Feb 6th, 2017
Luke Wilson on golf, bandits and Cypress Point
Film star on his mad passion
Words: Owen Blackhurst
Actor Luke Wilson has starred in such corkers as Anchorman, The Royal Tenenbaums, Entourage and Charlie's Angels opposite the likes of Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore. But the only birds he's interested in... (Seriously?! – Ed)
How’s your swing?
“Erratic, but OK. I’ve been playing a ton of golf at pro-am’s and that just changes everything. I gotta worry about the fans and not hitting people, it’s a different kind of pressure. When people are watching me act, I don’t know about it.
"But at the Bob Hope (which Luke’s team won), I’d never been so nervous before. I couldn’t feel the club, I was like, ‘this could go anywhere, anything could happen, I could hit that old lady smiling at me,’ it was scary.”
What’s your handicap?
“Officially 11, but I’m probably playing a little worse than that. I was teamed with Sam Jackson and George Lopez at the Bob Hope, and they can both play, but I held my own.”
“It was always around. my Dad played and I caddied for him, and then when I went to college, I stopped running track and playing football, so I had more time to focus on it.”
Earliest golfing memory?
“It’s probably of my grandmother in massachusetts, she used to play a lot alone. I mean I knew she was a great lady back then, but looking back, she was so cool. She had her clubs and a little bag, and she was out there in her 70s playing golf for the joy of it. and now I love playing on my own, golf courses are some of nature’s most beautiful places...”
Best dressed golfer of all time?
“It’s gotta be Sam Snead or Ben Hogan, I know there’s been loads of guys who cut it on course, but I loved that tailored look Hogan had. He had the physique to wear the trousers, shirt and that white cap. I’ll take a swing and my gut will fall out occasionally, I can’t imagine that ever happened to Hogan.”
Biggest bandit in Hollywood?
“We call it sandbagging, and George Lopez put me down for 14 at the Bob Hope so I suppose I was sandbagging myself. All the guys I play with, we play heads up, no shots. I don’t wanna win with a stroke.”
Comedy fantasy fourball?
“Me, Will Ferrell, Richard Pryor and Owen. Not you though, my brother.”
Slice or hook?
Good answer. Jack or Tiger?
“Arrgh, It’s so hard to choose, but you only have to look at the respect that Tiger has for Jack... I’ll take the fifth on that...”
“It’s always shifting. I drive well then can’t chip, but I suppose negativity is a big thing with any golfer. I just try and concentrate on a good impact, because I’ll often do the classic thing of thinking, ‘I’ve got to stay away from those trees,’ and that’s good for no-one.”
"Where's that Valderrama dude? He kills me..."
Drinking on course?
“Occasionally, I like it but often I’ll have a few beers and play really well, and I don’t want to get into thinking that I only play well when I drink, that’s a hell of a slippery slope.”
“Well I just played Cypress Point (the Fort Knox of golf courses located on the monterey Peninsula which has an infamous par- three 16th that has a 200-yard carry over ocean) which was prettydarn incredible. I’d always heard of how beautiful it was, but had never seen pictures. you know it’s right over the hill from Pebble Beach.
I got to the 16th, and, unbelievably, hit a three- wood right onto the green above the hole. Then I three-putted. I was so mad because the wind was up and no-one else got on. I called my mom to tell her I’d played, and she was like, ‘How did you do on 16?’ What I want to know is how she even knows about 16?”
Are you an angry golfer?
“No, if I do get angry then I get mad at myself for being an idiot. No-one wants to be around that. Of course I’ve thrown a few clubs, but I’m trying to be mellow these days, it doesn’t look good. It’s like hitting a dog.”
Describe yourself as a golfer?
“Never the same, always changing. and that’s a criticism.”