NCGA Golf

Spring 2017

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14 SPRING 2017 | WWW.NCGA.ORG S H A G B A G Los Gatos native A.J. Allmendinger is revving up his golf game in between NASCAR races DRIVE FOR SHOW A.J. Allmendinger is on pace for a great year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, having already posted a third-place finish at the Daytona 500. When he's not driving the No. 47 Chevrolet SS, however, it's a good bet he's looking for a place to work on his other driving. The 35-year-old Allmendinger, who was born in Los Gatos and grew up in Hollister, caught the golf bug when he moved to North Carolina 10 years ago. He says the game has gone from a pastime to "an addiction" in the last three years as his handicap has dropped to single digits. "In auto racing, we have so many variables – your car, your team, the setup for the week – that there's a lot of luck involved and you have to hope nothing breaks during the race," Allmendinger said. "In golf, you have the same challenges of trying to push yourself and make things happen, but it's all on you. It's a mental and physical challenge that really gets me going." Allmendinger made it back to Northern California last year to play Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay for the first time. This year he plans on bringing some buddies back for another golf trip to his old stomping grounds, possibly prior to June's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Given a choice between winning a major at Pebble or winning the Daytona 500, Allmendinger sees a photo finish. "If I had the game to stay on tour, I'd probably take winning the U.S. Open at Pebble – I don't think I could handle playing at that level every week, though," he said. "I have a huge passion for golf, but I'd probably take winning the 500 for now. But ask me again after I get a little more consistent off the tee."

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