Lex Tarumianz may have started the conversation with Mike Jenkins.
But for the first time in the history of the Chattanooga Men's Metro Championship, golfers in the senior division will play from a forward teeing ground.
"We all talked about it," Tarumianz said. "I think they needed to do it to get more players."
The 84th version of the Metro will begin Thursday at Lookout Mountain Golf and Country Club. Polly Boyd won the first incarnation of the tournament in 1929 and finished his career with six championships.
Other multiple past champions include the likes of Lew Oehmig, Willard Miller, Ira Templeton, Ed Brantly and Harold Lane.
Cody Godfrey can add his name to that list by repeating as champion. He won last year at WindStone -- the tournament rotates between Chattanooga District Golf Association courses -- by five shots over Gordon Hulgan and Richard Spangler.
"It's been an awesome year," said Godfrey, who is a rising junior at Tennessee Wesleyan. "It's going to be something new because I've never been the defending champion anywhere."
Playing at Lookout will also be relatively new to him and many of the younger participants in the regular division.
"The first time I played up there I was in high school and shot like an 85 the first time I saw the place," Godfrey said. "Everything up there is an optical illusion when you're reading greens."
Pat Corey, a member at Lookout, won the Metro when it was last held at Lookout in 2001. He opened with a 7-under 65 and held on. He will not be participating this week due to upcoming knee surgery.
"The conditions were basically as difficult as they could be," Corey remembered. "That first day I won the tournament and was able to hold on because that course played so hard you wouldn't believe it."
Lookout head golf professional Adam Campbell said the course will not be as difficult this time around.
"When you have a classic course, there isn't much you have to do because it takes care of itself," Campbell said. "Everybody is going to have their three-putts and they'll have to accept that."
And that includes the seniors who can move up a set of tees if they'd like, or compete in the regular division. In previous years, all competitors played from the same markers and seniors were eligible to win the overall championship as well as the senior division.
Jenkins will be in the senior division which he helped create for this tournament and other Chattanooga TPC events.
"I think it will be a process that grows and gets us a few extra seniors each year for the next few year," Jenkins said. "I think it will make it more fun for them."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP
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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