Who golfs? Dayton restaurant owner Ayala

Who golfs? Dayton restaurant owner Ayala

June 15th, 2011 by David Uchiyama in Sports - Golf

Jose Ayala, owner of Ayala's Mexican Restaurant.

Jose Ayala, owner of Ayala's Mexican Restaurant.

Photo by Hannah Campbell /Times Free Press.

A PGA Tour event was on the television inside Ayala's Mexican Restaurant on a recent Sunday when frequent customer Doug Goodfellow struck up a conversation with the owner.

Goodfellow pointed at the screen and asked if Ayala, a 32-year-old former soccer player, would have any interest in learning a new game - one he could play by himself or with just a couple of buddies.

Ayaha had plenty of interest, so Goodfellow invited him to Moccasin Bend to hit a few shots on the range, learn the basic rules - fewer strokes is better - and enhance their friendship.

After one session on the range and one nine-hole round, Ayala bought himself a set of clubs and is getting the infectious golf bug.

"I didn't know the basics - how to hold a club, how to swing a club, how to keep score," Ayala said Tuesday. "I'm just three weeks into this."

Those three weeks have included two introductory sessions on the range and two nine-hole rounds. He shaved three strokes off his score from the first to second rounds.

"My wife and I go [to the restaurant] three or four times a week and I asked him, 'Do you want to try this? Do you want to come to the range with me one day?'" Goodfellow said. "Now we're down here every Tuesday."

It's a date that Ayala looks forward to.

"I've really enjoyed it," he said. "If I have something to do, I put it away and come down here and play."