Is Golf Influencing NFL Free Agency?
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/18/14

NFL players Golden Tate, Jonathan Stewart, and Jimmy Clausen
enduring tough, difficult duty away from the field

Golden Tate was a member of the Seattle Seahawks when they won the Super Bowl just last month. But rather than stay with his winning team, the free agent wide receiver signed to play with Detroit Lions. A $31 million contract offer certainly helped, but Lions Vice Chairman Bill Ford dangled one other delicious incentive in front of Tate:


Detroit Free Press columnist Carlos Monarrez interviewed Tate for the back-story:
"[Ford] just said at one point that Michigan has the most golf courses, or something like that, in the United States. I forgot what the stat was, but that played a huge role in my decision to come to Detroit.

"He said there's a (Tournament Players Club) course right across the street, which we have one of those in Seattle and it's my favorite course to play in Seattle. I can only imagine the course in Detroit is going to be in pretty good shape when the weather permits."
In fact, Michigan has one of the largest numbers of courses per capita among all of the 50 United States. Monarrez notes that while Tate's USGA handicap / shot index is estimated at 16.5, he is a very serious student of the game, which he took up with the influence of his maternal grandfather, Arthur Overall.

Last July, Tate admitted to Seattle Seahawks web site writer Clare Farnsworth a very unusual element of his game: He holds his clubs cross-handed. Tate writes left-handed, but plays with right-handed clubs.
"I'm the only person I know with a wacky swing. People look at me when I do my practice swings and they just don't know what to think. Then I get up there and out-drive them by 30 yards and they're like, 'Oh, OK.'

"I've tried using left-handed clubs and I've also tried converting over and just using right-handed clubs and changing my grip. But it doesn't feel right for me. I think I do just fine with it. As long as I get a par every now and then I'm happy."
The Freep's Monarrez touts Michigan's golf landscape over that in the state of Washington: "...Chambers Bay isn't Arcadia Bluffs and Sahalee isn't even in the same conversation with Oakland Hills."

We hope that Tate will spend some time writing or tweeting about his golf experiences in Michigan; it is obvious that he loves the game every bit as much as the rest of us.

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H-T: John Strege

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Image via Twitter, Jess Gysin

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