Par For The Course

Life as a five-star recruit can be hectic and time-consuming. That's why it's probably important to take some time away from the game. The latest prospect to commit to the Kansas Jayhawks certainly loves to work on his post moves but he also wouldn't mind perfecting his sand wedge.

When 6-11 Cole Aldrich isn’t in the gym chances are he’s out enjoying his 2nd love – golf. sat down with the highly-touted center and talked about his favorite four-letter word.

The Kansas Jayhawks landed a key verbal from 2007 stud Cole Aldrich last week. There’s no doubt the 6-11 center from Bloomington, MN will spend a majority of his time the next two years getting his game Big 12-ready. If the high school junior wishes to achieve his future goal of playing basketball at the highest level you can be certain there will be plenty of time spent shooting jumpers, lifting weights, and conditioning his body for the rigors of big-time hoops. But you can also make certain Cole will still find time for his 2nd love --- golf.

“I don’t even remember really how I got interested. I think it was like 4th or 5th grade --something like that. One day I think we went out and got some clubs and went out and played and I’ve liked it ever since,” Aldrich recalled.

By the time Thursday rolled around, Cole had officially confirmed his wish to spend his career in Lawrence, and he was ready to enjoy a day off from school. Don’t get me wrong, Cole loves the game of basketball and is a competitor who is not shy about his desire to get better, but that would have to wait at least one more day. Thursday he was planning on squeezing a round in with a buddy who lives on a golf course.

Time is ticking and the Minnesota winter is on the way. During Bloomington’s frigid period there will be plenty of time for Cole to work on increasing his range, his handle and his footwork; all areas of his game he’s looking to improve. But for now the orange ball will have to give way to the little white ball. Aldrich was focused on spending the next few days getting in his last couple of trips around the links.

If you look at Cole’s picture and you think you might’ve seen him around Lawrence before, of course it’s entirely possible you saw him at Phog Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night festivities or on campus visit. It’s also entirely possible that a few weeks ago, you saw him on a popular Lawrence golf course. Aldrich played a round on the private side of Alvamar Golf and Country Club during his visit for Late Night and the course had him in awe in more ways than one. It proved to be quite a challenge for the avid golfer.

“When I was in Lawrence we played Alvamar and that was a rough time on my ego,” Cole said with a chuckle. “It’s a beautiful course but we were playing the private side and it’s narrow and I don’t hit very straight shots. I’m trying to find them out in the bushes and the trees and even somebody’s backyard pool (laughs).”

It’s not everyday you see a 6-11 kid patrolling the fairways at the local club, but it may become a more regular occurrence once Cole hits campus in the fall of 2007.

“Oh yeah it’s definitely going to be fun. I think when I get down there I may even work at one,” said Aldrich.

Since we were on the topic of golf I thought I’d ask which players were his favorites. Surprisingly enough Cole is not an avid fan of the PGA TOUR and just watches “a little bit” of professional golf. Aldrich then proceeded to proclaim that the popular John Daly is his favorite TOUR player. What? No Tiger?

“I like Tiger, but you can’t go with the top priority guy,” said Aldrich.

For the average golfer life on the links is not quite as glorious as it is for the world’s number one player or for guys like Big John Daly. But once you pick up a club and attempt to grip it and rip it, it’s easy to get sucked in and it’s no different for Cole.  

“It’s kind of addicting. I’m just that competitive type person who wants to get better at everything that I do,” said Aldrich.

Lastly, wondered if the five-star recruit had the handicap to match.

“I don’t have a current handicap. I haven’t gotten that far yet. But this summer I’m going to keep all my golf scores and average them out and see what I get,” Aldrich proclaimed.

Meanwhile, golf and basketball are par for the course for Aldrich. Top Stories