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September 19, 2013

Chris Whitfield: Aces, beards and links for a cause

It has often been said that golf is a game for a lifetime. And one of my favorite stories I’ve had the chance to write this year was about the group of older gentlemen who routinely play at Indian Trace Golf Club in Chatsworth.

That group of guys give me hope that my friends and I can somehow con our wives into allowing us to go to the golf course each week.

But golf is also a game about perseverance, and a recent hole-in-one shows that no matter how good you are, that one lucky shot can elude you for a long time.

Harold “Sappy” Wood has been playing the game since 1959. Today, he is 84 years old, and last week, he recorded his first hole-in-one on Tunnel Hill Golf Course’s par-3, 150-yard fifth hole.

The shot was witnessed by Lamar Brown, Kyle Burnett, Don Groves and Charlie Stubblefield.

Now, before you think this was just one good shot in a round, consider that Wood’s score for the day was a 3-over 75. At 84.

I’ll be happy if I can just make it to the first hole at 84. God bless you, Sappy. The rest of us hacks hope to be just like you one day.

• ZZ Top has been around the rock music scene since the late 1960s and the three-piece ensemble of Frank Beard, Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill has remained intact since the 1971 release of “First Album.”

With their rocking guitar rhythms, double entendre lyrics and the signature beards of Gibbons and Hill out front, the band has been iconic in rock circles, earning induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

The band has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to the help of one of its signature pieces — “Sharp Dressed Man” — which is the introduction theme to the hit A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty.”

So what does a few guys headed to “LaGrange” in a pair of “Cheap Sunglasses” looking for some “Legs” have to do with this golf notes column?

Turns out that Beard is something of a fan of the game, and the group was in the area last week to play a concert in honor of KZ-106 FM’s 35th anniversary at Chattanooga’s Memorial Auditorium.

Beard, his dog Gizzmo and Beard’s son Nico headed to Nob North for a round. Despite his name, Beard — ZZ Top’s drummer — is the one in the band with the most low-key facial hair. Nob North staff snapped a picture of the group and sent it to me to confirm the celebrity sighting.

There was no word on scoring, but I’m thinking Gizzmo took home most of the money.

• As so often is the case during the fall, there are plenty of fundraising golf tournaments to choose from in the area.

This month, two options are a two-person scramble that will benefit the Coahulla Creek High School baseball program (Sept. 29 at Nob North) and another tournament that will help Dalton Organization of Churches United for People (Sept. 30 at The Farm).

For more details on those events as well as tournaments in October and November, please go online to daltonnow.com/events and check out our Local Sports Calendar. You can also find details there on how to submit an announcement for your golf event.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen who loves playing golf as often as he can. Have a local golf note you’d like for him to highlight? Write to chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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