published Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Who golfs? Ex-photographer Zachary Becker

A gullywasher and lightning scared away almost everybody from Moccasin Bend Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon.

But when the danger eased, Zachary Becker saw the perfect opportunity to play the course he helps maintain and manicure.

"There's nobody out there," he said as a drizzle persisted. "No need to worry about pace of play."

Becker studied photography at Purdue University and became an assistant wedding photographer in Chicago following his graduation.

But the allure of returning to working outside on golf courses -- and with a friend who helped him get the job -- was too enticing for Becker to pass up five summers ago.

"I grew up on a golf course, worked in the pro shop, then moved outside a couple days a week, then moved outside full time," Becker said of his high school summer job at Oak Meadow Golf Club in Evansville, Ind.

Becker began playing some form of golf at an early age. He remembers hitting balls in the back yard with his father, then a few on the course, and graduated to driving the cart at about 7 years old.

"I wrecked it a few times," Becker said, "and I got chewed out pretty good."

He played football and baseball in high school, but he got cut from the golf team.

"There were politics involved and I don't think they liked us baseball players," Becker said. "Football is my first love, but I can play golf the rest of my life."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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