Singh It, Baby

Vijay and the pros take a swing at the Shell Houston Open

THU 4/21

We wish we could tell you that golf is hip. Unfortunately, the action can be boring, and for the most part, the players aren't too cool. (Take Vijay Singh, who just had to list his favorite hobby as the game snooker.) But all hope is not lost for golf, and this has nothing to do with Tiger Woods's lingerie-model wife. This week's Shell Houston Open at the Redstone Golf Club won't feature scantily clad women, death or dismemberment, or even a stray untucked shirt. But even so, golf is irresistible: It purveys a fantasy life of wealth, leisure and endless green grass. Who can resist that, especially when beer's involved?

The victory-happy Singh -- his name means "victory," for heaven's sake -- will return to this year's event to defend his title (and the $5 million that comes with it). Challenging him will be 155 other golfers, including Mark Calcavecchia, David Toms and Paul Azinger. Trek up to the Redstone Golf Club -- the only course in Houston where the PGA Tour deigns to stop -- to see the pros tee off at 7 a.m. on Thursday, April 21. Championship round runs through Sunday, April 24. 5860 Wilson Road in Humble. For tickets and a schedule, call 281-454-7000 or visit www.shellhoustonopen.com. $20 to $25 daily; $75 for full tournament. -- Julia Ramey

Can You Kick It?

Could there be an easier job in football than kicker? While your teammates put their necks, knees and careers on the line, you get to stretch on the sideline and, every so often, boot the ball to the other team or through the uprights. Your big occupational hazard? The occasional pulled hamstring, blocked punt or Super Bowl-losing missed field goal. But, hey, if you make it pro, you'll land a contract worth at least six figures. This weekend, NFL Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy is conducting his Kicking & Punting Academy and Talent Search here in Houston. The camp ain't cheap -- registration will set you back some ducats. But hell, that'll be pocket change when you're making $100,000 to kick pigskin every Sunday. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 24. Woodlands High School, 6101 Research Forest Drive. For registration, visit www.prokicker.com. $375. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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