Wednesday, July 16, 2008

18 holes with Clemson's Bowden

In another two weeks, Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden will be immersed in the start of preseason practice, dealing with all the things a head coach of a likely top-10 team has to deal with.

On Tuesday, however, Bowden spent the day playing golf at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, hosting an annual outing for media and athletic staff members before the crush of the season arrives.

I was paired with Bowden, sharing a cart with him, and though our golf didn't exactly sparkle, spending four hours with him away from football was a treat.

He recently returned from the annual family vacation with his father and brothers and kids and grandkids to Panama City, Fla., where the focus may be more on golf than football.

"My dad plays 36 holes a day every day and he plays in the heat of the day," Tommy said. "If you're just going to play 18 holes, you'd better take your own car because he's not leaving."

Bowden is a solid -- and quick -- golfer who hit several good shots during the day, but he doesn't play as regularly as some coaches. By his own admission, he's no Steve Spurrier on the golf course, but he has fun.

At The Reserve, a beautiful Jack Nicklaus-designed course nestled among the hills alongside Lake Keowee, Bowden would stop the cart on bridges to look into creeks for snakes -- we saw one black snake sunning itself -- and he looked longingly at the lake when the course bumped against it.

He lives on Lake Hartwell near Clemson and, like the rest of us, stared at how far down the water is, leaving boats stranded on the shore in places. Bowden also talked about how much he enjoys taking his boat on the water when he has a few hours.

As for the golf, Bowden joked that he needed to stack his team with good players one year so he could win the tournament he hosts.

He didn't do it this year. Maybe next year.

-- Photo (above right) taken of Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden before participating in his annual media golf outing in Sunset, S.C., on Tuesday, July 15. (Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)


Anonymous said...

Golfing with an Tommy Bowden. Must have been awesome! Did he check out your package and tell you he was only one chip shot away from winning the tournament?

Anonymous said...

Likely top 10 is a far cry from 22nd... that's as far as I read