published Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Who golfs? Stephen Ballew walks his frequent rounds

Stephen Ballew

Hixson

Union electrician

Stephen Ballew has changed the way he plays golf.

Instead of riding around in a cart for 18 holes and drinking beer along the way, he now walks the course and sips the suds at home.

"To be 58 years old, to be on a proper diet and walking and carrying my clubs is good. I'm not saying it's more for health than fun, because I enjoy it, but now I get both ends of it," Ballew said. "I'm still drinking beer. It's just a little harder to walk, carry your clubs and carry a cooler."

Ballew plays golf every day he doesn't have to work. Up until last week that meant the three days a week he wasn't working at Raccoon Mountain.

Now that he's been laid off -- with the likelihood of another job starting soon -- he is playing seven days per week and walking every step along the way.

"I'm out here, I play my golf and then I go have more fun," Ballew said. "I've been playing golf about 25 years and I'm still not worth a darn. A good round is 5 over and a normal round is in the 80s."

Ballew left the Chattanooga area for electrical jobs in Detroit, Illinois, Boston and California's Bay Area, playing golf in each of those stops.

"I played a course in Dublin [Calif.] on the open side of bay and you could see San Francisco across the way," Ballew said. "It was just breathtaking."

In a different sort of way than walking.

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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