It rained so hard in the hours before the Cubs' April 18 game, everyone figured it would be a washout. When Collins heard the game might be played, he and wife Kim jumped in a car, only to find sections of I-94 shut down.
"I can't believe I'm gonna miss this," he kept saying.
He ran into the park and barely made his 1:08 p.m. "tee time."
"It was a strike," Collins said. "I had to make up for my hockey performance."
He also made up for it at Sunset Ridge, which he played a time or two in the early '90s. Longtime basketball coach/analyst Doug Collins doesn't play — "He doesn't have the personality for golf," Chris said of his high-strung dad — so Chris would hack it around with friends at Sportsman's, a Northbrook Park District course.
In 2012, Collins fulfilled his golfing jones by going to the Masters for two practice rounds.
"That was the one tradeoff for losing to Lehigh (in the NCAA tournament)," he cracked.
Watching those pros must have rubbed off on Collins, who carded a 78. He hit only a handful of bad shots, including a drive on 12 that prompted him to shout: "Son of a bucket!"
He closed out our match on the 16th hole — and apparently was too polite to remind me to pay up. (I still owe him a Sunset Ridge hat.)
"I'm very competitive," he said. "But golf is the one sport where I really just enjoy going out and getting some fresh air."
Five-second bio: The former Glenbrook North and Duke star replaced Bill Carmody as Northwestern basketball coach.
Where: Sunset Ridge, Northfield (White tees: 6,529 yards).
Collins' handicap: 10.
What he shot: 78.
Scouting report on his game: "I'm a gunner — not a safe player."