One of America’s favorite past-times is playing a round of golf. Not only is it good exercise, but it can serve as an ideal opportunity to hit the greens and put the rest of the world on standby. For celebrities, regardless of what they do, a good golf game is more than just some activity to pass the time. Among some celebrities, if they opted to give up their acting career, singing career, or whatever it is that earned their name as a celebrity, to begin within favor of golf, they may be good enough to compete with the pros. Many top athletes who play other sports seem to have a knack for golf as they already have to their advantage an athletic background and an eye for detail. In the case of Michael Jordan, it was his intent to retire from professional basketball at the age of thirty-two in favor of playing golf. How has that plan worked out for him? Well, sometimes plans change.
20. Mark Wahlberg
Of Transformers fame, not to mention a rather impressive list of other movies and television programs, Mark Wahlberg has taken the definition of golf nut to a whole new level when he built a practice golf complex in his own backyard. One of his buddies is none other than PGA’s finest, Rory McIlroy.
19. Kevin Dillon
HBO’s Entourage actor, Kevin Dillon, played Johnny Drama on the show, alongside fellow actor and golf enthusiast, Mark Wahlberg. When Dillon first started playing golf he was twenty-seven years old. He admitted he didn’t develop an addiction to the sport until he reached thirty-five years old. He admitted he felt the game was boring at first but has since changed his tune and it shows in his gameplay. Nowadays, he takes the sport as seriously as he does his acting career. The entire Dillon family, with the exception to older brother, Matt Dillon, are golf fanatics. Whenever they can, they will get together to play golf. When asked who his favorite golfer of all time is, Kevin Dillon informed BadGolfer.com it was Phil Mickelson, despite the big meltdown he had at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot’s 72nd hole. Full Swing, the computer golf simulator that allows a player to hit a golf ball into a large screen and play on some of the best courses around the world, has Kevin Dillon as one of its spokesmen. The characters of the Entourage series have frequently used Full Swing in the show.
18. Kelly Rohrbach
In 2015, Kelly Rohrbach became Swimsuit Rookie of the Year for Sports Illustrated. Whenever she’s not modeling in front of the camera, there’s a good bet she may be found on the golf course. While in high school, her golf game was good enough to send her to Georgetown on a golf scholarship. With a handicap of 8.0 she earned when she played competitively during her time in college, it was good enough to turn some heads while she was on the green. She admits, however, playing leisurely is better than playing competitively as it allows her to simply relax and enjoy the game.
17. Don Cheadle
In 2005, Don Cheadle was nominated for Best Actor by the Academy Awards for his role in the historical drama, Hotel Rwanda. When he isn’t acting before the camera, he is on the golf course. The USGA has named him as a U.S. Open brand ambassador, recognizing him for his golfing talent, and not just as a celebrity. With a handicap rating of 7.6 for someone who plays about fifty rounds of golf per year, this is impressive. He has also played several Pro-am tournaments and has admitted while growing up with his father he played at public golf courses where some of his best memories come from spending time with him on the greens.
16. Samuel Jackson
Golf legend, Arnold Palmer, praised Samuel Jackson for his ability to play golf at a championship level that could easily rival the pros. When not playing the role of Nick Fury in the series of Marvel Universe movies and other acting commitments, odds are is he’ll be found on the golf course. With a handicap in the single digits, specifically 6.9, and earning respect from pros like Palmer, it seems even with one eye, just like his Fury personal, he could handle the greens with relative ease. Considering the man hasn’t golfed as long as many of the celebrities listed here, calling him amazing as a golfer seems like an understatement.
15. Bill Murray
With a handicap as low as 7.0, Bill Murray has proven he’s more than simply an actor. Dubbed as the godfather of celebrity golfers, Murray’s love for the sport is so profound that his attitude while on the green is far more serious than any of the comedic characters he’s ever played on screen. If Bill Murray chose to be a Ghostbuster with a golf club, he could likely get the job singlehandedly. It’s not unusual to see Murray’s face at celebrity golf tournaments and pan-am throughout the season. When he played Caddyshack, it felt like a trip down memory lane for the star as he worked as a caddie during high school as a means to fund his education. There is a book Bill Murray has written and published, titled Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf. At the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with partner D.A. Points, Bill Murray won.
14. Dennis Quaid
At one point, when Dennis Quaid played golf daily, he had a handicap of 1.0. Even though not able to hit the green quite as often, the handicap of 7.0 is still impressive. He took an interest in the sport during the 1990s and as soon as he got the hang of it, he was hooked. Quaid admitted one of his biggest regrets was turning down the lead role to the 1996 movie, Tin Cup. The role went to Kevin Costner instead, who became a very good golfer in his own right after the movie.
13. Tom Brady
Not only has Tom Brady earned a name for himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks the National Football League (NFL) has ever seen, but is handy with the golf club, too. During an interview on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, Brady admitted his passion for the game began when his father took him to a golf course when he was just two years old. From that day forth, he’s been hooked. He’s been known to play with another excellent celebrity golfer, Michael Jordan, as well as with a number of PGA Tour golfers, including Roy McIlroy. Brady’s handicap is registered at a 6.4.
12. Chris O’Donnell
The former model turned actor, Chris O’Donnell has been a solid golfer and player of the Pebble Beath AT&S Pro-Am for years. His brother, John O’Donnell is the founder of a clothing brand named Johnnie-O. It is safe to say golf seems to be in the blood of the O’Donnell family. With a handicap of 5.0, it’s hard to believe he’s been able to make time between his game and the long-running series, NCIS: Los Angeles, which he starred in since 2009.
11. Alice Cooper
Believe it or not, Alice Cooper has proven to do more than rock out hard rock classics such as I’m Eighteen and School’s Out. According to his memoir, Alice Cooper, Golf Monster, it was the sport of golf that rescued him from alcoholism and drug abuse. For Cooper, instead of turning to therapists, he turned to golf instead. At one point, he took his handicap down to four, which is considered good in the game of golf. Nowadays, it’s at 5.3, but this is very good.
10. Justin Timberlake
With a 4.8 handicap accomplishment after playing the sport of golf for sixteen years, this is no small feat for any golfer, professional or not. With a Las Vegas, Nevada PGA Tour Tournament named after him, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open, one has to wonder just how good this Sexy Back singer really is. When Timberlake was first introduced to the sport, it was at Big Creek, near Memphis, Tennessee. When he learned the golf course was in danger of shutting down, destined to be turned into housing developments, he simply bought the course and saved it. Now as a member of Sherwood Country Club in Los Angeles, he’s played Augusta National with his father. The impressive game saw the pop star have an eight-five game, including a hole out for eagle on the thirteenth hole. Occasionally, Justin Timberlake and fellow celebrity golfer, Samuel Jackson, would pair up and join three random strangers at various golf courses, just to play a game.
9. Darius Rucker
From Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker has proven on the greens he can do more than just sing, write songs, and perform music on stage. He can also golf, and very well, with a handicap rating of 4.0. As if winning three Grammy awards as a recording artist isn’t enough, he has since become a brand ambassador for PXG Golf, as well as PGA Tour’s brand ambassador since 2019. It’s not uncommon to see Darius Rucker competing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, California.
8. Tony Romo
Former quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo, competed in amateur and celebrity golf tournaments with a handicap of 3.3 He has attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open on three different occasions and made it through the HP Byron Nelson Championship Monday qualifier that was hosted outside of Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately for him, because he was still playing for the Cowboys at that time, there was a scheduling conflict that saw him having to pull out of the tournament. On one occasion, he paired up with Tiger Woods in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and actually shot lower than Woods using the three strokes of his handicap. Until 2013, Romo often golfed with golf pro and fellow Texan, Jordan Spieth. What caused Romo to stop competitive golfing was a discectomy at different points to remove a cyst.
7. John Smoltz
From 1988 until 2009, John Smoltz was a star baseball pitcher who played twenty-two seasons in Major League Baseball and is the only pitcher in its history to have two hundred wins and one hundred and fifty saves. In 2010, Smoltz tried to qualify for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He finished six over in the qualifying tournament, which denied him the invite. Despite this, he is considered one of the best celebrity golfers to hit the greens. Normally, his handicap average is 2.7.
6. Steph Curry
Steph Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Whenever he’s not on the hardwood, he’s out on the golf course. His intention is to pursue competitive golf at a full-time level once his NBA career is over. With a handicap rating of 2.2, what will the man be capable of once he takes the sport, as he quotes, properly?
5. Jake Owen
Country singer-songwriter, Jake Owen, has been a regular at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and played at the 2018 Nashville Golf Open, hosted by Web.com Tour, which was a charitable golf event benefiting the Snedeker Foundation. Often, he is seen golfing at charitable golf tournaments, raising funds for notable causes. He even has the Jake Owen Foundation, which has hosted two years in a row the Flamingo Golf Classic, held in Vero Beach, Florida.
4. Donald Trump
While president of the United States, Donald Trump’s handicap at golf was 2.8. He has nineteen club championships to his name, most of them being Senior Club Championships. Still, this is most impressive. This is a man who owns seventeen golf courses, loves the sport so much that long before becoming president, it was already common knowledge among followers of Donald Trump that his love of the sport was undeniable. Like the man or not, his golf game is pinnacle.
3. Kenny G
Even before becoming a world-class musician that produced one brilliant saxophone song after another, Kenny G was playing golf at just ten years old. His older brother, who is also a golf enthusiast, introduced him to the sport and since then, Kenny G has been addicted. In high school, he was on its team, playing competitively. As a member of the Sherwood Country Club, he earned the classification of club-stroke champion and has taken part in seven AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournaments. One such tournament includes a 2001 tie for first place when he was teamed with Phil Mickelson against Tiger Woods and his celebrity partner, Jerry Chang. With a handicap of 0.6, Kenny G is quite capable of competing with the pros.
2. Michael Jordan
With a handicap at 1.0, Michael Jordan has proven he can golf among the best and is just as capable of taking on the pros of the sport. He said himself during his rookie year with the Chicago Bulls in 1984 that he planned to retire at thirty-two years old to play golf. He retired from that sport the first time at the age of thirty but went back as he learned his slam-dunking days weren’t quite behind him just yet. When he did retire from basketball for good, he has since dedicated as much free time as possible to spend time in the open air of the golf course instead of the flat surface of a basketball court. The seriousness of Michael Jordan’s golf game has gone as far as him considering a golf course development of his own.
1. Jack Wagner
Look up the best of the best when it comes to celebrities playing golf and Jack Wagner is the name that comes out on top the most often. Seemingly unbeatable, this soap-opera legend from General Hospital and Melrose Place fame already had an affinity for the sport at a tender young age. He won a Missouri Junior Amateur Championship while still in high school, which fueled his dreams to perhaps play on tour. When he relocated to Arizona, he tried for the golf team and the department. His full scholarship came from the drama department, so instead of going pro golf, he became an actor instead. However, he never gave up on the sport. As a member of the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Wagner often golfs with Dennis Quaid and Jack Nicholson. In 2006 and 2011, Wagner won the American Century Championship and has been only one of four players to have played in every one of its twenty-six events. He also hosts his own celebrity golf tournaments, mainly for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Los Angeles. He also has participated in many pro-ams. According to an interview Wagner had with Golf Digest, his best round was sixty-two shots in a game.