysis is a good way, where a video of your swing is played back slowly so that your swing mechanics can be analyzed. Your golf pro might have this equipment, depending on your golf club, or you might need a day at a golf school that provides that service. What you want is for your golf swing to be analyzed and all the little faults put right, so that

edly learned of his presidential victory while relaxing in the clubhouse. Our friendly staff will make sure you have a great time and a great round of golf. Come and find out for yourself why we are truly “Kansas City’s #1 Golf Value!” You won’t be disappointed! Rockwood is also in a great location, in the heart of the Kansas City metro area, and less than 2 miles from Kauffman Stadium! Rockwood Golf Club 2400 South Maywood Independence, MO 64052 (816) 252-2000 www.rockwoodgolfclub.com

it a putting green, but our greens are designed to give you the truest ball roll and break, durability and attractiveness you’ll find anywhere. Time tested and proven to perform, Sport Court greens can be found in the top teaching facilities and country clubs throughout the country. So whether you’re a recreational golfer looking to add some interest to you backyard or someone who takes their game a little more serious, Sport Court can make it happen. To learn more about our Tour Quality Greens, contact Marc Loe at Sport Court by calling 913- 963-7529.

Shawnee Golf & Country Club

Teetering Rocks Golf Course

Shawnee Golf & Country Club is a 27-hole championship golf course designed with bent grass greens, zoysia fairways and tees, and fescue roughs. The clubhouse features a fully stocked pro shop, 19th Hole Grill, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a state of the art fitness center. The course is highlighted by beautiful rolling elevations, amphitheater backdrops, and greens that slope with the natural terrain. There are four sets of tee boxes offering a challenge to golfers of all ability levels. The signature hole, #17, is one of the most beautiful and toughest holes on Kansas golf courses. 6404 Hedge Lane Terrace Shawnee, KS 913-422-8357 www.shawneegolfcc.com

Take a shot at $10,000 every day at Teetering Rocks golf course in Kansas City Teetering Rocks is the only course in KC with the Verishot hole-in-one program where you can win $10,000 for an ace… And Teetering Rocks is the best golf value and the best kept secret in KC. The course was designed for ALL levels of recreational golfers. Book your next tee time at the beautiful course with the HEART-SHAPED GREEN… Teetering Rocks. 12040 E. 86th Street Kansas City, MO 64138 816-356-1111 teeteringrocks.com

WinterStone Golf Course

Imagine a practice putting green in your own backyard. Sport Court can make that vision a reality. Sport Court specializes in building true Tour-quality practice greens that are engineered to meet the strictest guidelines. Anyone can lay down outdoor carpet and call

Winterstone Golf Course is an upscale championship 18 hole course located off highway 291 on E.Kentucky Road in Independence, Missouri. Winterstone, designedby renowned designer Craig Schriener, is a fabulous layout of rolling hills and big beautiful trees giving it feel unlike any course in the Kansas City area. “A touch of the Lake of the Ozarks” best

when you swing you are at least doing it properly. Fitness And Flexibility Are Important: You might need to get on a golf fitness or flexibility training program so that you are physically able to carry out the rotational movements that make up a good swing. Once you are all set with regard to training and flexibility, you will have to practice. When you swing a club out on the golf course, you don’t want to be thinking about everything

you are doing. You have enough to worry about with missing traps and other hazards than to have to be thinking about each step in your swing. Your backswing, downswing and follow through should all be natural, and carried out without thought. Your stance and grip should automatic, except when you want to play some spin on the ball to fade or draw it. If you practice enough and remember all you

Sport Court

describes the panoramic views as you make your way down the zosia fairways. Winterstone offers holes running contiguous to each other, unobstructed by housing developements, unusual for modern public layouts. It’s pure golf in a great location, one of the best places to play in Kansas City and all of Missouri. Winterstone also offers a 19th hole Pavillion that provides open air dinning before or after the round or closed in with folding glass doors for year round comfort. The Pavillion would be a great spot for a reception. WinterStone Golf Course 17101 E. Kentucky Road Independence, MO 64058 816-257-5755 www.winterstonegolf.com

Zouire Marketing Group Zouire Marketing Group is the official online provider of US Open and USGA members merchandise, shop online at www.usgacatalog.com. Check out our bi-annual warehouse sale. Save 40%-70% off licensed name brand apparel and much more. Caps, polo shirts, t-shirts, windshirts, both men’s and ladies. Choose from decorated US Open and Kentucky Derby merchandise as well as plenty of undecorated salesman samples. Save on brands such as GEAR for Sports, Ashworth, Adidas, Cutter & Buck, and many more!! 7226 West Frontage Road Merriam, KS 66203 (West side of I-35, on Frontage Road between 75th & 67th) Hours: July 8-10 (10 am-6 pm) and July 11 (8 am-12 noon) 913-384-6888 www.zouire.com

have been taught, then you should be able to swing the club the same way all the time, and that will be your perfect golf swing. This tip was provided by Mike Pedersen of PerformBetterGolf.com. Mike is a Golf Swing Biomechanic specializing in helping golfers produce more power and distance in their golf swings. Visit his website at www.performbettergolf.com for more tips, and power golf training products.


EVENT CALENDAR

UPCOMING EVENTS 6/5-7

Downtown Days (50 Hwy & 3rd St.) , Downtown Lee’s Summit, MO

6/6

Hospital Hill Run, Crown Center. Kansas City, MO

6/6

Quest to Walk, Crown Center, Kansas City, MO

6/8- 6/25 6/13

Camp WIN

Following Sam’s & Chris’ Footsteps 5K Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, MO

6/13

Rock Chalk...Run! Lawrence, Lawrence, KS

6/14

American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, Kansas Speedway, KC, KS

6/14-8/9

St. Sebastian Sports Summer Co-ed Softball League

6/19

3rd Annual Sports Commission Night at “the K,” Kansas City, MO

6/20

Run the Good Race, Sanctuary of Hope, Kansas City, KS

620

Lucky 13.1 Half marathon and 5K, Peculiar, MO

6/26- 6/27

Buck O’Neil Negro Leagues Baseball Classic, Cleveland Park, KC, MO

6/27

Tour de Lakes

6/28- 6/29 6/29

2nd Annual Okoye Golf Classic,The National Golf Club, Parkville, MO Jewish Community Center Kids Triathlon, JCC, Overland Park, KS

If you have a sports event you’d like included in our calendar, send it to sfisch@kcsportspaper.com at least 45 days before the event.

UPDATE: HORSE N Around Hoops On Saturday, June 20 from 10 am to 4 pm HORSE N AROUND HOOPS will be played at The Power and Light District as part of the 810 WHB Big Boy Toy Show. Attendees will be treated to celebrity HORSE exhibitions and there also will be random public drawings to play HORSE at the event. The City Championships will be held at Crown Center on Friday, July 17. David Kalb, who gained fame by beating LeBron James in HORSE, Cylk Cozart, from the movie White Men Can’t Jump and comedian, Jimmie “J.J.” Walker will come to Kansas City to participate in both the HORSE Championship and the KC Sports

Commision annual awards banquet. Cozart and Kalb are partnering with Kansas City Sports promoter, Keith Zimmerman, in launching HORSE N AROUND HOOPS on a National Tour. For more info, go to www.doubledogsports.com or contact Zimmerman at 913-568-8142.

HORSE N AROUND HOOPS participants at a recent event at the Genesis School in KC, MO

EACH MONTH put your business in front of

OVER 65,000 CONSUMERS with Kansas City Sports & Fitness Our unique marketing programs can provide your business with advertising and marketing exposure through

PRINT  RADIO  WEB DIRECT MARKETING  PUBLIC RELATIONS “We have price-conscious solutions for businesses of all sizes and budgets” To find out more or to be in our next issue,

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EDITORIAL CALENDAR: SPECIAL SECTIONS JULY

SPORTS, HEALTH & FITNESS RESOURCE AUGUST

FANTASY FOOTBALL & CHIEFS SPECIAL REPORT SEPTEMBER

CHIEFS SPECIAL REPORT HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RACING REPORT

or email sfisch@kcsportspaper.com

OCTOBER

July Advertising Deadline: June 25

CHIEFS SPECIAL REPORT

Duck Derby for childrenstlc.org Join the flock! Be part of the 2nd Annual RED Development Duck Derby on the Brush Creek at the Country Club Plaza on June 28, 2009. This fun-filled family event features entertainment, food, games, a Quack Kids Zone, and of course the Duck Race on the creek. Watch more that 18,000 adopted ducks race down the creek for prizes and in support of the children at Children’s TLC.

Adopt a Duck at www.duckrace.com/kc for a chance to win this year’s Grand Prize – a new 2009 Harley Davidson VRSC™ VRod® Muscle™ motorcycle donated by Central Harley-Davidson South.

“Tall Timber” visit KC Sports Radio Show KC Sports & Fitness radio show hosts Steve Fisch and Jim Potoski were recently joined by three area high school basketball stars who are each going on to play college basketball next Fall. They are (from left) 6-4 Morgan Johnson (Platte County to Iowa), 6-1 Michael Dixon (Lee's Summit West to Missouri) and 6-3 Heather Howard (Shawnee Mission West to Oklahoma State) . Good luck to these area athletes as they pursue their educational and athletic careers.


Kansas City Sports & Fitness  

June 2009 Issue

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