As I was scanning the final results of the recent Idaho Amateur Golf Championship I saw a lot of familiar names. Some it turned out were the son's of Idaho's top amateur golfers of years ago but one was the real deal. There he was, Joe Malay well down the leaderboard but after all these years he was still in the tournament with Idaho's best. Joe posted a 54 hole score of 247. My first thought, holy cow he can still hit the ball!

Joe Malay of Weiser has been the real deal in Idaho Golf for as long as I can remember. The real deal but not par for the course!

Malay was anything but! His dress code had an area of it's own, he carried a long, long stick that called a driver and was quick to challenge anyone and everyone to see if they could even hit the ball, forget keeping the ball in play.

Joe and I go way back to the 80's when we co-hosted a local Golf show called "Closest to the Pin". It was taped live at Eagle Hills, a par three across water that psyched everyone out and if the hole didn't do it, Malay would.

Every week 8 contestants, who actually signed up for on their own accord, we humbled by the hole, the game and Mr. Malay. Joe always did it in a fun way but it took some getting used too. Joe and I were at the announcers table just to the side of the tee. Golfers could hear everything we said including Joe's description of their clothing, setup and waggle.

Consider you are trying not to embarrass yourself on TV by at least clearing the water but Instead of quiet and respect as you set up, there was Joe joking how someone could possibly hit the golf ball with their feet pointed east-west.

Contestants would wait for Joe to pipe down, then start their backswing and yes Joe would start talking again. Into the water the ball would go and Joe showed no remorse...It was all about the show and if you were going to signed up you were going to have fun whether or not you thought you were having fun.

To this day that is what golf is all about for Joe Malay, having fun, scoring well and enjoying the experience.

We always played nine holes of golf following days we taped the show. It was fun and I actually played some of the best golf during those rounds.

It was great to see his name among Idaho's top young amateurs who are still learning a thing or two about the game of golf from an Idaho icon.

Joe used to tell me, just close your eyes and swing....can't hurt after your last shot!


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