Every sports fan is guilty of it at one point or another. Hurling forth the phrase “That doesn’t look so hard,” or “I can do that,” comes more natural to some than lifting a hoagie from a plate to their mouth.
I received a chance to see how “easy” it is for the golf pros Monday morning during the Boeing Classic Media Day at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. The event was a lead-in to the fifth annual Boeing Classic, which takes place Aug. 24-30 — allowing plenty of time for the course to heal after sports writers, radio personalities and television reporters have left their mark.
My analysis after taking a shot at the 7,183-yard, par 72 course isn’t any different than I anticipated: The pros earn their pay.
The beautiful course features hilly terrain that varies in elevation from 575 to 870 feet above sea level. Oh, and if I didn’t get my point across, it’s challenging.
Several holes stood out, including the 395-yard hole No. 12. The view of Snoqualmie Falls was unbelievable, but it also provided my best performance of the day. After two solid hits and a chip onto the green, I lipped out a 15-foot par putt and tapped in for bogey. Hole No. 9, a par 3, requires an 180-yard shot over a monstrous body of water known as the “man eater.” And of course, you can’t forget the signature hole No. 14. The 448-yard par 4 features an 80-foot drop in elevation from the tee to the green, and the option to shoot over a deep canyon, or play short. Perhaps the most memorable aspect for me was the 107 bunkers on the course, most of which I found on my way to a stellar 45 over par.
I shared in the Media Day experience with Bellevue Reporter sports writer Joel Willits, who I did a series of golf course reviews with last summer. I was also joined by Lane Gammel, a super nice (and patient) guy, who is director of communications and broadcasting for the Seattle Seahawks. The fourth member of our group, Seattle P.I. columnist Jim “Go 2 Guy” Moore, didn’t show. While I’m sure it would have been a pleasure to meet Jim, his absence no doubt saved me from becoming column fodder.
I’ve never been to the actual Boeing Classic, but I’m intrigued now. I need to see how the pros handle one of the most challenging courses that I’ve ever set foot on. This year’s event will feature defending champion Tom Kite, and four others destined for the World Golf Hall of Fame, including Isao Aoki, Ben Crenshaw, Bernhard Langer and Gary Player. Along with an entertaining field of golfers, the event will also help support the Heart Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center and The First Tee, an organization devoted to education for children. Tournament tickets (Aug. 28-30) are only $40 for all three days — quite the bargain if you ask me. No question I’ll be there — with a hoagie in hand. For more information on the event go to www.boeingclassic.com.