Golf’s long and illustrious appeal to musicians

From Bing Crosby’s annual clambake at Pebble Beach, which became the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, to the rocker-laden field of that tournament today, musicians and golf have been strange bedfellows.

In introducing their ranking of the best golfing musicians, Lisa Furlong of Golf Digest wrote:

“Although some are new to the game or struggle to find time to play, most pursue it avidly, often as an antidote to the noisy way they spend so many nights. “I prefer dead silence on the course,” says Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose. Others voice a common refrain: “I play to get away from music.” Touring gives musicians the opportunity to play some of the world’s best courses, and a chance to get out of the spotlight.”

And speaking to Perry Lefko for Lost Golf Balls, Gil Moore, drummer for Triumph said,

“Because of the stress of the road, I started to play again just to kind of get away from Triumph. It really serves that purpose, even today. I play to get away from Metalworks and all the hubbub and the intensity of the music and entertainment business. That’s what it was for me. That’s what does it.”

And Moore gave a unique voice to the power of the odd couple relationship that exists between musicians and the game.

“For musicians, it’s almost the antithesis of what (everyday people) would think. You get out there and it really takes you away from this intense business and it gets you into an environment that is the complete opposite to the one you’re accustomed to. I think there’s really a connection (between musicians and golf), there’s no doubt about it, especially in rock.”

While the list of golfing musicians is long, perhaps the appeal of golf to musicians is best illustrated by shock-rocker Alice Cooper’s love for the game.

Alice Cooper serves as an extreme example of the touring musician’s need to put distance between on and off-stage personas, chiefly because “Alice Cooper” is an on-stage persona. Off stage, Cooper, born Vincent Furnier, is a mild-mannered family man. Indeed, the pressures of performance led Cooper deep into the darkest corridors of alcoholism in the 70s.

After a spell in a sanatorium in New York, Cooper took up the game, eventually becoming a full-fledged golf addict. Now, a single-digit handicap, he tries to play 36 holes per day, six days per week when home in Arizona and plays as much as he can when touring.

SEE ALSO: Golfing with a rockstar: A better drug

Indeed, he wrote a book about his love for the game: Golf Monster: My 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict. “Some people turn to God, I turned to golf,” Cooper told The Telegraph in 2007.

Few among the musical elite are as devoted to the game as Cooper, he’s one of the most impressive and improbable examples of golf-mad musicians. But it seems musicians will continue “turning to golf” as the pressures of touring and celebrity grow ever greater.

Musicians who love the game of golf:

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