Houston Oilers placekicker Al Del Greco again proved he is the
best golfing gridder last Saturday by winning his fourth
straight NFL Players Championship, which is played along with a
Senior tour event, with a two-under-par 70. But to hear
Baltimore Ravens tight end Brian Kinchen tell it, NFL players
like Del Greco have an edge.
The 6'2", 240-pound Kinchen, whose 73 tied John Elway of the
Denver Broncos for second, says kickers and quarterbacks don't
have to train as much as players in more physical positions,
like his. "Hey, I'm in the weight room two hours a day," Kinchen
says. "They go for an hour at most. I bust my butt running for
two hours. They jog for a half hour." And that, claims Kinchen,
leaves more time for golf. Also, all the weightlifting has
limited Kinchen's range of motion. His four handicap is a
triumph of athleticism over biomechanics.
Del Greco, one of Kinchen's close friends, has a fluid swing,
but he attributes his success to course management and the
mental game. Del Greco works with teaching pro Jim McLean and in
the off-season plays or practices five days a week. "He has
wonderful tempo and a great understanding of shots around the
green," says Bob Murphy, who won the Senior tour segment.
Del Greco says tournament golf requires a level of concentration
that is useful in football. "I don't think there's a way you can
teach people to block things out," he says, comparing golf shots
to kicking. "That's what separates guys who make it as kickers
from those who don't. Being able to block out the negative
thoughts helps you out here."