The 20 Best Celebrity Golfers

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IFebruary 13, 2012

The 20 Best Celebrity Golfers

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    Golf is a unique sport in that anyone can play it but few have mastered it. These celebrity golfers, for the most part, have taken their games to high levels and yet they won't be quitting their day jobs any time soon.

    I have ranked these celebrities based on handicap wherever possible, although some would also make the list just based on shock or entertainment value. For example, how many of you know that golf helped save the life of rock legend Alice Cooper?

    While watching Charles Barkley's swing may not be a thing of beauty, it is certainly fun. So, I realize I have excluded some very competent celebrity golfers in favor of people who add to the entertainment value.

    Some of the folks on this list will be appearing on Golf Channel's The Haney Project.  Tune-in for the series premiere on February 27th at 9PM ET. Heck, if Hank Haney can keep Rush Limbaugh from slicing the ball to the far right, you know anything is possible.

    Meanwhile, no matter how you slice it, watching some of these golfing celebrities is worth the price of admission. But it ain't easy...it's no day at the beach, as Michael Jordan discovered.

    So come join me on a journey to find the best celebrity golfers. Fore!

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20. Charles Barkley

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    For pure entertainment value, you just can't beat Sir Charles on a golf course. He may have the oddest looking swing I've ever seen. But in truth, he's not as bad as the rumors would indicate.

    Barkley was knows as "the round mound of rebound" in his Hall of Fame NBA career, but has recently appeared in TV ads looking slimmed down. Maybe his tummy won't get in the way of his golf swing any more.

    While his swing may be "turrible" as he would say, he golfs a lot and you have to admire his tenacity. He's the only guy I've heard of who actually broke his golf club on a tee shot.

    I could not find his handicap, so I will rank him dead last on this list. But he has to be included for the entertainment value, if nothing else.  

19. Angie Everhart

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    This model and actress started playing golf at the age of five and has a handicap of 27. Meanwhile, she is almost as well known for her former boyfriends as she is for movies and reality shows.

    Angie was married for about three months before getting a divorce. She briefly dated shock jock Howard Stern. She was also briefly engaged to Sylvester Stallone in 1995 and Joe Pesci in 2007. 

    You can catch her on the season premiere of The Haney Project on Monday, February 27th, at 9PM ET on Golf Channel.

18. Snoop Dogg

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    Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., a.k.a. Snoop Dogg, is a hip-hop icon with a 18 handicap. Discovered by Dr. Dre, Snoop has sold millions of records and has starred in movies and hosted TV shows.

    That the marijuana smoking Snoop plays golf may surprise you as the golf course is a long way from his roots as a member of the Crips street gang and a guy who served time for cocaine possession.

    But then again then say golf is a rich man's sport and there is no denying Snoop is a rich man.

17. Celine Dion

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    Celine Dion is a golf nut who owns her own golf course, Le Mirage, in Canada. She boasts a handicap of 17.

    While she has sold more than 200 records worldwide, it is golf that consumes her passion. Her home has a private course and she once jumped into a pond with Karrie Webb at the '00 Kraft Nabisco tournament.

16. Sugar Ray Leonard

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    Leonard was the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses, and won world titles in five weight divisions. Today he focuses on golf as much as anything.

    The boxing legend is a 15 handicap. He is another celebrity who will star on The Haney Project. Leonard once said "Golf makes you face your fears. Marvin Hagler wasn't scary. A downhill 3-footer? That's scary."

15. Anne Murray

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    Singer Anne Murray is the top celebrity female golfer with a handicap of 11. According to Golf for Women, "She used to dream of being a pro golfer and scored an ace at Turning Stone Resort & Casino near Utica, N.Y. "

14. Mario Batali

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    The Iron Chef is a huge golf nut. You can find him on Golf Channel's The Haney Project this season.

    Batali travels the world for his PBS series "Spain...On the Road Again." And when he's not eating and cooking, he is swinging his golf clubs. He plays at least once per week.

    He claims he's not the only chef who golfs. He cites Michael Schlow, who owns a restaurant in Boston called Radius, as the best chef golfer around.

    When asked about foods that go well with golf, he called the little onion sandwiches they serve at the Masters "interesting."

    Could a golf cookbook be far behind?

13. Bill Murray

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    "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"

    Bill Murray may have experienced winning the Masters as groundskeeper Carl Spackler in Caddyshack, but in real life he is an avid golfer.

    Murray annually competes in Pro-Am charity events and has an eight handicap. Last February, Murray, playing with tournament champion D.A. Points, won the Pro-Am championship at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

12. Alice Cooper

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    Alice Cooper, the shock rock king, picked up golf to help him battle his alcoholism. Instead of 12 steps, he took the 18 holes approach to sobriety. Not only has he remained off the sauce, he is a pretty darn good golfer with a handicap of seven.

    He's even written a book titled Golf Monster: My 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict. The Detroit born Cooper, whose real name is Vincent Furnier, was elected to the rock-n-roll hall of fame last year.

11. Mark Wahlberg

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    For anyone who has seen Entourage, you know actor Mark Wahlberg is pretty good at golf—at least when he's paired with Tom Brady and is betting with Johnny Drama.

    Actually, Wahlberg is a better golfer than both of them. He has a seven handicap. He admits that golf is really the only exercise he gets.

10. Justin Timberlake

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    He’s bringing sexy back—to golf, that is. Timberlake once reportedly said he’ll be pro by the time he’s 30. He is. He's not. But that's alright, he's still a very good golfer with a six handicap.

    Timberlake says golf for him is mostly about playing with his dad, who introduced him to the game at Big Creek near Memphis. When the course was in danger of being turned into a housing development a year ago, Timberlake and his parents stepped in and bought it.

    The singer relates golf to music. "...obviously I related music to it. The golf swing is very, very rhythmic. There's a certain tempo to it, just like in music. It just made sense to me. Music is everything to me."


9. Adam Levine

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    Levine, frontman and guitarist for the pop rock band Maroon 5 and "coach" on NBC's smash The Voice, is one of the celebrities who will be appearing on The Haney Project later this month. 

    Levine is proof that tattoos do not prevent you from hitting a golf ball fairly well. Just one question: does he swing like Jagger?

8. Dennis Quaid

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    Quaid reportedly was once a scratch golf, but has seen his handicap drop to six over the years. But he was named Golf Digest's top Hollywood golfer in 2005. He hosts an annual charity golf event.

    He claims he would love to shoot a golf movie someday. He also swears he will be back to a 1 handicap again in the near future.

7. Samuel L. Jackson

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    The Hollywood star has a handicap of six and says that if he wasn't golfing, he would be doing "destructive things."

    The actor, known for his roles in Patriot Games, Jurrasic Park, Pulp Fiction and other films, is the highest grossing actor of all time. But he has a clause in his film contracts that allows him to play golf during production.

    He has golfed with Tiger Woods and says Tiger has a temper. But he said it's golf legend Arnold Palmer that has the worst temper he's seen on a golf course.

6. Michael Jordan

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    Jordan was arguably the greatest basketball player ever, but he's also no slouch on the golf course. His Airness is a 1.2 handicap. When asked to compare what it takes to be a great golfer vs. being a great basketball player Jordan said each has a similar level of difficulty.

    Jordan started golfing in college, and according to an article in TheGreenMagazine, he is a member of approximately 12 private golf clubs and owns more than 40 golf sets.

    MJ also owns  a 3,500 sq ft putting green which he had installed in his own backyard. He averages 36 holes a day.

5. Steve Azar

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    The country music singer has a 0.9 handicap, though he was a scratch golfer when he had more time to play. When Azar is not touring, he keeps his golf swing fresh by playing several charity golf tournaments each year.

    Azar is fond of doing charitable work and raising money for charity, so golf is perfect for him as it allows to him to do that while playing a sport he thoroughly enjoys.

    Azar won the 2010 Hootie & the Blowfish tournament. He gets a lot of invitations to play golf since he was named one of Golf Digest's "Top 100 Musicians Who Golf."

4. Vince Gill

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    Gill is a scratch golfer, and the country singer has been playing competitive golf since he was 10 years old. He has earned dozens of Grammy and other music awards for his outstanding musical performances.

    But he once had aspirations to play professional golf. He says he is "crazy about it and shoot around par most of the time."

3. Jack Wagner

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    You may know Wagner from his role as Frisco Jones on the daytime soap opera General Hospital. Or, perhaps you used to sing along to the hit "All I Need" back in 1985.

    But the 52 year old is serious about golf. He’s a member of the prestigious Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, where he is often seen working on his game at the driving range.

    He has a +0.3 handicap.




2. Kenny G

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    Kenny G is an outstanding golfer but no, he doesn't putt with his sax. But he definitely makes beautiful music on the course, and according to AskMen.com, he has a handicap of +0.6.

    He is better than par for the course but wants to get even better. He told Golf Digest, "With the sax, I learned technique well enough so that it feels like part of my body and I just express myself,” he said. “That's where I want to get in golf."

    He played for his high school golf team and maintains a handicap of 0 while balancing his worldwide tours. He's also got it done when it counts, taking home the 2001 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am title with Phil Mickelson.

    Kenny G holds a Guinness world record for holding the longest note on saxophone. And he may also hold a record as best musician golfer. In 2006, he was named Golf Digest’s celebrity musician golfer of the year. 

1. John Smoltz

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    He's the only pitcher in the history of baseball to have 200 wins and 150 saves, but he also has a mean golf game. The former Braves pitcher has a plus-2 handicap and has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open.

    He finished 6-over for the qualifying tournament and didn't get an invite to Pebble Beach, but Tiger Woods  called Smoltz the best non-PGA golfer he has ever seen.

    Smoltz is the best celebrity golfer I know of, with a plus 2 handicap.

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