If Chi Chi Rodriguez's first round of golf was an act of trespassing, Tim Gavin's was that and more. Gavin's first round was an act of transgression, fueled by booze, marred by misdemeanors, notable only for its disregard for the Rules of Golf and basic human decency. But that was years ago, before Gavin gained respect for the royal and ancient game -- before he understood that golf carts were not made for driving through bunkers, and that the cups that hold flagsticks were not designed to double as ashtrays or, worse, port-o-potties.
So much has changed.
Gavin is 30 now, less crass and quite contrite. He regrets his youthful rambles, asks forgiveness, swears he has reformed. And it's hard to doubt him as he strides through the pro shop at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, California, a model of comportment in a collared shirt and slacks that cover many if not most of his tattoos.
"Titleists? Cool," he says, inspecting the merchandise at the counter. "I usually use range balls on the dog tracks I play."
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.