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Maury's obsession with golf brings him here

August 29, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

In the midst of hustling and bustling as it nears completion of its new clubhouse, Fountain Head Country Club played host to the United States Golf Association on Monday in a regional qualifying event for the Senior Amateur Championships, to be conducted next month.

It's not every day a national celebrity pops into Anytown, USA, to play golf, unless it's for a PGA, LPGA or Champions Tour event. But Monday was such a day, when national syndicated television host Maury Povich was in the Hub City, hoping to claim one of three available spots.

I'm one who spends little, if any, time viewing daytime television. At this time I'm one who is out doing what Povich was doing, playing golf.

However, you still know who the names are in daytime television who are at the head of the rumor, controversy or tabloid sections. And of course, being the son of a great sports columnist, Shirley Povich - well, you know the name.

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Unable to confirm a time with him prior to his arrival, which was on Sunday for a practice round, I had to hope time could be fit into his routine, which included a 9:50 a.m. tee time.

With his caddie, Povich showed up at Fountain Head at about 8:45. Knowing very well that a golfer doesn't normally like unscheduled interruptions once he gets to a course, I simply introduced myself and asked for some time after he completed his round.

Then I was amazed and surprised.

He suggested taking the time at that moment. We secured a private table in one of the new dining rooms, and I think if he didn't have a tee time at 9:50, we might have talked for more than the half hour we did.

I was impressed with his demeanor. He was very cordial, smiling and relaxed. You could tell, talking about golf, he has come to develop a passion for the sport.

He passed on a story that goes back about 18 years and involves his wife of 22 years, Connie Chung.

"(Connie) bought me a golf package that was for lessons with Peter Kostis (a CBS analyst and golf technician)," said Povich. "(Connie) had done some research on lessons. (Kostis) came to New Jersey and stayed the weekend giving me lessons. Ever since then, we've been attached at the hip. I probably talk to him every few days. I had become a golf devil."

At one time, Povich was playing to a 4 handicap, but the lessons and continued pursuit of golf excellence has brought his handicap down three notches, even at his age of 67. He seems fit, is 6-foot-1 and plans on playing for a long time.

"I love playing golf everywhere, but I really love playing golf in Maryland and I enjoy coming here," Povich said of his visit to Hagerstown, his first since a previous visit two years ago in the same event. "I love the (Fountain Head) course."

On his own behalf and that of his wife, he is around wealth. He holds memberships at Caves Valley and Woodmont Golf Clubs in Maryland and at Whisper Rock in Scottsdale, Ariz. He spends time at one of his homes in Montana when he's not at home in Manhattan.

But, if just for a portion of one day, it was nice to see someone spending time enjoying their visit to Hagerstown.




Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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