"For the longest time, we just had a few individuals in our golf program. Our previous coach did a nice job of building up the program, but now we are trying to take it to the next level." -- Magnolia High School golf coach Jim Bob Jackson
You hear about a lot of high school athletics departments attempting to build powerhouse football programs or basketball programs, even baseball programs. Rarely do you hear a high school trying to play "keep up with the Joneses" in the sport of golf, but that's exactly what Magnolia High School is trying to do.
On the strength of hard work and a lot of generous donors, the Houston Chronicle reported, the school recently completed the facility, which is located in what used to be a pasture behind the football field and features a 12,000-square foot tee box, a 50- to 100-yard chipping area with bunkers, and a chipping green. (Plans down the road call for a 3,500-square foot putting green in the spring.)
Admittedly, I haven't been up to Magnolia in a few years, (Little known fact: I actually owned a lot in a subdevelopment up there about a decade ago when the cows outnumbered the people.) so it was strange hearing about their desire to become the Katy Tigers football of high school golf. (Even stranger that a golf coach is named "Jim Bob"; somewhere in the bizarro world that is Magnolia resides an auto shop teacher named Thurston Nigel Walters IV.)
And Magnolia isn't messing around. Much like towns all over the area have their Pop Warner and junior high football teams running schemes similar to their respective high schools, Magnolia is going to start putting club in hand at a tender elementary school age:
"This is something I have wanted to do for a long time," Jackson said. "We finally started the process about nine or 10 months ago. We are excited about the opportunities it gives our high school kids, and now we can implement programs to our elementary and junior high players."
Very cool. Unlike most other high school sports, golf is an activity you can play into your twilight years, so I'm good with getting kids fired up about it and, if the money is there for the facilities to make them more successful, then have at it.
But I am about solutions, and I actually have five other suggestions that would involve minimal to no expense, and yet would further Magnolia's profile as the preeminent golf program in the entire greater Houston area. And they are....
1. Replace cheerleaders with drink-cart girls. Let's face it, the simple math dictates that most of the kids coming through the Magnolia golf program are not going to play the game at a college scholarship level, so let's start them in young on the next best reason to enjoy the sport...hitting on the drink-cart girl! (And replacing the cheerleaders with drink-cart girls for all of the sports is absolutely a conversation I'm open to having, by the way.)
2. Move auto shop to the golf cart garage. You have a room full of perfectly good aspiring grease monkeys sitting there, let's use them! First, this allows the school to have a fleet of the gas-powered golf carts (much better than the electric ones), and secondly the auto shop crew gives us a solid pool from whom to find the school's Carl Spackler, blue-collar closet golf enthusiast. Speaking of which.... 3. School play? Broadway-style version of Caddyshack:The Musical. The school play should say a little something about the school itself. If you're building a golf empire, then a stage rendition of the greatest golf movie ever is in order. I'd even be fine with changing it up every few years to do a Shakespearean version of Caddyshack. "Doth thou desireth a Fresca? Hmmm? Hmmm?"
4. John Daly speaks at graduation. While most schools will want to send graduates off into the next phase of their lives with sage advice about respecting and serving their fellow man, Magnolia can send them all off with a clear understanding of motor homes, Hooters happy hour specials, and the best color Sharpie to use when signing a girl's breasts.
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5. Frequent (like 5 a day) field trips to Perkins, IHOP, and Waffle House. To be the best, emulate the best. We now know that Tiger Woods got to where he was with a healthy diet of golf practice (the driving range takes care of this) and "breakfast" at two in the morning. I'm even in favor of an exchange program between the drink cart team and these local eateries. You know, solidify the relationship.
Certainly congratulations are in order for Magnolia. Their golf facilities are now the best in the state of Texas. But when you want to be the best, don't stop. Keep finding new ways to make yourself better. Implement my five point plan and you're right there, Magnolia.
Do it. Huge. Quickly. Bye.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.