When Ken Coutant won the Tenison Park Club Golf Championship over the weekend, it was no great upset. The Lake Highlands resident had been named champion at the city-owned course four times before, every year from 2013 to 2016. (He was playing in London in 2017.)
Still, he said, it was nice to win.
Coutant had a five shot lead after the first day, so he went into play Sunday in low-stress mode. His competitors played well on day two, though, and he had a competition on his hands. By the time he sank his last putt, he could think of just one thing – air conditioning.
“I walked, and it was hot,” said Coutant of the 100-degree day.
Coutant, who picked up the game in the eighth grade, can relate to the Vaudevillian violinist-turned-comedian, Jack Benny, who famously answered the question, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” with “practice, practice, practice.”
“I’m self-taught,” Coutant explained, “and it came pretty easy because I played or practiced every day from 1974 to 1980.”
After his busy season, the C.P.A. plays a couple of times a week at Tenison Park and at Sherrill Park on weekends.
“I mostly play tournaments, and there is a group of ‘sticks’ in a game on Saturday mornings at Sherrill Park.”
I asked Coutant for an insider’s tip.
“About 80 percent of your practice time should be spent on the short game, chipping and putting, and if you don’t touch a club a couple of times a week you’ll never improve. You can’t buy a game.”
Coutant had high praise for Tenison, Dallas’ first municipally-owned course, opened in 1924 on the banks of White Rock Creek, and other in-town options.
“Golfers in the City of Dallas should be thankful that the City has committed the resources in the last twenty years to provide the citizens of Dallas arguably the finest municipal facilities in the country.”
Tenison will host the 2018 Dallas City Championship Sept. 29 and 30. You may sign up to play here.