Celebrity Golfers

Introduction

Golf has always been a game that has attracted its fair share of celebrity players. For famous people, it has many advantages not least of which is probably the chance to spend some time outdoors with their friends in relative obscurity.

The handicapping system also allows people to remain competitive no matter their age.

Let’s take a look at some golfing celebrities starting with those not from a sports background.

Celebrities Who Play Golf

President Donald Trump

Trump on China - Putting America First (November 2, 2020), front cover (cropped)

Divides opinions like no one else. The 45th president managed to hang on to the keys to the White House for four years and in that time managed more than 150 rounds of golf according to trumpgolfcount.com. The cost to the American taxpayer has been approximately $146 million!

Former Pres Trump owns a number of golf courses including:

  • Trump International (Aberdeen)
  • Trump International (West Palm Beach)
  • Trump International (Dubai)
  • Trump International Golf Links (Doonbeg)
  • Trump National Doral
  • Trump National (Bedminster)
  • Trump National (Charlotte)
  • Trump National (Colts Neck)
  • Trump National (Hudson Valley)
  • Trump National (Jupiter)
  • Trump National (Los Angeles)
  • Trump National (Philadelphia)
  • Trump National (Washington D.C.)
  • Trump National (Westchester)
  • Trump Turnberry

Can you spot the trend?

There are also a further three properties under construction, two of which will feature courses by Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.

The former president has claimed a handicap index of 2.8. Respected sportswriter Rick Reilly refutes that however:

If Trump is a 2.8, Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.

Rick Reilly

A number of other celebrities have accused Pres Trump of cheating while playing golf including Alice Cooper and Samuel L Jackson. He apparently is rather fond of a mulligan!

President George H.W. Bush

Arguably the most authentic golfing credentials of any president. His grandfather was president of the USGA and donated the trophy that is played for in the biennial match between the US and Great Britain and Ireland (Walker Cup). 

At his best he managed to achieve a handicap of 11. After his presidency, he was often found supporting initiatives to help grow the game.

Justin Timberlake

The former child star and NSYNC member has been playing golf from a young age. He is also a good golfer with a handicap as low as 1.

Performed host duties at The Shriners Hospitals for Children event on the PGA Tour for six years.

He also purchased a local course called Big Creek and redeveloped it in a more eco-friendly manner. After the $16 million investment, it was renamed Miramichi.

Samuel L Jackson

Has been quoted in the New York Times that he has the option to go golfing twice a week written into his contracts. Was involved in a bit of a spat with former president Trump when he accused the Donald of cheating at golf.

The former Star Wars star has had a handicap as low as 5 according to Golf Digest.

Adam Levine

The Maroon 5 man is a golf nut! Exhibit A:

When I do have time to play or to grind, which is my favorite activity, I basically will hit more golf balls than any person on the planet earth. I will hit thousands of balls a day and wouldn’t even think twice about it

Adam Levine

He has also featured on the “Haney Project”. His goal is to be a scratch player. If only everyone thought that way!

Top celebrity shots

Celine Dion

The French-Canadian loves golf so much she even owns her own course, Le Mirage. Another celebrity who’s appeared in Callaway Golf adverts.

Bill Murray

Arguably one of the most famous celebrity golfers he regularly features in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and of course starred in one of the best golf films of all time as Carl Spackler in Caddyshack. Playing off a 7 handicap

Will Smith

Star of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Will Smith in real life is a member at Sherwood Country Club and holds a handicap of 15.

Matthew McConaughey

The star of Interstellar has a handicap of 9 and claims to have managed four holes in one. Played on his high school golf team.

Larry David

The co-creator of Seinfeld is currently managing to keep a handicap of 12 at Riviera.

Darius Rucker

The lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish is well known on the celebrity golfing circuit. He’s played a lot of golf and that shows with a handicap of 6.

He has a love of South Carolina golf courses and spent time as the PGA Tour’s brand ambassador.

Mark Wahlberg

According to Men’s Health Magazine, Mark has given up golf for a while because he was struggling to fit into his busy schedule.

That’s a shame as he managed to get a handicap of 9 and was also on occasion able to play 18 holes in an hour!

Alice Cooper

Probably not the first celebrity that would spring to mind when talking about golf!

Born Vincent Damon Furnier, the singer battled alcoholism and eventually turned to golf as a way of breaking that addiction.

He admits that in reality, he is merely replacing one addiction with another!

With a handicap as low as 4, he clearly has some serious game. Has played in a number of pro-ams and even appeared in advertisements for Callaway Golf.

Clint Eastwood

Owns his own golf club Tehama, in Carmel and is also co-owner of Pebble Beach. His love affair with golf started as a teenager when he started caddying.

He’s been a mainstay at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am since the 60s.

Kenny G

Most famous for his saxophone playing Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, played golf for his high school team and has managed to get his handicap down as low as +0.6.

He is a member at Sherwood country club and has appeared many times in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Kevin Costner

No list of golfing celebrities would be complete without “Tin Cup” himself.

While not quite scaling the heights of the US Open, Mr. Costner has a decent handicap around 11.

Adam Sandler

While not able to match up with the exploits of his alter ego Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler does carry a mid-teens handicap.

Recently posted a video of him reenacting his Happy Gilmore swing to celebrate 25th anniversary of the movie.

Adam Sandler recreates Happy Gilmore

Here are a few celebrities that are probably better known to British readers:

Anton Du Beke

Normally famous for his fancy footwork on strictly come dancing, Anton’s not bad with a set of golf clubs. Has a handicap of 5.

Piers Morgan

Unlikely to win many popularity contests, the former journalist and TV presenter does have a respectable handicap of 10.

Niall Horan

The former boy band member caddied for a certain Rory McIlroy in the Augusta par-3 tournament, unfortunately he’s not likely to make it on the tour with his handicap of 14.

Damian Lewis

He has played so many American characters that many people don’t realize he is actually British.

His handicap of 14 should be good enough to allow his character, Bobby Axelrod, to do some wheeling and dealing on the golf course.

Former Sports Stars

As they’ve already been competing in sport at the highest level I thought it was only fair to have a separate list for former sporting stars.

Tony Romo

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has a handicap of +2. He has also transferred the work ethic into golf by spending up to 8 hours a day practicing.

He’s appeared in five professional events on sponsors invitations but is yet to make the halfway cut.

Michael Jordan

Not quite as intimidating on the golf course as he was in his basketball heyday but still a very good golfer with a handicap of 1.

John Smoltz

Not to be outdone baseball has its own entry with John Smoltz playing off a handicap of +2. Apparently, Tiger Woods has described him as the best non-PGA Tour golfer he’s ever seen. 

Steph Curry

Another former basketball player who’s managed to get his handicap down to +1. Played on the Web.com tour back in 2017.

Here are a few sports stars better known in the UK or Europe

Tim Henman

The former tennis star plays a mean game of golf with a handicap as low as +1.

His lowest round was actually a 66 at St Andrews in the Dunhill Links playing with Colin Montgomerie!

Alan Hansen

The former Liverpool defender and Match of the Day summariser is a pretty good golfer and was part of the Scotland squad as a junior before turning to football as his profession.

His handicap has been as low as 2. He is a member at Hillside.

Stephen Hendry

Not quite managed to reach the same heights on the greens as he did on the green baize but still has a respectable handicap of 8.

Sir Ian Botham

The former cricket legend who has raised millions for charity has been an avid golfer ages. Has had a handicap as low as 4 and appears regularly in the Dunhill Links Pro-Am.

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