There are many advantages to being one of the world’s most famous individuals. Among them, you can pretty much do what you want, when you want. For some, that means jet-setting across the globe and buying your own private island just for the heck of it. For others, being rich, powerful and famous means only one thing – golf, golf and more golf.
Sure, lots of celebrities play golf occasionally. But there’s a handful that couldn’t live without the game. See below list. Keeping in the theme of Life Without Golf, we’ve tabbed these eight celebs who could definitely not live without freshly cut grass, funny looking hats and a little white ball.
1. Jimmy Fallon
The Saturday Night Love alum and current The Tonight Show host is gaga for golf. In just the past year, he’s had Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Charles Barkley (does he count?) on the show. He’s also appeared on a recent Golf Digest cover. Not to mention, he’s best buds with Justin Timberlake, who might make an appearance on this list (hint, hint).
On being made fun of for being a golfer today: “No way! That’s gone now. Golf is totally cool. There are a lot of younger, good-looking people in the game, and the way people look at golf has definitely changed.”
Fallon, who actually played golf on his high school team, is now the king of late night. If anyone can make golf cool again, it’s him.
2. Ryan Sheckler
25-year-old Ryan Sheckler is one of the best skateboarders in the world. He also happens to be bros with Rickie Fowler.
That’s why Sheckler, along with surfer Evan Geiselman, musician Kelley James and Supercross rider Jeremy McGrath joined Fowler earlier this year at TPC Scottsdale to film the premiere of Golf Digests’s new web series, “Why Golf.” The series is an awesome look at what happens when top golfers tee it up with stars from other sports.
“It’s incredible watching someone try to perfect their craft,” Sheckler said. “It’s fun for us to be able to come out here and play with Rickie, who is so good and so motivating, it makes you want to play so much better. Watching Rickie golf makes me want to go skate.”
Sheckler himself takes his golf pretty seriously. The Ryan Sheckler Celebrity Golf Tournament was started eight years ago to “educate, equip and empower our community to “Be the Change.”
3. Justin Timberlake
“There aren’t many places I can go where I don’t feel like I’m being watched,” Timberlake says. “But the golf course is one of them. It’s my refuge. It’s where I get a chance to be alone in the world.”
Musician, actor, comedian, philanthropist – golfer? Justin Timberlake is literally a golf fanatic. So much so, that the former Mousekeeter bought Mirimichi Golf Course in Memphis back in 2009. JT ended up selling the course last year (and taking a big hit in the process).
Timberlake is a single digit handicapper, and joined his first club when he was just 12-years-old. Now he’s like a modern day Bing Crosby, playing in pro-ams and popping up at PGA Tour events all over the country. The nine-time Grammy winner has even taken lessons from Butch Harmon.
4. President Barack Obama
This guy loves his golf. We often wonder if he would have even secured the Democratic nomination back in 2008 were it not for the centering and soothing qualities of this game. Obama has played with everyone from Tiger Woods to the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
“When I need to relax and clear my head, I turn to sports, whether it’s a pick-up basketball game…or more sedate pastimes like golf, or watching SportsCenter,” he said at a White House sports concussions event last year.
Critics of the President says he plays too much golf. In fact, there’s a website devoted to how many rounds he’s actually played while in the White House. Whether you approve or disapprove of his addiction, there’s hard to find a bigger public figure in the world today that loves golf as much as the POTUS.
5. Michael Jordan
If you’re unaware how much of a golfing nut ‘His Airness’ is – you’ve been living under a rock. Jordan is in the process of building a super private golf course of his own down in Florida. MJ is currently a member at Bear’s Club, in Jupiter. He’s also been a staple at charity golf tournaments for the better part of two decades.
In addition to friendships with Tiger Woods, Jordan has become pretty chummy with PGA pro Keegan Bradley. Here’s what Bradley had to say about playing with MJ recently:
“That’s the beautiful part about it. That’s why I love playing with him. I call him my human ATM. I can just go out there if I need some cash I just call [him] up that day. But he really is a good player. The fun part about playing with him is that he’s always in your ear. He’ll go some places that are tough. After the round, you’ll be thinking ‘Man, that was some tough stuff he said to me.'”
6. Tom Brady
If Tom Brady had never picked up a football, we know what sport he would’ve ended up in – golf. The four-time Super Bowl champion can’t get enough of this crazy game, and spends much of his free time teeing it up with other big name celebs and current PGA pros. Back in March, he even beat Keegan Bradley 6&5 during a high-stakes match in the Bahamas.
Just this week, a story emerged that Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen have applied for membership at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and their application might be in doubt because they’re too famous. How hilarious is that?
Brady’s handicap at last look is about eight. Peyton Manning’s meanwhile is 4.6. But Brady still has three more Super Bowl’s than Manning, so ha!
7. Bill Murray
What would Bill Murray do in his spare time if he didn’t play golf? Would he spend more time bowling? A regular at Pebble Beach and pro-ams throughout the years, nobody has as much talent for bringing the laughs on the course like Murray does.
“I’ve met a lot of extraordinary people through golf,” Murray told Howard Stern last year. “You learned how to treat people by how those people treated you.” In an interview with ESPN’s John Walsh, Murray said, “It’s a game of self-report, the only one. People who seek that game just are of a different fiber.”
8. Donald Trump
Barack Obama and Donald Trump on the same list? What kind of a game are we playing here? Trump has definitely raised some eyebrows the past few days. Among the many reasons, Trump made some comments that golf should be an elitist sport, reserved for those who aspire to play it.
“It may be elitist, and perhaps that’s what golf needs. Let golf be elitist. When I say ‘aspire,’ that’s a positive word. Let people work hard and aspire to some day be able to play golf. To afford to play it. They’re trying to teach golf to people who will never be able to really play it,” Trump stated.
Regardless of how you feel about ‘The Donald’ and his run for the White House, there’s no questioning how big an impact golf has had on his life, and vice versa. Trump, the real estate mogul and brilliant businessman, has put his name on 18 courses worldwide, including one in Bedminster, N.J., which is scheduled to host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2022 PGA Championship. The USGA, which awarded the Women’s Open to Trump, is headquartered in Far Hills, N.J.
Love him or hate him, one thing is for sure – We are guessing that Trump would be even more brash, bold, and ticked off if he had a life without golf.
Ok so maybe these guys would all be just as successful without golf but, we hope they never stop playing. Do you have a favorite celebrity golfer? If so, who is it? Leave us a comment below and give us your guy or gal that you love to see tee it up for a round of 18.