On his 13th birthday, Josh Kamin received a set of golf clubs from his grandfather. By age 15 he sported an 8 handicap, and was scratch a year later—a rarefied level he maintains today as a top amateur.
For a time he considered becoming a professional golfer; then he participated in the Pan American Maccabi Games in Venezuela in 1987.
“I played with the national long-driving champion,” says Kamin, 37, a partner with King & Spalding in Atlanta. “Back then, before all the new technology, I could hit it 280 yards with a persimmon driver. But this guy could out-hit me by 80 yards, and even he wasn’t likely to turn pro. I realized even a scratch golfer is a couple of skill levels below a touring pro.”
The highlight of his competitive career, he says, was the 2005 World Maccabiah Games—aka the Jewish Olympics—held every four years in Israel.
“I wouldn’t consider myself a very religious person, but I have a sense of family, community and history,” he says. “It was great to see the unity of the Jewish community around the world as well as its diversity. And to tour a country where the history is thousands of years old was pretty cool.”
While Kamin has never had a hole-in-one, he has recorded something far rarer: a double eagle, on the par 5, 541-yard 18th hole at the Piedmont Driving Club, a treacherous finisher guarded by water.
With 262 yards to go on his second shot, he hit a driver off the deck, then turned to a fellow player and said, “That might be the best shot I ever hit.” Forget “might.” The ball found the cup. His wife, Lindsey, had the scorecard and ball framed in a shadowbox, which hangs on the wall of Kamin’s 31st floor office.
Kamin plays only a couple rounds a month but he has some pithy advice for lawyers who play golf with clients.
“Always let the client win,” he says.