Now is the time of year that our fine community really shines and proves that this is truly the “Golf Capital of Tennessee.”

I have promised myself that it is time for me to spend a great deal more time on the golf courses than I have for several years now. It’ll take a lot of sandpaper and maybe even a little sandblasting to get the rust off my game but I am determined to do so. Both my friends play golf and I have a solid mindset to once again become at least a little proficient at the sport.

Now, mind you, I never had the game to compete with the likes of “Boogie” Moon, Tom Flynn, Lane Tollett, Pat Burk and a few others but I could at least play well enough to enjoy it. My goals really aren’t that lofty and I simply want to be able to beat the likes of about five folks that I consider personal nemeses of mine.

By the end of this golfing season I will have played and defeated these five “local yokels” that seem to always have a differing opinion from mine.

First, there’s “Mr. Electricity” Hoss Wyatt. He’s probably the only golfer that still uses orange golf balls. He lets his loyalty to the Volunteers play a role in everything he does.

Then there’s “Above all you need a roof” Jack Napier. Our golfing days go back a long way, from the Clay County Country Club to a cow pasture just outside of Atlanta. He’s beaten me many more times than I can count, but that’s about to come to an end.

Next will come “Mr. Unlucky”, insurance magnate John Blevins. He’s the only golfer in the county who would give Tiger Woods strokes. His overconfidence totally overwhelms his common sense and he too is due for a bit of a comeuppance.

Following Mr. Blevins comes my former physician, the “world traveler” Buck Wood. I can talk about him now that he is retired and he cannot hurt me. He has played everywhere from Alaska to Peru in the past year and may pose a threat to me but I believe I can take him. I think the fact that I am getting older and more prone to sickness may have contributed to his retirement at such an early age.

Last but not least is that “Braggadocio Barrister” who has a secondary major in bovinity, Thomas E. Looney. This will really be the feather in my cap. For those of you who might not know, Tom has pastureland overlooking the first green and second tee at Lake Tansi Village. He has gone so far as to train some in his herd to bellow loudly when his opponents are trying to putt or hit their tee shots there. For that reason our match will have to be played at a “neutral course.”

Of course it will be late in the year when I am prepared for these minor challenges but gentlemen get ready because there will be a “Slaughter in September.” I plan to warm up with the likes of Donnie Dixon, David Potter and Eddie Polson. They can hit the ball a long way but they seldom know the direction the ball will take.

I am throwing this gauntlet down in such a public manner to make sure that I work hard enough to achieve my goals.

Speaking of goals, the Lady Vols fell just a little short as they fell to North Carolina. That was as sloppy as I’ve seen a Pat Summitt team play. Their lack of speed really showed but she has several signees coming in next year to overcome that problem.

At least Connecticut is also out of the running. What name did Diana Taurasi play under this year?

What kind of idiot does it take to drive a vehicle onto a golf course green? That recently happened to number one at River Run. I just can’t see what kind of enjoyment that could produce.

Well, I’ve got to go now and commiserate over the fact that Barry Bonds’ life is a “shambles” and also to celebrate the limiting of touchdown celebrations in the NFL.


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Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent, and his column appears each Friday.

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