Teeing Off With ... Khari Jones

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

It goes without saying the lowest form of golfers on the planet are those who stalk the hallowed grounds of the emerald links operating cell phones or Blackberry devices while playing.

Without question, the guy in your foursome who makes a call while you line up a putt is far more ignorant than the impatient jackass who hits into you from behind or the slowpokes who take too long in front of you.

However, former Stampeders quarterback Khari Jones may have come up with the perfect excuse to dial up during a round.

Midway through a pleasant round at Valley Ridge Golf Club with two CBC colleagues early Friday evening, Jones wandered off behind the 10th green to quietly deliver a message no one could possibly have any qualms with.

Minutes earlier he had received word his longtime teammate Milt Stegall had finally broken the CFL's career touchdown record, and Jones wanted to be one of the first to send congratulations.

"Just wanted to say congrats my friend -- I'm proud of you and just wanted to let you know how special it is to have been a part of it," Jones said in the message before trying to discreetly return to the foursome.

Instead of being chastised for the message overheard by all, he was given a warm smile.

After all, as the man who threw 67 touchdown passes Stegall's way over four years in Winnipeg, it's understandable the 36-year-old Calgary resident would feel some measure of pride in Stegall's accomplishment.

"I agree cell phones aren't cool on a golf course -- I'm usually not that guy," smiled Jones who wrapped up his nine-year CFL career last season. "Milt's definitely a friend for sure and I couldn't be happier for him."

One of only three quarterbacks to throw for more than 40 touchdowns in a season (Doug Flutie and Peter Liske are the others), Jones left the game after stops in Calgary, Hamilton and Edmonton didn't pan out. However, as owner of 17 Blue Bombers records -- not to mention a Booster Juice franchise he still owns in Winnipeg -- Jones is well remembered in Manitoba and Canada as one of the most dominant quarterbacks the league has seen since 2000.

While his golf game couldn't possibly live up to his football prowess, the 14-handicap hits an abnormally high ball with his irons and abnormally long ball with his driver. He can putt too, as evidenced by the 30-footer he rolled in on the second hole.

Obviously as a father of two, broadcaster, actor, motivational speaker and employee with National Oil Well Varco, Jones doesn't hit the links as often as he'd like.

"Golf is a passion, sadly enough with only ten rounds in a year," said Jones, whose front nine 41 clashed with a back nine 47 courtesy of the golf gods who obviously disliked his on-course phone use.

"The best football season I had was 2001 (when the Bombers lost to Calgary in the Grey Cup) I also had my best year in golf because I played every week."

The game is also dear to his heart as hours after playing his favourite course in the world, Mauni Lani in Hawaii, he proposed to his wife at the resort.

Yet, as much as he loves the game, the cellphone incident was followed by yet another golf gaffe: He forgot his wallet.

"It makes it easier," laughed the mild-manned Indiana native, who will forever be reminded he still owes $5 a head for skins.

---

KHARI JONES

Age: 36

Handicap: 14

Best round: 80

Avg. rounds a year: 10

Years played: 14

Golf highlight: Eagled a par 4 from 120 yards out.

Favourite course: Mauni Lani.

In his bag: Mizuno T-zoid irons, Taylor Made R540 driver 


Videos

Photos