June 27, 2011
Legends of Wisconsin Photo Gallery
MADISON, Wis. -- It was a star-studded affair on Monday afternoon as former UW athletes joined up with coaches and donors at the 10th annual Legends of Wisconsin Classic at University Ridge.
Roughly 140 golfers, including over 40 "legends" from Wisconsin athletics history, took to the course under skies that shifted from sunny to overcast throughout the day. Luckily for all involved, the rain that was in the forecast held off.
The day began with an instructional seminar from two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North on the green of the ninth hole. Among his advice, North said:
If you can putt it, do it. It's much easier to control.
Get the ball on the green as fast as you can, which means that sometimes a five-iron punch shot is better than trying to loft the ball.
Make a triangle with your shoulders and hands and just move the triangle like a pendulum. Have as little movement as possible.
When chipping on a down slope, you want your shoulders to be parallel to the slope of the ground you're on.
From just off the green in deep rough, your best options are "chipping" with a hybrid wood or "putting" with a wedge.
On an uphill slope, it's easier to control a nine-iron and use it like a sand wedge instead of trying to lob it.
Out of the sand, use a sand wedge instead or a 60 or 64-degree club as there is not enough bounce or flange.
With the right technique out of the sand, you can hit anywhere from two to eight inches behind ball and still succeed, giving you room for error.
On a buried sand shot, close the club face down so the club digs. Remember the ball will roll further on buried shot.
The last thing you want to do is swing hard and lose your balance in a fairway bunker. Take one more club than you think.
From a fairway bunker, choke up at the same depth that you've dug in with your feet.
Play the ball back in your stance so you always hit the ball first.
After North's lesson, the golfers ate lunch before departing at 1:00 for a four-person scramble.
Among the pairings, former football player Jim Leonhard was partnered up with former women's hockey standout and Patty Kazmaier Award winner, Jessie Vetter.
Leonhard saw his NFL season end prematurely in 2010 due to a broken leg, but he said that he's been cleared to play and he's working his way back to being 100 percent. As for Vetter, she said that Monday's outing wasn't her first time out this season, as evidenced by a picture-perfect drive on the No. 2, 515-yard, par-5.
Perhaps the most intimidating foursome featured former UW offensive linemen, Joe Thomas and Mark Tauscher.
Thomas is rated among the top offensive linemen currently in the NFL, while Tauscher recently took part in a ceremony to receive his ring from the Green Bay Packers for winning Super Bowl XLV, though he did not have the ring with him at the course.
Among other notables at the course on Monday, Bret Bielema, Ron Dayne, Lee Evans, Garrett Graham, Bill Ferrario, Chris Ghidorzi, John Moffitt, Cecil Martin, Barry Richter, Mike Eaves, Bo Ryan, Tarek Saleh, Matt Shaughnessy and Scott Tolzien.
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