John Smoltz is a pitcher, a Hall of Fame pitcher. He's a broadcaster. Some people wanted him to run for the U.S. Senate. Now he's going to try his hand at professional golf. He will try to qualify for the U.S. Open golf championship in a qualifier at Marietta Country Club on May 10th. He penned an article in the AJC where he talks about his attempt to make the Open:
Honestly, this is just a gauge for me. I want to see what it’s like to try to make the U.S. Open. [...]
I played with [PGA Tour pro] Heath Slocum before the Masters. For the most part, I stay up with the longest pro hitters. What separates me is their control of clubs. That's one thing I'd like to get to, to know the ball tendency and how far a shot like a knockdown is going to go for me.
At Pebble [Beach, the Open site in June], I played the AT&T Championship and a lot of other rounds. Back when we played Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco three times a year, we would driven down there for an off day.
What's next for Smoltz? The World Poker Tour? Well...
My caddie will be a friend who has played that course for a long time, Josh Arieh, who is on the World Poker Tour. He reads greens well. I need to be able to trust his knowledge.
This is not quite Michael Jordan going from basketball to baseball, or... well... Michael Jordan going from basketball to golf. But this is an interesting side story to the baseball season for one of the stars of Atlanta sports. Smoltz has long been a golfer, and not just a casual golfer at that. He's played with some of the greats of the game, and is a friend of Tiger Woods. It will be fun to watch to see if Smoltzy can go far in the qualifying, or even make the Open.