By TODD HVEEM
Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle
June 30, 2010
Former Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson felt the pressure of being a basketball coach and NBA executive for more than 30 years. But on June 18, at Waco’s Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, he found out what real pressure was all about.
“It was all up to me,“ Dawson said with a laugh. “One of my partners had put up $100 on each of us to hit the green. And nobody was on the green.”
Normally, Dawson would have no problem rising to the challenge. He has played golf almost his entire life and knows a thing or two about coming through in the clutch. But since 1990, golf has not been as easy for the 72-year-old Dawson, who still is a senior consultant with the Rockets. In 1990, Dawson was struck by lightning, and the incident affected his eyesight. Now, while he can see the ball on the tee, he needs help getting lined up and has to have a spotter to find his ball.
“I told the guys to get me lined up good here. I didn’t want to lose Max’s $100,“ Dawson said.
The 17th hole at Cottonwood plays 152 yards, and Dawson debated using an 8- or 9-iron. He chose the 9. “After I hit it, Tom (former Baylor athletic director Tom Stanton) said it was looking good. He said he hoped I hit the 8. Then, all of the sudden I hear this roar. I thought I went in the water (in front of the green).”
Instead, Dawson had recorded the fifth hole-in-one of his career but his first since 1983.
“I looked at Tom and he was jumping up and down,“ Dawson said. “I said ‘what happened?’ He said “you just made a hole-in-one.’ I wish I could have seen it.”
“I was riding with David Lacy. He leaned over to me and said there is something not right about this. We can all see, and none of us even hit the green. We have to lead you up here and you make a hole-in-one.”