On Wednesday, Bill Belichick will tee it up with a star-studded foursome in the pro-am at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. But the golf outing isn't a rare occasion for the New England Patriots football coach. He's been playing all his life, including more than two decades at Sankaty Head Golf Club on the island of Nantucket, which he considers his home course.
Although he stays off the links during football season, Belichick maintains around a 16 handicap and gets a dozen rounds in from February to July. In fact, he's already made one Tour stop this month.
Belichick showed up at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am just four days after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Giants.
"It's been tough," Belichick said to CBS.. "It’s a tough couple days, but Pebble Beach is a great spot to take your mind off some of the troubles we had."
As will playing with an old friend. Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who was an assistant under Belichick with the Cleveland Browns in the 90's, was also in the group. Ricky Barnes teamed up with Belichick for the weekend and they managed to finish third, impressing the PGA Tour pro.
"I think he probably put some trust in me that I was giving him the right advice and I told him I read the scouting report and it said, 'Very coachable,'" Barnes joked afterwards.
The two enjoyed the pairing so much that they planned to stay in touch and maybe even run it back.
"I think we both liked it and hoped that we play together next year," Barnes said. "As competitive as we both are, we feel like we need some revenge and need to improve on the third-place finish."
This week Belichick will play with Hall of Famer Greg Norman, former Dolphin Jason Taylor and LPGA Pro Lexi Thompson at the PGA National Champion's Course. It's not easy, but Belichick is coming off great rounds at Pebble Beach, and has handled some of the other toughest courses in the country. He's played Augusta National, home of the Masters, multiple times and shot in the 80's.
And with Tiger Woods in the field at the Honda Classic for the first time as a professional, there will be a few less eyes on the Hoodie. That should take some of the pressure off.
It won't help with the Eli Manning night terrors, though.
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