The Sporting Life - Danny Sahl
By Annette Irwin
Professional golfer Danny Sahl was one of several professional athletes to attend a Kings game this past year.
Having enjoyed a long career on the Canadian Golf Tour -- he won his first Canadian Tour title at the 2011 Syncrude Boreal Open in Alberta, Canada -- Sahl attended Kent State University (1998-01) where he was a three-time First Team All-MAC selection. The former Golden Flash was also the 1999 MAC Championship medalist and was part of four consecutive MAC Championship teams from 1998-2001.
A friend of Jarret Stoll, Sahl answered the following questions from LAKings.com in this latest installment of The Sporting Life:
Q. You are from Alberta, Canada, where two NHL teams are based – the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Are you a fan of either of these teams?
A. Absolutely. Edmonton 100 percent. What’s funny, though, is when I lived in Saskatchewan I was at one point in my life a Calgary Flames fan and only because I like Theoren Fleury. When I was a young kid, he came out to the town where my father lives and did a hockey school so he was my guy. I knew him when he was a junior. He was my idol at the time as a hockey player. I liked Calgary when he played for Calgary. But when I moved to Edmonton I became an Oilers fan.
Q. Who is your favorite hockey player: past or current?
A. My past favorite player is Wayne Gretzky, obviously and I will have to say Theo Fleury.
Q. How is it that you and Jarret Stoll are friends?
A. I met Jarret through a mutual friend when I was in Saskatoon. I was there for a tournament last summer, and he was spending a little bit of time there. I knew of him obviously because he played for Edmonton.
Q. Do you two share each other's skills? Do you play ice hockey and he plays golf?
A. I have never played golf with Jarret. This summer that’s the deal. He gave me some tickets. this summer and I will take him golfing if it works out.
Q. Is Jarret a good golfer?
A. I heard he’s a great golfer. What’s funny is that most hockey players are good at golf. Hockey and golf have very similar motions. The slap shot is similar as driving a golf ball. It’s a rotational sport. Hockey players also possess good eye hand coordination.
Q. You have played golf for a very long time. When did you swing your first golf club?
A. My first time was when I was eight years old. I learned in Saskatchewan. That’s where I first learned how to play the game.
Q. How did you know you wanted to make a career out of it?
A. Obviously I was interested in golf, and was good really early. I was a scratch golfer when I was 13. So I figured I loved it. I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Q. Was there a golfer who served as a role model?
A. They have changed over the years. As a youngster, I looked up to Greg Norman. As I got older, obviously Tiger as done a lot with the game. Mike Weir as well. Now he’s mentoring me and I am working for him right now. It’s a good relationship.
Q. You have played on the Canadian Tour for more than 10 years, what has been your most emotional moment?
A. When I finally won in 2011 at the Syncrude Boreal Open in Fort McMurray, Alberta. I always knew I could win. It took me that long to do it, right? It’s a tough game and it’s really humbling. It is a tough way to make a living.
Q. What is the most challenging course you have ever played?
A. Very good question. I played Oakmont where they have held many U.S Opens in November. The ball doesn’t roll, it’s long, and it’s very difficult. For me that’s the most challenging course I have played.
Q. Do you have a favorite course or one you would like to play in the future?
A. I enjoyed myself at Pebble Beach. I would like to go over to Europe and try some of the Lake style courses. I haven’t been over there yet.
Q. Have you thought of playing over at the European Tour?
A. I really have, yes. If things go well I definitely will go over to their Q school this fall.
Q. What's the strongest part of your game?
A. Ball striking. I am a very good ball striker. I can hit it fairly long. I can hit shots. I can curve the ball whichever way it needs to be done. So yeah basically ball striking.
Q. What part of your game are you working on?
A. Probably mental. Maybe a little bit of short game. After watching Mike Weir play I know where I need to work on my game. His short game is far superior to mine and I think that’s the missing tool for me.
Q. If you weren't a golfer what would be your career choice?
A. Good question. You know I loved hockey and I was a really good hockey player. I had to make a choice back when I was 15 whether I was going to keep pursuing hockey. Unfortunately, I am only 5’8, maybe 5’9, but I was good. I was drafted to the Western Hockey League. I chose to purse my golf. I have always known I wanted to be a golf pro, so I am doing what I love to do.
Check out LAKings.com/news now to read the first four series installments featuring UFC/MMA legend Tito Ortiz, horse racing champion jockey Garrett Gomez, up-and-coming NHRA drag racer Courtney Force, and international / LA Galaxy soccer star Robbie Keane.
Future editions of The Sporting Life will feature a local MLB catcher, an NFL veteran and the legendary Phil Jackson, as the member of the Basketball Hall of Fame provides his unique insights on our sport.