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Golf Life: Angie Everhart

"I started playing golf when I was five. My parents are avid golfers, and they would take me to their club, Ohio Prestwick Country Club. I pretty much grew up on the course there, where the pros taught us all how to play. I was actually the junior club champ! We'd go out in groups in the morning and just make divots all over the place. We didn't have chaperones, but I was well trained in terms of golf etiquette, although I do have that fiery temper. But I can't remember throwing my clubs or breaking anything with them or any of that. . . . That was all later, in my private life!

"Being a little kid, you don't listen to your parents much, but now I listen to them all the time—they're much smarter now that I'm older. My dad used to be down to a scratch but probably plays to about a six or seven now. (And, by the way, he was named after Bobby Jones.) He tells me what's going on and he lines me up. And my mother is a phenomenal golfer. I aspire to play like her. They've always lived on a course, both when I was growing up and now that they're down in Arizona, and we play whenever we can, but it's still not as often as I'd prefer.

"I like to go down to Michael Jordan's charity tournament [at the One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas]. I mean, gee, that's rough, isn't it?All the athletes . . . that's a time you just don't forget. And this year we won! John Smoltz was my partner, and we played with Rollie Fingers and Judd Nelson in the final round. Our first day out there was with Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. I was worried that Barry was going to be kind of a bully, but he was in really good spirits. I was in heaven. That's the best part of celebrity tourneys—I'm outnumbered by men like ninety-nine to one. I never thought I was good enough to compete until recently, because there's usually an eighteen-handicap rule. But that's the advantage of being a girl, I guess. They bend the rules for me.

"John and I played well together, and he's one hell of a golfer. My long game was on, and his short game is excellent, so we played to each other's strengths really well. He's a superb athlete and a wonderful family man, and his PMA—Positive Mental Attitude—was amazing. He'd hit a bad shot and then be like, 'Okay—let's find a happy place.' And it works. Now I'm going to have to beat Janet Jones's record [Wayne Gretzky's wife had won Jordan's tourney the previous two years].

"After that, I won the longest drive in Gretzky's tournament at Sherwood. I think I hit my three-wood 270 yards. But it's playing out of the sand that kills me. I mean, it's fun to rub the long drives in while playing with men, but they get their revenge during the rest of the game.

"I did have one guy—he's a famous musician and a very good golfer—tell me at a charity tournament that women should play from the men's tees if they want equal rights. And I was like, Wow. I couldn't believe he said that. But I still outdrove him, and the rest of the day his teammates kept making fun of him. All the other guys stuck up for me.

"I really should take a few more lessons, but I just can't get too technical about it. I usually hit the ball the farthest when I don't try to kill it. I mean, I've been doing it since I was a kid, so it's more of a natural thing. I'm lucky that way. But I've been trying to keep my right shoulder down because I've been standing more on my left foot than on my right, and it seems to help me hit it straighter. For me, though, the most important thing—aside from just keeping my eye on the ball—is to get up there and take a deep breath and exhale before I go. I don't take the game too seriously. Sometimes it's work and sometimes it's play, but if I make a bad shot, I'll just cuss and move on. Usually after the next shot it's 'I love this game!'

"It used to be that there weren't enough women out there playing, so the fashions weren't that cool. But in the last few years that's changed. My background is in fashion, and it's nice to have some hip clothes out on the course, both for men and women.

"I've met Tiger, and I like Tiger, but I don't know if he's—sexy, you know?I liked Payne Stewart. Now, he was sexy. Any guy that can get out there and wear that kind of stuff is cool in my book."

A Model Swing
ANALYSIS BY CLAUDE HARMON III
Angie's address position is good, though her upper-body position is forcing her weight too much to the left. Her take-away is fine but will get steep as she turns. Because of her address, her top-of-backswing position has a little reverse weight shift. Her left leg is bending and her right leg straightening, which causes her right hip to get very high. Her downswing is steep and narrow, and her legs still look weak. As she comes into impact, her hips slide rather than turn, causing her to lose power. She does get to a nice finishing position. If she could get her upper body a little more right at address she'd be able to create more power as she turns. And she needs to keep her legs solid at the top of her swing.

Scorecard ANGIE EVERHART
AGE 34
HANDICAP 27
MOVIES Last Action Hero, Jade, Love in Paris, The Real Deal, Bandido
FAVORITE COURSES Pebble Beach; Cypress Point; Bel-Air; Sherwood
EQUIPMENT Callaway Big Bertha irons and driver, Bobby Jones putter

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