Friday, May 6

Condoleezza Rice Tees Off in Birmingham

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE Condoleezza Rice wasted no time on the first tee at Shoal Creek during the pro-am at the Regions Tradition, the year’s first major on the Champions Tour. Forgoing a practice swing, Rice teed the ball and smacked it outside of the ropes. And off she went with Hall of Famer Tom Watson and her other playing partners.

Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News reported that Rice “looked nervous early.” Nervous or not, Rice appeared at times to be as serious and resolute about her golf game as she was about shaping the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration.

Rice ignored Watson’s suggestion to tee off closer on the 2nd hole, later saying it’s harder to get the ball as high in the air from the shorter tees. She is her own person, off and on the golf course.

“I know at Stanford we used logic,” Rice said to Watson, a Stanford alum. “Today we’re going to use brute strength.”

It was the Birmingham native’s second pro-am at a golf course where she would not have been welcomed two decades ago. Rice became a Shoal Creek member in 2009. On Wednesday she marveled that the girl who couldn’t enter a Birmingham movie theater later became secretary of state.

Rice caught the golf bug in 2005 while vacationing in Atlanta. She likes to keep track of fairways hit, number of shots to the green and total putts to analyze how she can improve her scores.

On the 3rd hole, Rice took Watson’s advice to hit from the front tees. “It’s about time,” Tom kidded. The Shoal Creek member sent her drive right down the middle.

−The Armchair Golfer

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1 comment:

Brian Kuehn said...

It is hard for me to consider anyone without a USGA handicap as a serious golfer. Ms. Rice should sign up with GHIN now that she is a member at a local club and playing more regularly.