Monday, September 22, 2003

Former QB in the game as a golfer



By Shauna Scott Rhone
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The intensity and drive are still there. It's just the size of the playing surface that's changed.

Former University of Cincinnati quarterback Deontey Kenner is now launching his ball with a club. He has been golfing for about six years, but says his handicap has been as low as 3.

"I don't play as much as I'd like these days," says the Kenwood resident, "so my handicap's back up to about a 6," which is still good. So are the two holes in one he made in 2001.

Here's how the 25-year-old traded the roar of the crowd for the serenity of a golf course.

How did you get started? My high school coach got me started back in 1998. He said a good place to meet people is on the golf course. Just get up there and start playing. He gave me my first set of clubs.

What do you get out of it? I'm out of football now (his UC years ended in 2001, then he had a brief tryout with the Baltimore Ravens). I like sports that are hard to learn, very competitive. ... While football was more of a team sport, I like golf because it's more of an individual sport. I enjoy increasing my skill level. It's a challenge because I never took lessons; I'm teaching myself and watch what others do. I enjoy seeing how good I can get. And it's very relaxing.

How much does it cost to get started? I used to play three times a week but my fiancee, Keisha Kirkman, said it got to be too expensive. I spend about $30 a dozen on balls, but the beginner can buy 60 balls for $10. Golf can be as expensive as you want it to be. The more you get involved, the more time and money you spend.

What type of equipment do you need? Golf clubs, bag and balls.

How long does it take to get started? It took me three years at least to get down to bogey golf (shooting rounds at about 18 over par). How long it takes to get started depends on whether you're taking lessons and how much you dedicate to practice.

How long did it take to learn? It took me nearly six years to get to a 3 handicap. It's just trial and error for me. I learn as I go.

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Basic Training spotlights Greater Cincinnatians who work hard at having fun. If you would like to nominate someone who keeps fit by playing sports or developing a new skill, e-mail srhone@enquirer.com, fax information to 768-8330, or mail to Basic Training, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Include a daytime phone for you and your nominee.




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