Editor’s Note: Duffy Martin passed away on the evening of April 17, 2015, just a few weeks short of his 99th birthday. Our team is grateful for the beautiful day we spent with him last summer, and hope this piece helps honor the memory of an exceptional Oklahoman. ~
Sitting in the dining room of Duffy Martin’s home just off the 11th hole at Cedar Valley golf course, the four of us were rolling with laughter. Duffy had just activated his “Handigas” fart toy for the fourth or fifth time, punctuating the sound effect needed for another story. Continue reading EPTOM: Cedar Valley, OK (“Duffy IS Cedar Valley”)→
He’s not the most sympathetic figure. He’s not easy to root for anymore and he’s made a colossal mess of his personal life. But Tiger Woods could use a hug.
The man was once on top of the world. Woods was at the pinnacle of the game of golf and on a collision course with history. He was one of the most dominant, mentally tough athletes of all time. He was married to a Swedish blonde so gorgeous that countries would go to war for her. With that wife and two beautiful kids, the Woods’ looked like the family that comes in the picture with the frame you’d buy at Hobby Lobby. In other words, Woods had it all.
Now he seems pathetic.
Everyone knows about his fall from grace off the course, his public humiliation, and his divorce.
But he’s just as pathetic on the golf course. Thursday’s 77 in the first round of the PGA Championship was Woods’ worst first round at a major in his career. He hit into 13 bunkers and played the last 13 holes at ten over par. After the round, Woods called it a “calamity.” Continue reading Tiger Woods Needs a Hug→
Its Fourth of July weekend and we as Americans have so much to be thankful for in this great country of ours. Despite our struggles and our differences, we still have our freedom and a way of life that is the envy of the rest of the world. I for one firmly believe in the concept of American exceptionalism.
But just because we are exceptional as a country, does that mean all of our sports have to be exceptional as well?
Two weeks ago the media was gushing over Rory McIlroy’s performance at the US Open. The so-called “experts” were heaping praise on McIlroy while simultaneously lamenting the demise of American golf. “Where is the next great American golfer?” they wondered. “Is America losing ground to the rest of the world?” was a question of much debate among golf writers and analysts. Of course those conversations led to “is there an American kid out there who’s going to take over for Tiger?”It was one big pity party. It couldn’t possibly be that the rest of the world is catching up, could it? No, no something must be wrong with golf in this country.
If you’ve watched any tennis at Wimbledon over the last couple weeks, the conversation has been exactly the same. Hosts, reporters, and commentators all emphasizing the downfall of American tennis and wondering if it will ever get back to the level it once was when names like McEnroe, Connors, Evert, Sampras, Agassi, and Williams carried the dialogue.
I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but this doesn’t bother me at all.
Four years ago, Major Dan Rooney was on a commercial flight shortly after finishing his second of three tours of duty in Iraq. As the plane touched down, the pilot made an announcement. “Ladies and gentleman, we have an American hero on board – Corporal Brock Bucklin – and his brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Corporal Bucklin’s family receives him in his final homecoming.”
Rooney, an F-16 pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, looked out the window as a casket was carried off the plane. Behind a fence just beyond the tarmac, Rooney could see Corporal Bucklin’s family members and a four-year old boy who would grow up without a father.
Every passenger on that flight was moved by what they witnessed, but Major Rooney was also inspired. He couldn’t get the image of that little boy out of his head.
Back home in Broken Arrow, Major Rooney decided something had to be done to help the children of America’s fallen soldiers. He founded a charity called the Folds of Honor Foundation with the aim of providing college scholarships to the spouses and children of service members disabled or killed as a result of their sacrifice to our nation. Rooney chose the name to represent the 13 folds that form the triangle shape of an American flag that is folded at a soldier’s funeral. Corporal Bucklin’s son, Jacob, received the very first Folds of Honor scholarship. Four years later, the Folds of Honor Foundation has awarded 2,000 scholarships and raised $8.5 million for the dependents of America’s fallen and disabled soldiers.
The game of golf is brutal. It is a rage-inducing, mind-melting, often pointless endeavor. The only thing worse than a bad round of golf is hearing about someone else’s good round of golf.
So if you are among the countless ranks of weekend hackers, or if you’re just the jealous type, read no further.
You won’t want to hear about the tale of the Bensch sisters from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Erica and Lindsey Bensch play golf for the University of Central Oklahoma. On November 9th, during a practice round at Kickingbird Golf Club in Edmond, Erica, a junior, and Lindsey, a freshman, each scored a hole-in-one. Two sisters, two aces.
It happened for Erica on the 3rd hole, a 124-yard par 3. The 20-year old stepped to the tee and hit a routine gap wedge.
“When it was in the air, my coach was hollering, ‘That’s in! That’s in!’, but I wasn’t sure,” recalls Erica.
Michael Bond is the UCO women’s golf coach and he is not to be doubted. The ball landed on the green, took one hop and rolled straight home.
“It was shock,” said Erica. “I wasn’t expecting it. My heart started racing, and a couple of guys lifted me up in the air. There were lots of high fives.”
The excitement had barely died down when little sis grabbed her 8-iron on the 11th tee. Lindsey, who already had a hole-in-one to her credit, remembered exactly what she was thinking as she sent the ball toward her target, 142 yards away.