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  • Bill Chastain

Witness-less Hole in One...

A round of golf at Atlanta's Candler Park prompted a hypothetical question. But first, the backstory.

I walked the nine-hole, par-31 course by myself. The weather was beautiful, the seniors green fee was even better--$6. I was 5-over par when I reached No. 4, a 125-yard par-3. The hole looked longer, so I decided to try a 7-iron. The plan was to swing easy and play the ball from left to right.

Golfers like me--carrying 20-plus handicaps--rarely have plans. And when they do, the success rate is comparable to Gilligan's Island escape plans. I made solid contact. Could my plan be coming to fruition? I squinted, but couldn't follow the ball's flight. When I got to the green, I found my bright-yellow Callaway a foot from the cup.

Now, for that hypothetical question. Would I have been better off to have made a hole in one without a witness? Or, did I have a better outcome? After all, I sank the birdie putt. And, I don't have to take to the grave the knowledge that I made an unconfirmed ace.

Answering my own question: I'll take the ace. Your thoughts?

When you say "bear with me," is it bear or bare? I never was quite sure, so I finally looked it up. It's "bear." "Bare" means to reveal or uncover. "Bear with me" means to hold on a moment. Homophones can be thorny.

Beat Bobby Flay is my favorite cooking show. A friend asked me what dish would I chose to challenge Bobby if given the chance. Well, I dang sure wouldn't select anything with meat. Bobby is a barbecuing fool! I think I'd go with ratatouille. Bobby's version would have southwest flavors and taste nothing like ratatouille.

And the winner? Yeah, I still like Bobby's chances.

Thus far in the baseball playoffs, I've heard several comments about how a player should have bunted in a certain situation. I used to question the lack of bunting until I talked to a couple of players about the subject.

Carl Crawford allowed that bunting was not so easy.

"Otherwise everybody would be doing it," he said.

When major leaguers do bunt, they don't square around like you're taught in Little League. Instead, they use a closed stance. I asked Ben Zobrist why. He explained that squaring to bunt puts the hitter in a vulnerable position. Getting out of the way of 95 to 100 mph fastballs is no easy task.

An example of what could happen did happen in a 2008 game at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay's Shawn Riggans squared to bunt against Detroit's Fernando Rodney, who threw 100 mph. A Rodney fastball burrowed into the middle of Riggans' chest. When Riggans dropped to the ground I thought the worst. Fortunately, he was okay. I asked Riggans about the pitch after the game. He smiled. "Firm."

A baseball cliché states that the game gets infinitely easier the farther away you are from home plate. Truer words were never spoken. Particularly when discussing bunting.

On this date in 1916, Georgia Tech--coached by John Heisman--defeated Cumberland 222-0. Tech scored 32 touchdowns and did not throw a pass, gaining 978 yards on the ground. Lee Corso, of course, picked Cumberland.

I invite you to read more of my blogs, download free chapters from my books: Peachtree Corvette Club, The Streak and Retrouvailles. Let's talk. Drop me a line at Asked and Answered.

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