He drives a golf ball 300 yards, sleeps next to a hot legal assistant and owns a German sports car.
Eric Zinn is like the Tom Brady of Marathon, but beneath that cool, collected demeanor lays a tendency for silliness that often leads to complete insanity.
“You got to have a release, you know,” Zinn said. “Professional is professional, but you had to have an even balance.”
He is the golf pro at Sombrero Country Club and handles a number of responsibilities including management of the pro shop, running tournaments and handicapping, “which is difficult because everyone is a sandbagger,” he said.
Aside from his 4-shot handicap, the “Tales of Zinn” are often difficult to believe and must be supported by hard evidence. Often times, notarized letters, women’s undergarments, and photographic evidence are used to support his growing legend.
When word reached the Hurricane that the young golf pro would be featured on page 5, the Weekly received a flurry of email attachments depicting Zinn in a variety of fancy costumes and striking poses.
While most of the pictures were not suitable for public consumption, they reveal much about a young man destined for greatness both on and off the golf course.
Images of fishing conquests and scenic vacation pictures harkens the spirit of Ernest Hemingway. Photos of him making the perfect tee shot and attending to domestic chores reminds us how close Zinn is to becoming a cultural phenomenon, our own Tiger Woods.
“He runs a mean vacuum,” said Zinn’s current live-in girlfriend, Meghan Davis, adding, “It’s probably the most domestic thing he does.”
“Oh yeah, I am a total house-man,” Zinn said. “I do it all. Laundry, dishes, whatever needs to get done, I don’t care.”
As a member of the Marathon Jaycees, Zinn was also the first of “the new generation” to be named Jaycee of the Week due to his heightened sense of compassion and an unfaltering dedication to the community’s youth.
At a dance hosted at the Jaycee Community Center, a sixth-grader burst into tears after being dumped by his girlfriend.
“I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it,’” Zinn said with a strange look of intensity. “’There are plenty of fish in the pond. This type of thing will probably happen to you when you are middle-aged, overweight and underpaid as well…so this is a good lesson to learn.’”
Zinn first washed onto the Marathon shores in 2006 as the assistant golf pro at Sombrero County Club. Like other transplants, he felt his time in the Keys would be a six-month extended vacation – essentially a lark.
A year and half later, Zinn packed his clubs, and beloved Labrador Retriever into his 1.8 liter VW Golf and hightailed it north back to his boyhood home in Harwinton, Connecticut.
He grew up in a typical household, terrorizing his neighborhood from behind the handlebars of his dirt bike and playing pickup baseball games with neighborhood chums.
Like other sensible people of his generation, Zinn also briefly flirted with following in his father’s footsteps – much to his father’s displeasure. Whenever he had extra time, his father and uncle would take young Zinn on Heating/HVAC jobs, sending the prodigy into the hot crawl spaces filled with skin-irritating insulation.
“You going to college?” his father would chuckle from below.
“I must have heard that a thousand times,” Zinn said. “By age 17 I realized what they were trying to say to me. I owe my father and uncle a lot for the work ethic they instilled in me and I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for their encouragement and patience.”
Zinn earned a degree in education from Eastern Connecticut State University and spent one semester as a student teacher.
“I may go back to it when I am older,” Zinn said as he dropped three shots in a row onto the green from the 5th tee. “But right now, I don’t have the patience.”
In ten years, Zinn said he hopes to be enjoying the gaudy, hedonistic lifestyle of a lottery winner.
“No, I’m just kidding,” he joked. “I just want a nice life with a big yard and lots of man toys.”