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Brandel Chamblee shares hilarious story of getting hustled as a hotshot high school golfer

April 04, 2024
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Phil Inglis

Brandel Chamblee has made a name for himself by talking about other people's golf games, but he was a pretty darn good player himself, even winning once on the PGA Tour. And he's got plenty of great stories stemming from his own time on the course.

The Golf Channel analyst shared some of those when he recently sat down for a fantastic interview with Golfweek's Adam Schupak. At least, we hope they were sitting down because Adam says the interview lasted more than two hours.

Anyway, while Chamblee, who has also filled in as NBC's lead analyst during tournaments a couple times this year, gives his usual astute takes on the current state of pro golf and stars like Tiger Woods during the two-part Q&A, our favorite bit involved a tale from his youth. Then a hotshot high school golfer in Texas, Chamblee got into a high stakes wager with an elderly gentleman. And wound up getting hustled.

As Chamblee tells it, he was approached one day on the course at Cedar Crest in Dallas by a man who appeared to be in his 70s named "Nate," and who had an interesting proposition. He would play Chamblee, who had "just won the Dallas Junior or Dallas Men's" and would go on to star at the University of Texas, in a nine-hole match for $100 per hole. With one important—and interesting—catch: The man would use only three clubs, a 7-iron, a wedge, and a putter, and Chamblee could only pick two clubs to use.

Now this was BIG money for a teenaged Chamblee, who had saved up about half that working in the bag room at Las Colinas Country Club. But he went to his dad for the other half.

"I told my dad that I needed to borrow the rest of it, $400 or $500, and my dad said, ‘Explain the game to me.’ I said, ‘This guy is like 70 years old and he’s going to play with three clubs, and he told me I could choose any two clubs and we were going to play nine holes, $100 a hole,'" Chamblee recalls to Golfweek. "I had a week to practice and prepare for it. My dad goes, ‘All right, I’ll loan you the money, but you’re going to get your ass beat.’"

Apparently, Mr. Chamblee had been a helluva pool player in his day but got hustled bad one time as well. So he could see what was coming. Anyway, Chamblee wound up shooting two over for nine holes using only an 8-iron and a putter. Pretty good, right? Well, his dad's prediction still came true as Chamblee lost $300.

"My dad was sitting on the couch or his chair and he said, ‘How did you do, son?’ I said, ‘I shot 2-over.’ He goes, ‘How bad did you get beat?’ I said, ‘I got beat pretty bad.’ He said, ‘I told you were going to get your ass beat,' Chamblee continued. "But that man that I played got on the first tee and sure enough he had a 7-iron, a wedge and a putter," Chamblee said, "but the 7 had a 2-iron loft on it and a driver shaft, and it said 7-iron on the bottom, and he smoked it."

Ouch. So what's the lesson here? As Brandel's dad wisely told him, "There’s always somebody better. If a guy comes to you with a game and proposes a game, he’s thought about this game more than you. He knows his game. I’m just going to tell you you’re going to get your ass beat."

Let us all remember that the next time a wager seems too good to be true. And let us also all remember that our parents are usually right.