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The Loop

Bosox hope his ERA doesn't follow suit

February 13, 2009

The last time that the Boston Red Sox' newest pitcher John Smoltz pitched was June 2, after which he underwent shoulder surgery. He has proclaimed himself fully recovered. "I can assure you there's not a thing I can't do," he told the Associated Press. "And my golf handicap has gone down because of my new shoulder, so I'm excited about that, too."

Oh yeah? A check of the USGA's Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) reveals that Smoltz's handicap is 1.6, effective Feb. 1. Last October, GHIN shows, his handicap was plus-2.1. His handicap has gone up nearly four strokes.

GHIN, incidentally, shows Smoltz, who spent 20 years with the Atlanta Braves, is a member at four Georgia clubs -- the Golf Club of Georgia, Ocean Forest Golf Club, Hawks Ridge Golf Club and Frederica Golf Club.

-- John Strege