As Chris Baker planned his trip home last week for his engagement party, he also wanted to try to do something for all the people who have supported him over his professional golf career.
So Baker decided to host a free golf clinic Friday afternoon at Hickory Hills Golf Course where anyone was welcome to come out to it.
“It’s humbling to come back here and to see the crowd and the kids come out,” Baker said. “It’s something I treasure and I’m happy to see guys playing golf because golf has been a great game to me. I’ve learned a lot and if I can pass that on to them it’d mean a lot to me.”
It was a good turnout as Baker fielded questions for nearly two hours. He demonstrated shots, he talked about his time playing with Tiger Woods, he talked about being on SportsCenter’s Top 10 and gave all sorts of tips to kids, high schoolers and adults.
“I’ve always wanted to do something at Hickory Hills,” he said. “It’s something small I can offer and to give back and I appreciate it.”
Baker had a device that could read how far he hit the ball, so as a fun activity, Baker had kids tell him how far to hit it. Baker had to be within two yards either way of the number, and if he won, a kid would have to do five push-ups, and if he lost, Baker would have to do five push-ups.
The first kid suggested 199 yards, and Baker hit it 204. Five push-ups for Baker. The next one challenged him to 124, and Baker hit it 122. Sorry kid. The final one he did was 150, and Baker nailed it right on the money, dishing out five more push-ups.
He then allowed the kids hit some golf balls with him. After all the balls were hit, the kids were sent to pick them up. If any ball they picked up was marked with a number, they had the opportunity to pick out a prize on a table that featured signed photos of Baker, Puma shirts, golf gloves and more accessories.
Baker still took time after the clinic concluded to take photos and sign autographs for anyone who wanted one.
Prior to the clinic, Baker played a scramble with former coaches, mentors and friends. All in all it was a great experience for Baker back on his home course.
“It’s cool just to come and hangout and relive some memories and talk to them and see them more,” Baker said. “It was great. Cool day overall and I just like being here. This is home. Brownstown has done a lot of good for me and if I can ever offer anything to give back, that’s what I would love to do.”
Baker will be in Salt Lake City this weekend on the Korn Ferry Tour before the regular season wraps up in two weeks in Omaha.
Right now, Baker is ranked 68th in points. The top 75 players maintain their cards for next year, and the top 75 also get to play in the Korn Ferry Finals, a three-tournament series to determine 25 more PGA Tour cards based on performance in those tournaments. The series features the top 75 from the Korn Ferry Tour and players 126 to 200 from the PGA Tour.
The three tournaments take place in Boise, Ohio State University and Victoria National, concluding the first week of September.
Baker is feeling good about his close to the season.
“It’s been an interesting year so far. I’m right there. Couple good weeks to finish the year, it’ll be no problem,” he said. “Playing good, feeling good, body is healthy and doing a lot of good things.”