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January 06, 2020

What is the dumbest athletic achievement you are proud of?

It started as most Golf Digest Slack conversations tend to do: Discussing an obscure professional's performance in a Met Golf Association tournament. But somewhere in the harangue, an editor dropped a humble brag that he once made four birdies in a 10-hole stretch at Century C.C. in Purchase, N.Y.

Now, this editor wasn't seriously bragging about his feat (for context, he wrote this when comparing himself to a pro's four-birdie streak at Century during a USGA qualifier) ... but he was not not bragging about it, either. Which got us talking: What is the dumbest athletic achievement you are secretly proud of? It's a conversation that straddles a thin, but very defined, cadence of humility, deprecation, and swagger. In essence, something you know is kind of pathetic, but deep down, you're prone to relish.

Below are the personal picks of our Golf Digest editors. As you will read, some of them did not take the exercise seriously while others, it seems, have unresolved childhood drama and are definitely "those guys" that mumble, "I could have been all-state if coach gave me a chance!" after one too many pops at the bar on a Friday night. Send us your own lists of stupid pride on our Facebook page and we'll compile our favorites for all to see.

Alex Myers, Senior Writer

10) Played shortstop for a Little League championship team in sixth grade. Was demoted when we moved to the bigger field the next year because I couldn’t make the longer throw across the diamond.
9) Made 51 free throws in a row. In practice, that is. In a game, I once missed six straight because I’m a total choker.
8) Played No. 1 singles on JV tennis as a 7th-grader. My tennis career was all downhill from there.
7) Shot 69 (1-under) thanks to birdie on 18. It was a very easiest course that I had played hundreds of times, but I broke par dammit. I also did it while wearing a bathing suit.
6) Made six birdies at Tobacco Road on no sleep after driving 10 hours through the night. Unfortunately, I also double bogeyed two of the final three holes to throw away a chance at breaking par. Again, I’m a total choker.
5) Scored 18 points in a varsity basketball game, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Still not sure how that happened.
4) Two-time Editors Putter champ. We take our annual work tournament very seriously.
3) Three-time HGGA champ. We take our annual golf trip very seriously.
2) Won the weekly Ping-Pong Championship on a Carnival Cruise. I tried to trade the plastic trophy for a free drink to no avail.
1) Made half-court shot at the buzzer. The miracle fling off a missed free throw with 1.4 seconds left and down two (NBD) gave our senior class a stunning win in the School Olympics. There’s VHS footage of what’s known as “The Shot” in Pelham, N.Y. Somewhere...

Farmer with his family milking a cow on pasture

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Ryan Herrington, Managing Editor

5) Won a cow-milking contest on second-grade field trip. Never milked another cow again (was a "drop the utter" performance).
4) Won the Wakeman’s Boys & Girls Club 9-and-under 8-ball title. Jaime Diaz assumed I was some kind of shark.
3) Earned most-improved camper award at Calvin Murphy Basketball camp. Calvin Murphy then proceeded to beat me 7-0 in one-on-one.
2) Won Golf Digest Thanksgiving putting contest where first prize was a turkey. Felt very hunter/gatherer like bringing home our Thanksgiving feast.
1) Won Lake Hills baseball championship for team with diving catch at first base then throw to home plate for double play. I was 7. I was carried off the field. All went downhill after that.

Michael Sneeden, Supervising Producer

10) Played in every football game all four years of high school. I was in the band.
9) Jumped over a taller guy during an ultimate frisbee game and caught it.
8) President of the Ultimate Frisbee Club in high school. I did it to help me get into college.
7) Made a net albatross. I was a 20-handicap and got two strokes for that hole.
6) Pulled a personal best 455-pound deadlift. Busted a blood vessel in my eye.
5) Beat Ben Walton (the office bully) in Golf Clash once.
4) Got a hole-in-one on the 9th at Sweetens Cove. On a simulator...and it didn't actually go in, the computer glitched.
3) Rowed 500m in 1:24 to beat the other three people in an office contest. Threw up after.
2) Made it to the final round of high school soccer tryouts before I got cut.
1) Ran a 5K in 28:30. And I didn't throw up.

Joel Beall, Staff Writer

6) Dropped 40 points in a freshmen basketball camp game. Was unguardable, mostly because everyone thought I was wearing high socks to cover up poison ivy. Honestly, was just a big fan of Keith Van Horn.
5) Won the office Super Tecmo Bowl tournament. The guy I beat hadn't lost all year since he played with Bo Jackson and the Raiders. In a related note, if anyone knows Christian "Nigerian Nightmare" Okoye, I owe that man a beer.
4) Beat my roommate with a set of 1970s blades, putter and persimmons (circa 2011). My contention was that new equipment doesn’t help that much. In a turn showing karma is real, part of my job is to now investigate the opposite.
3) Threw out a batter at first with a laser from CF in rec softball. I have the cannon of a battleship. And the batter had the wheels of a statue.
2) Hit our overbearing assistant pro in the ass with a nuked drive. Should have yelled “Fore!” but he always screwed me on hours, which is why I was mumbling, “Be right” the entire flight. Can still see his stupid face rolling on the ground grabbing his right butt cheek.
1) Stole an inbound pass and hit a teammate for a buzzer-beating layup to win our college Intramural Co-ed Basketball Championship. Did I steal the ball from a girl? Yes. Did I ask said girl out at the bar that night, instilled with a misguided belief that she respected the play? Absolutely. Did I make the walk back from the bar alone? You bet.

Best Damn Sports Show Period with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice - October 11, 2005

John Shearer

Chris Powers, Assistant Editor

5) Because I was the backup QB for varsity football as a junior, my coach suggested I play QB in the JV games on Mondays. Swallowing my pride, I obliged, and so did a fellow junior buddy who was 4th strong wide receiver. Needless to say, we utterly dominated like Montana and Rice in their primes. One game I threw 3 TDs, ran for another and had a INT at safety because I wanted to play defense for one play. It was like Madden on rookie mode but real life.
4) As a senior, in an effort to get me on the field, the coach let me play WR. Had 4 receptions the entire year, and one touchdown, which came in our state playoff game. No big deal..... oh yeah, we lost 33-7.
3) I was also an all-state holder for kicks. Never mind the fact you literally can’t be an all state holder. That said, we used to run a bunch of fake extra point pass plays and I connected on every single one.
2) Dropped 18 in a JV hoops game (as a sophomore this time!). Quit b-ball the following year and told the coach it was because my mom said my grades weren’t good enough. In reality I’m white, small, very slow and play no defense, and I had the presence of mind to realize I’d never log a single minute on the varsity team.
1) Threw a no-hitter in a Williamsport 11-year-old All Star Game. Yes, it was a combined no hitter but I went 4 innings strong out of a possible six.

Greg Gottfried, Web Producer

10) Rented Space Jam from Blockbuster four times in a row. Cinema at its finest.
9) Won a one-on-one full-court basketball game in the pouring rain. No one really won, but I finished with more points.
8) Won the first round of a Midnight Madden Tournament with the Jets. Lost in the subsequent round.
7) Threw a batter out at first base after getting hit in the eye with the baseball. Threw the pitch, ball came right at me, I missed the ball with my glove, my face made the save.
6) Didn’t come in last during a late-night Thanksgiving race from one friend’s mailbox to another after pulling my hamstring. I was out of commission for weeks afterward.
5) Was once blocked on a layup from three different defenders at once. This followed me for a long time.
4) Made high school JV tennis team even though the first time I played tennis was the first tryout freshman year. Still not sure what happened. I assume my parents bribed someone.
3) Stole the basketball in high school from Jabrill Peppers, who’s now in the NFL. He dropped the ball for the refs at the end of the game and I jogged over and picked it up before the clock stopped. They gave me a steal in the book.
2) Hit one three in a championship game at a basketball sleep-away camp. Was on a team with Terance Mann (now on the Los Angeles Clippers) who scored 45 points, so I like to say that we combined for 48 points.
1) Was on four JV sports teams over one calendar year. This may never be done again. Basketball, soccer, tennis, and cross country for those wondering.

Coleman Bentley, Editor of the Loop

5) Witnessed real-life Mets walk-off in the flesh. Short of a unicorn sighting, an actual good thing happening to the New York Mets is the rarest thing a human being can witness.
4) Once talked to sh*t to a Patriots fan at old Foxborough Stadium bedecked entirely in Dolphins gear and lived to tell about it. Good thing I was 12. Can’t punch a 12 year old.
3) One of three competent players on my championship-winning 5th-grade rec soccer team. Shook up a Diet Mountain Dew and sprayed it on everyone because 5th graders can’t drink champagne.
2) Once skied with former U.S. Olympic Skier Chad Fleischer. He called me a “ripper.” That is all.
1) 2018 Golf Digest Editor’s Putter Champion. They now call me the boss of synthetic moss. That is also all.