I caught up with Charley Hoffman's threesome as they were making the turn this morning. Hoffman, you might recall, told me the other day that he's "about a four-year-old at heart," so I figured I should see for myself. Anyhow, he doesn't necessarily act like a four-year-old on the course, but he is fairly distinctive, what with the golden locks cascading down his neck. Most professional golfers, it turns out, don't have golden locks cascading down their necks.
"Flowing," Hoffman said proudly.
"I think it looks totally skanky, like he just escaped from the surf shop," Shelley Jackson, a spectator from Bowie, told me.
"This is such a conservative group of individuals who play this game, they're almost vacuous, so it's nice to see something different," said her husband, Robert Miller. "At least it's washed."
"If I could hit my drive 350 yards like that, I'd let my hair grow too," said 62-year-old John Grozier of Leesburg, after Hoffman crushed his drive at 18.
"He looks like a girl," said Janice Tolford of Fairfax. "But he hasn't got a waist and he doesn't have boobs. He needs a really good haircut. Put some pigtails on him."
"It it doesn't look good in pigtails," Hoffman told me, when I conveyed Tolford's suggestion.
If you need actual Hoffman information, he won the Bob Hope Classic this year, is 47th on the money list and is from San Diego. He's staying with a family that lives near the third fairway, where he plays video games and sleeps a lot and attempts to beat up 18-year-old Mike Garchik, who was following him around yesterday and called Hoffman "a little kid." After getting to 2-under yesterday, he finished at 1-over 71.
At last year's D.C. event, Garchik told me, Hoffman and his caddie, Miguel Rivera, pretended to play lacrosse with golf clubs while stalled on the fairway. Hoffman also threw a golf ball at Rivera, and hit him square in the head. I asked Hoffman about this.
"Probably," Hoffman allowed. "He's thrown a ball at me and cracked my tooth, so I probably owed him.".
"It was an accident," Rivera said. "He was wearing sunglasses, you can't see if he's looking, so I threw it at him. And I realized as the ball's in the air that he wasn't looking at me. Then I said 'Hey, watch out,' and then he looked at me."
Naturally, Rivera has long hair too. He said they travel so much it's hard to find the time for a hair cut. Hoffman said he'd get a trim before the British Open, but won't chop it off until "I stop liking long hair." Fans have taken to following them around while wearing long-haired wigs. The Garchiks plan on breaking out such wigs this weekend. I asked Hoffman whether Rivera is the best-coiffed caddie on Tour; "the worst," he said, explaining "I don't say anything nice about my caddie."
Anyhow, I set up shop by the 17th green and asked some fans for the best pro-golfer hair they'd seen thus far. The response was muted.
"Nobody sticks out," Steve Tinter said.
"It ain't even crossed my mind," Rob Cook said.
Then Hoffman and friends arrived. The fans were impressed.
"I wonder if he's just going for the Best Hair Award," A.J. Cook said.
"It almost looks like it's attached to his hat," Tinter said.
"Jeez, look at that," Rob Cook said. "He's got some bad-ass hair."