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Fairways and Green make a great Colonial combo

Posted 7:46pm on Tuesday, May. 22, 2012

If there's one golfer who is immediately identifiable with Colonial, it's Ben Hogan, the Fort Worth icon who won 64 tournaments, including Colonial five times.

If there's a Fort Worth musician who reflects Colonial's laid-back charm and party atmosphere, it's Pat Green, the Texas country star who also happens to be a certified golf nut.

During the past 20 years, Green has developed a devoted following with his raucous live shows at places like Billy Bob's Texas and with hits like Wave on Wave. Colonial fans also know him as one of the resident stars of the pro-am and a regular in the spectator gallery during tournament week.

Green is in the midst of promoting his new CD, Songs We Wish We'd Written II, released May 8, so he is not playing the pro-am. But he'll be at the course, cheering on his buddies on the tour and soaking in the atmosphere.

"I love Colonial. The history of it," says Green, who used to be a member at Colonial and Shady Oaks. "Ben Hogan is such a legendary figure in golf, and to be walking around in his shadow ... there's nothing better."

Green knows a thing or two about great golf courses. He keeps a spreadsheet of all 446 golf courses he has played.

"I've definitely had my dance card punched," says Green, who will be hosting his first charity golf tournament in late July at a little course you may have heard of -- Pebble Beach.

Green says that Colonial is right there with the best of them. "The Horrible Horseshoe (holes 3-5) has earned its rep. I've only birdied No. 5 a couple of times. I've never birdied No. 3," says the 7-handicapper, who started playing golf when he was 12.

"Honestly, I was one of out of 10 kids, and Mama just wanted to drop me off somewhere and she could do that with golf," says Green, who grew up near Waco.

Golf became his passion, and turning pro became a dream.

"Without a doubt, it's the only dream I ever imagined," says Green. "I was good golfer, but hit a wall. So I decided to stick with singing."

His fans are glad he did. Green's rich voice and life-of-the-party stage persona have earned him a loyal following since he started out as an 18-year-old Texas Tech University student playing gigs around Lubbock. He's recorded 12 albums in 20 years, and he shared the stage with some of the giants of the music industry. On Songs We Wish We'd Written II, Green honors some of his favorite singer-songwriters, with diverse covers of Tom Petty's Even the Losers, Lyle Lovett's If I Had a Boat and Collective Soul's The World I Know.

For Green, who turned 40 last month, it's a bit of a return to his rootsier sound, and it's his first album with new label Sugar Hill Records. So far, the CD is doing well on the country iTunes charts. Green's next local gig will be July 3 at Lone Star Park.

Green moved to Fort Worth from Austin eight years ago, and says now that he can't "imagine living anywhere else." On Colonial week, he can't imagine being anywhere but the course.

"I go out on Thursday and Friday and really enjoy myself," he says. "I say hi to my buddies on the tour [Ryan Palmer, Matt Weibring and Bo Van Pelt]. They're working stiffs, just like me. Everyone who is a pro singer wants to be a pro golfer, and vice versa. What most people don't realize is how hard it is to be a pro golfer."

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