Article

MORE TIME IN THE SAND

| posted on July 22, 2010

Considering golf has long been perceived as the quintessential gentrified country club sport, do you think it’s at all ironic that a lot of the best surfers in the world love golf?

Strange, huh? Ironically, Miki Dora, the most anti-establishment of em all was possibly the most fanatical about it along with Diffenderfer. I was lucky enough to play with both those guys.

Why do you think so many surfers do love it?

I think both sports offer a similar challenge on some level. It’s good when it’s flat, it’s a constant challenge, and you might just do something you’ve never done on the next shot or hole. It’s also a level playing field no matter what your ability.

“I hit a guy in the butt with a line drive that never got 6 feet off the ground once.”

Any similarities?

On the surface, no. In reality, you create power the same way by twisting your body and releasing it only in surfing your compressing and then extending whereas at the same time.

What’s your handicap?

Around a 3.

Who are the best golfers on the World Tour?

Luke Munro, Whitz…probably all the ‘golf geek’ crew from Oz.

What are some of your favorite places to play golf?

Monterey…but it’s cold, Lots of courses in Hawaii. Big island’s great cause the wind’s blocked on the west side most days and it’s warm.

Best golf destinations for a surfer?

Hawaii, Oz.

Who’s your favorite pro golfer?

Moe Norman, Pat Perez and Tommy Armour…I like Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Ben Hogan, and Freddie Couples, too.

What does it take to be a good golfer?

Happy said it best…Goofy pants and a fat ass. No life, no girlfriend, and a trust fund probably help, too.

Do you have any golfing rivalries among other surfers? Who’s your stiffest competition on the golf course?

My buddy who’s the tour rep for Taylor Made, Paul Lego, and I have fierce battles, always within a stroke of each other. Probably the best now is Ross Williams who can shoot even par from time to time. Rob was quite good for a while but kinda stopped. Peter King had a swing but gets too distracted. I saw Rich Lovett make a hole in one in France once. Clint Kimmons has a very natural swing and can shoot a low number some days.

Who is your favorite golfer?

Probably Moe Norman who died a couple years ago. His swing was totally his own…more simple and unorthdox looking but the mechanics were much simpler than pretty much anyone else’s swing. It’s hard to look past Tiger and what he’s accomplished and not want to watch every thing he does.

Does surf style translate to golf style?

Your tempo translates for sure. I think most of the things you do in life have a through line that has similarities to other things.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you on a golf course?

I saw Ross Williams hit three kangaroos on three different shots on one hole. I hit a guy in the butt with a line drive that never got 6 feet off the ground once. I almost petted a Red Fox at Cypress point one time. Almost made a two on the 18th at Kapalua playing with Adam Scott and Butch Harmon.

Do you bet when you play golf? If so, what was your biggest wager?

I once made a putt to save about 4 or 5 hundred bucks on the 17th at LACC. Then I lost a bunch on the last but not that much. If I win or lose 30 bucks that’s usually a lot. I play Mcknight for shares of stock. I think he owes me two shares but I think he can afford that right now.

Do you think golf’s popularity among surfers is a new phenomenon? Apparently Mike Diffenderfer and Mike Hynson were pro golfers…your thoughts on that:

I played with Diff a couple years before he died. We were on the 9th at Turtle Bay and he was off the green. My ball was near the pin and I ran up to mark it. He started yelling at me never to do that cause his ball might hit mine and go in. I think the rules of golf would disallow that somewhere with the intent of what you’re after.

I’ll tell you…golf is the greatest game in the world. You can literally break down any barriers with the people you play with and it’s even for everyone…you or I could play against Tiger and have a shot. I’ve spent some of the greatest times of my life with a couple friends on the course talking about life and having real conversations. I’ve met a lot of amazing people through the game and although it’s not the freedom and instincts of surfing and being in the ocean, it is one of life’s great challenges.