Nine holes with ... Kriag UlvelingA handful of people warned me that my round with Kraig Ulveling at the Red Wing Golf Club wouldn't be quiet and serene.
By: Eric Lear, The Republican Eagle
Besides the occasional club toss -- and be honest, we've all done it -- golf is a quiet and serene game. Just ask the people who have the job of silencing crowds at professional tournaments by holding signs that simply say "quiet."
A handful of people warned me that my round with Kraig Ulveling at the Red Wing Golf Club wouldn't be so hushed.
"If I have to play with guys that it has to be completely quiet, like crickets, I'm pretty sure they aren't going to ask me to play again," Ulveling said. "That probably shows you why I'm such a poor golfer, because I always think in golf, you should go out and have some fun and laugh."
Said Ulveling of his outgoing personality, "You are who you are. At least I'm not fake or pretentious."
He jokingly added that "pretentious" is a big word for a physical education teacher.
However, Ulveling, who is better known as "Red" by his friends, doesn't take his golf game as a joke. He suggested on our way to the first hole that we play a two-man scramble to "see how low we can go."
"After 20 years of mediocre golf, I'd rather play a game ... or a scramble," he said.
Fitting in with his personality, he has what he calls, "Ulvelisms" or something he frequently does or says.
One of which is showing up to a golf course without a tee time, which we did. Another he admitted was talking during someone's backswing, which he didn't do -- I assume because he wanted me focused, being that we were on the same team.
During our round we talked basketball, journalism and of course golf. He said his best advice for bogey golfers, a category he puts himself in, is to get lessons.
"It's by far the hardest thing I've ever tried," he said of the game of golf. "If you play tennis twice a week, after five weeks you're definitely better. In golf, you can get worse."
After a few decades playing the game, he has found the balance in having fun while playing, but also playing competitively.
"Like today," he said after the round. "We had a goal, but we still had fun doing it. I think it's more fun when you have something to shoot for."
Our goal was to finish even-par or better, and we did just that. We drained a bending, 15-foot putt on the 18th hole to finish the back nine at an even 35.
As we were enjoying a couple ice-cold bottles of root beer after our round -- yes, it was actually root beer -- a confident Ulveling sent out a challenge to all area coaches to try and beat our mark.
Who says a competition can't be fun?