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Steven Hauschka and Golden Tate attack the TPC Snoqualmie course
Golden Tate and Steven Hauschka golf the same way they play football.
The Seahawks’ starting wide receiver and their kicker took to the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge course on Monday to get a taste of what the senior PGA players will tackle during the Boeing Classic from Aug. 19-25.
Hauschka, whose signature while scoring 109 and 118 points in his first two seasons with the Seahawks has been how smooth he is in kicking the football, put most of his shots right down the middle as he had a birdie and four pars in the five holes where Seahawks.com followed him. He almost had an eagle on the par-5 18th hole, as his 12-foot putt rolled just past the right rim of the cup without falling in.
“It’s fun. It’s competitive,” Hauschka the football player said of Hauschka the golfer. “It’s really similar to kicking for me. When you’ve got a shot into the wind, you’ve got to swing easy and just trust your distance. Just like kicking, you can’t try to swing too hard.
“It’s all about managing your nerves under pressure, too.”
“At 15, I play this hole. This hole, I’m playing from 15,” Tate said. “Whatever.”
But on each hole, Tate recovered with nice second shots to get his ball back where it belonged en route to carding back-to-back pars. Over the five holes, Tate had three pars and two bogeys.
The most-surprising element of Tate’s mostly-hit-but-occasionally-miss game? The cross-handed way he holds the club. A left-hander, Tate golfs right-handed – to a point, because he has his left hand over his right. If he was surfing, Tate would be labeled a goofy-foot.
“I’m the only person I know with a whacky swing,” Tate said. “People look at me when I do my practice swings and they just don’t know what to think. Then I get up there and outdrive them by 30 yards and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK.’
“I’ve tried using left-handed clubs and I’ve also tried converting over and just using right-handed clubs and changing my grip. But it doesn’t feel right for me. I think I do just fine with it. As long as I get a par every now and then I’m happy.”
Whatever works. And Monday, things were working well for these professional football players who took their golf games to the TPC course and played a round with styles that are very similar to the diverse ways they play football.