Who are Hollywood’s Top Ten Golfers? New Content!
Golf has long been the sport of choice in Hollywood. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were two of the most legendary show business figures who helped popularise the game in the post-WWII era and sponsored their own signature tournaments. They introduced the concept of the Pro-Am tournament and the annual Bob Hope Desert Classic at Pebble Beach (now the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) in Monterey County, California became one of the game’s most beloved events outside of the four majors. For over a half-century, most of Hollywood’s greatest movie stars have flocked to the game as a spirited form of relaxation in between films.
Today, golf is more popular than ever amongst the Tinsel Town crowd and leading actors such as Bill Murray Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey et al. are some of the most ardent aficionados of the game. Other great movie stars who have made golf their passion include Sean Connery who famously took up golf when he had to learn how to swing a club as James Bond in Goldfinger; Jack Nicholson who once made impromptu use of a driver to smash the car windshield of a man who had cut him off in traffic; and Clint Eastwood who first played Pebble Beach at age 23 even before he became an actor and would later go on to become a part-owner of the golf club and remains a formidable player at age 88 – “The best part of my game is realizing that nothing comes easy. When I’m on my game, chipping is the best part. But that’s a very fleeting romance. It can leave you quick.”
Celebrity golfers tend to invest more energy and enthusiasm into their golf game than they do in their acting careers. Golf is such an exacting test of one’s skills and so maddeningly difficult to excel at it that some of the top actors in Hollywood feel driven to master the sport even though it can leave them very exposed to public humiliation. The late great Oscar-winning actor Jack Lemmon once observed: “I would rather play Hamlet with no rehearsal than play a Pro-Am golf tournament on TV.”