July 16, 2008
– Georgia Tech senior golfer David Dragoo is sprinkling fly fishing and rodeo along with playing amateur events this summer. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native, who played a solid No. 4 for Tech in the spring and finished tied for 13th at the ACC Championship, shares some of his experiences.
After our spring season ended, my dad and I planned a fishing trip to Northern Canada. It has been an annual trip we have taken for the past three years, and it is good for both of us to get away and hang out as father and son.
We have checked off places like the Abacos in the Bahamas (bonefishing) and British Columbia, Canada, fishing for trophy salmon on the Kitamat River. We went to Northern Manitoba near the Manitoba and Nunavut provincial borders. We did fly-out lake fishing for 10 days and stayed at a remote lodge in the middle of the wilderness. All in all, we were able to catch the Canadian ‘big four’ – northern pikes, lake trout, grayling, and walleye. We are strictly fly-fishermen, so we had a blast pulling out large fish from the ice-frozen lakes and grass inlets with flies we had tied ourselves over the previous days leading up to the trip. We then spent a few days in Winnipeg fishing the famous Red River with a professional guide and friend Stu Thompson. We caught catfish, carp, and goldeneye, not to mention a 32 pound Catfish – all of the fly of course.
After I returned to Arizona, it was back to business. I came to Atlanta to play in the Dogwood Invitational and had a nice finish, shooting 7-under 281 (71-69-73-68). Then it was on to the Spirit of the Americas Tournament in Decatur, Ala, where I shot 286 (71-69-72-74). Both tournaments were a nice start to the summer and I was happy with my progress in both tournaments.
After this I flew back to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the baptism of my nephew, William Mullins. My youngest sister, Melissa, was also performing in the Pike’s Peak or Bust Rodeo, one of the nation’s largest rodeos, while we were there. She did a demonstration to promote her sport called Cowboy Mounted Shooting during halftime on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The sport is basically a combination of barrel racing and marksmanship with the the rider shooting a single-action Colt .45 revolver at balloons while riding a specific pattern. She is currently the world champion of the the sport and the youngest ever to win the national championship (12 years old) and world championships (14 years old), and she is the top ranked women’s rider in the world. Her demonstration was a bang!
My sister is only 14, and she is going to be a sophomore in high school. Another interesting fact is that she is sponsored by Sturm, Ruger, and Co. or just RUGER – the firearm company. She travels all summer competing and promoting her sport just as I do with golf. Ruger also makes her custom revolvers chambered in Colt .45 she uses. At about $1,000 a piece, it’s a bargain when they are free.
This summer we also went up to their factory in Prescott, Ariz., and shot automatic weapons, machine guns, and toured their facilities. She will get a rodeo scholarship to a Big 12 school or UNLV in the future if she decides to go that route.
I also got a chance to play at the Broadmoor Golf Club where the Men’s USGA Senior Open will be played in a few weeks. I was paired with a friend of mine, David Delich, who is a local amateur playing the tournament. After spending a week with family and friends, not to mention playing several rounds of golf in the city I grew up in, I am now back in Phoenix getting ready for the USGA Amateur Qualifier next week in Tuscon, Ariz. I will spend this week getting prepared for the rest of the summer by traveling out to Carlsbad, Calif., to get a lesson from my coach Jim Flick. This weekend I play two practice rounds and then tee it up Monday in the tournament. After this, I play in the Arizona State Amateur and then fly back to North Carolina for the Cardinal Amateur in August.
Thanks for letting me share some of my summer experiences with you. I’m looking forward to returning to Tech in August and preparing for my senior year.