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Now, for some other records

Column by RANDY HAMMERICKSEN

When Jay Klemp's near-record round of 64 at Cedar Links came to lightrecently, it got some of us in the sports department wondering about otherlocal course records.

Klemp fired a 6-under-par 64, one stroke off the men's club record sharedby amateur Mark DeBoer and professional Norm Homeier.

Klemp needed just one birdie on any par-5 hole to tie the record, whichdoesn't seem like a tall order for the long-hitting 30-year-old. But hedidn't birdie a par-5 all day.

Nevertheless, with him in mind, I sought to dig up course records forother courses in the area.

Scott Tuttle, the top-rated amateur in Oregon, holds two of them. Heset the record at Eagle Point Golf Course ­ his home course ­ witha 68 in 1996.

Tuttle also has the mark at Stone Ridge Golf Course, an 8-under 64. JasonAllred, the 17-year-old boy wonder from Ashland, tied that record a fewmonths later in a junior tournament.

Dirk Collins, assistant professional at Stewart Meadows Golf Course,holds the 3-year-old course record at 65, 5 under par.

The course record at the par-72 Quail Point Golf Course is a 10-under62 by former head pro Terry Myers in 1993.

What's unique about Klemp's 64 is that he's been playing golf only forseven years. His recent round underscores the notion that the fast-improvingKlemp is close to being one of the elite amateur golfers in Southern Oregon.

Klemp didn't turn to golf until about eight years ago. The former softballplayer needed a new sport after injuring both of his knees and breakingboth wrists in various pitfalls.

He finally took the hint and tried golf.

All I got out of softball were hangovers and bruises, saysKlemp. I wish I had started playing golf a long time ago.

He plays most of his golf at his home course of Eagle Point, but he stilllikes to return to the site of past men's club glories at Cedar Links andfire low scores. It's good for confidence.

For some reason, I can play that course real well, he says.

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Hole of the week is the 591-yard, par-5 16th hole at Eagle Point. Coursedesigner Robert Trent Jones Jr. chose this hole as his signature hole becauseof its length, degree of difficulty and the view.

At the tee area, the player gets a panoramic look at the valley, andsnow-capped Mount McLoughlin seems so close, it looks reachable with a gooddrive.

The hole's length is somewhat deceiving, because it plays downhill almostall the way. The drive comes out of a chute at the top of a hill. Both sidesof the fairway are lined by trees.

The fairway is wide enough to permit a driver to be hit. You need togo with driver because of the length of the hole. But a good drive, anda well-placed fairway wood or long iron, leaves a short iron shot into thegreen from approximately 100 to 130 yards out. But a player needs to hitthree good shots ­ or one spectacular one ­ to hit the large, slopinggreen in regulation.

Hit it straight, don't be right, and don't be left, saysEagle Point pro shop clerk Steve Sassman.

He was laughing when he said that.

It's a big fairway and you have a nice little escape route to theright side, where the fairway opens up, says Sassman. You can'tsee it from tee box, but you're glad to find the extra room when you getdown there.

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Wise Tip. Jim Wise, the head pro at Rogue Valley Country Club and oneof the longest-tenured and most respected club pros in the state, has agreedto do a series of tips on golf fundamentals during the coming weeks in thiscolumn.

This week's Wise Tip is about using proper balance in the swing.

The importance of balance in the golf swing is often taken forgranted, says Wise. In order for the golf swing to evolve incorrect sequence and create the correct clubhead path, you must be on balanceat address and during the swing.

To be on balance at address, you must have your feet approximatelyshoulder width apart with your weight balanced between the heel and toes.Both knees are slightly flexed and the body is bent at the hip joints withthe upper body leaning forward so the hands hang down three or four inchesin front of your body.

In order to counterbalance the forward leaning of the upper body,you must push the pelvis backward so your weight is off your toes and balancedfrom heel to toe. Now you can swing on balance.

Use the Wise Tips to your advantage. He knows his stuff. In the meantime,if you have questions, call Jim at the Rogue Valley pro shop and ask fora lesson or series of lessons.

There are a lot golfers around who like to play golf, but they are reluctantto take lessons. I don't know if it's the cost or perhaps the embarrassmentof having a professional alter their swings.

Once the lessons are completed, the player might be surprised at theimprovement.

Although RVCC is a private club, its pros give lessons to the public.