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State recognizes ‘Golf Doctor’


Earlier this summer, an alert reader contacted me inquiring about the Bulletin’s golf columnist, Dr. Charlie Blanchard.

“In recent months,” the reader wrote, “I found myself wondering if one were to calculate how many square feet of prose about golf Charlie Blanchard has written over the years, how would that total compare to the square footage of an average golf course?”

Curiosity got the best of me.

Charlie, the Golf Doctor, has written for the Bulletin since 2006, and has written in the range of 880 columns. Those columns typically take up about 50 square inches, which in the current size of the Bulletin is about a half page. In terms of square footage, that’s roughly .35 square feet per column. All told, Charlie has written around 300 square feet in columns. Now that is just a tiny segment of a golf course, where even a green is typically 1,000 to 5,000 square feet. A tee box might be a better comparison.

But in another comparison, I recently saw a video of a 300-square-foot apartment in New York City. They did a pretty good job maximizing the space, and an 11-foot ceiling helped, but still, it’s 300 square feet. The monthly rent for that apartment? $2,300.

I’ve gotten to know Charlie over the years, and really appreciate him as a person, as well as a golf expert.

The state of New Mexico appreciates him as well, and last week, Blanchard received a proclamation from Lt. Gov. Howie Morales recognizing him as the state’s “Doctor of Golf.”

Not only is Charlie a clinician in terms of the sport, he is also an actual doctor, and has done work in sports psychology.

As anyone who has golfed with me can attest, I am a total hack on the course. I tell people I am so lousy at both golf and bowling that, for me, in either sport, a 100 is a good score.

Still, I regularly find useful concepts in Charlie’s columns, not necessarily to help my shoddy golf game, but to apply in business and everyday life.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Charlie included in his column this quote from the late architect and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” That rings true in so many walks of life.

In the walk of the golf course, Blanchard has definitely made the existing model obsolete. One of the hardest things for anyone to do in golf is to hit their age. Blanchard is 80, an age where many people are under the green grass instead of walking on it with a golf club. And his score at the end of a round is almost always under 80 these days.

This latest recognition might not have happened without the persistence of Charlie’s golf partner and friend Dave Kimble, who introduced Blanchard to the lieutenant governor, who was duly impressed. A few conversations later, and some work on behalf of Morales, and the honor was bestowed.

Blanchard is not the first Bulletin sportswriter to be honored with a state proclamation. In 2011, the 50th state legislature issued a proclamation of condolence at the passing of beloved Bulletin sports editor John “Ranger” Keith, who happened to be a friend of Blanchard’s.

I’m grateful Charlie’s recognition did not come posthumously.

Congrats, Doc Blanchard, and we at the Bulletin express our sincere appreciation for your contributions to our newspaper, and to the Las Cruces community these many years.