San Antonio residents had the opportunity to play with a Champions Tour professional prior to the AT&T Championship presented by Alcatel-Lucent.
The AT&T Championship ran a contest on its social media sites leading up to the tournament which involved contestants writing a paragraph on why they loved golf. The four who submitted the winning paragraphs were selected to compete in a long-drive contest, with the two longest drivers set to win the chance to play in the Monday pro-am.
When it came time to compete, the four contest winners were informed they would all get to play with Champions Tour professional James Mason. Unfortunately, Curtis Taylor was unable to play due to a work-related issue, but, even though they didn't capture a prize, the other three contestants had an enjoyable day at Oak Hills Country Club.
Below are the four paragraphs submitted by the winners.
Bill Batey, (Age: 59)
"I was bitten by the golf bug 48 years ago. Some call this bite a love for the game. Others call it an addiction. I can attest to both options. Golf can evoke a love-hate relationship. How often have I hated the game because I could not consistently master it, but inevitably the love of its challenge always brings me back. Golf can bring you great elation or utter disappointment. Most golfers understand that one's expectations are usually greater than their ability. Finally, golfers are eternal optimists. We believe two things without exception, when we shoot a good score; we believe we'll score better the next round or when we shoot a bad score; we believe we'll score better the next round. Is there any other way to think? By the way, I'm 59. I carry a handicap under 5. My email name, kneesaregone, is based on the fact that both of my knee joints have been replaced. Thank you for this opportunity to have a chance to participate in your pro-am event."
Hamilton L. Howard, Lt Col, USaF (Age: 43)
"Thank you for allowing me to enter. I love the game of golf primarily because of the tremendous challenge, competition and camaraderie. Also, what other sport allows you to enjoy its riches from childhood to well into your retirement years? Golf also has taught, and continues to teach, me great life lessons. Dedication, determination, fair play, and focus are critical to success in both life and golf. When I tried to practice dedication and determination on the golf course as a teen, I'm sure it helped prepare me to fight my way through Air Force pilot training and throughout my career. Additionally, I find myself using focus and fair play lessons when teaching my children a new game or helping them with homework. Golf is not merely a game, but a passion. A passion I plan on enjoying for many years to come. Thank you again and I look forward to watching the AT&T Championship!"
Robert Cadena (Age: 35)
"Why I love golf: I have been an avid golf fan since my teens. I played baseball in college, but always wished that I had also played golf in college. Golf has provided discipline and focus to my busy life. It is a fun, relaxing (sometimes!) sport that is easy to get into but hard to master. Even though I will never make it the ranks of PGA pro, I will always love the game of golf and continue to support its growth in the San Antonio community in any way I can. Thank you!"
Curtis Taylor (Age: 48)
"It's impossible to write in just a paragraph what the game of golf means to me -- all the camaraderie, great friends and the excitement of hitting a perfect shot or having a dollar handed to you in the club house. I will tell you what it means to me now. I was a scratch golfer until about 8 yrs ago when I had to go through disk-replacement surgery in my neck. The surgery was too late and has made the game much more challenging. I dealt with the frustration for a while but eventually quit the game for over a year. Over that time, I realized all the things I missed about the game besides being a good player. A beautiful walk in the park no matter where your golf ball might travel, the smiles and jokes of your golfing group, and, of course, the occasional good shot that makes you wonder why you cant do that every time. I no longer golf for my score or to be the best that day. I have come back to what brought me to the game to begin with, and I love it!"