Las Vegas, Nevada (April 15, 2011)–In the golf vernacular, the term 'puking' is used when somebody loses nerve over a three-footer and misses a putt that could win a match. But several PGA Tour players were quite literally 'puking' in the days leading up to the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open and it had nothing to do with what was happening on the course. Las Vegas PGA Tour star Charley Hoffman was one of those golfers, and he proudly threw up while taking part in a special Air Force Orientation Flight at Randolph Air Force Base. –By Brian Hurlburt.
"I definitely have a new found respect for all those Air Force pilots and what they put their body through," Hoffman told the media following the first round. "I was going to be the guy that didn't throw up. You always hear of people throwing up. I guess I was that guy. It definitely takes a toll on your body like no other experience I've ever had. I don't know if I'll ever do it again. It definitely was a lot of fun and also shooting 4-under was a lot of fun today." Hoffman is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour but probably never felt pressure like what he experienced in the skies over Texas. Hoffman was one of several golfers and caddies to take advantage of the opportunity. More Las Vegas PGA Tour News.
After being cleared to fly by the flight surgeon, the golfers were issued flight suits and flight boots before receiving safety training. Then, the golfers were custom-fitted for helmets and G-suits. Finally, the newly trained backseat pilots prepared for the ride of their lives as they received a mission brief before take-off. Check Charley's Facebook page and become a friend plus see photos of him during the day, complete with his insides splattered over his flight suit.
"We offer a unique experience where they can see what we do on day-to-day missions," said Lt. Col. Stacey Knutzen, 12th OG deputy commander and head military affairs coordinator for the Valero Texas Open, in an official press release. "We don't just accommodate high-profile players, but anyone with interest or appreciation. The orientation flights are popular among the players. It's amazing how we look at them and see that they do something cool, and they look back at us and see that we do something cool."
Hoffman and some of the other golfers who participated said the flight experience even impacted their practice leading up to the tournament. But Hoffman was able to fight off the after effects and record a solid opening round. "It took me a good day to get feeling better and I mean you can mentally prepare all you want for it but you're not going to do it," Hoffman said. "Once your body tells you it's time, it's time. So no, I'm glad I did it on Tuesday, not a Wednesday and it definitely felt good today." PGA Tour quotes via ASAPSports.com.