Final exam with Andy Garcia
Golf Digest: You've been playing in the AT&T at Pebble Beach since 1996. What are the green fees at the tournament's three courses? (Answer: Pebble Beach, $475; Spyglass Hill, $315; Poppy Hills, $200.)
Andy Garcia: Do you mean on a normal day? I have no idea. I know the courses: Pebble, Spyglass and Poppy Hills. What do they cost, about 200 bucks a round?
GD: What AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am team holds the record for the lowest 72-hole winning score in tournament history? (A: Garcia and Paul Stankowski were 43 under par in 1997 with scores of 62-58-67-58.)
AG: I think it's me and Stankowski.
I played the best golf I've ever played in those four rounds [getting 18 strokes], but Paul also played well [T-11]. For such a gentlemanly sport, the one crack in the veneer of the game is that anybody who wins anything in golf with a handicap always gets questioned. Doesn't matter whether your handicap is a 12, 20, 6 or a 2, you're gonna hear about it. And we did. We didn't make the cut again until last year.
GD: You and three of your co-stars in "Ocean's Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen" were ranked among our Top 100 Golfers in Hollywood. Which three are we talking about? (A: George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon.)
AG: Cheadle, Damon and Clooney.
I played with Cheadle at the Hope last year and in Vegas one time. I love Cheadle; he's a friend, a fun guy to be around. "A brother from another mother," we say. I've never played with Matt or George, but I've played with Jerry Weintraub [producer of the "Ocean's" films].
GD: You've been nominated for an Oscar ("The Godfather, III"), Golden Globes, Emmys and Grammys. Ten years ago you won an award for something unrelated to your profession. What was it? (A: Father's Day Council Father of the Year.)
AG: The AT&T? [Told Father of the Year.] Was that 10 years ago? My kids have fiddled with golf a little bit. My oldest daughter seems like she wants to start again. My young boy, he goes out with me a little bit, putts and hits from the sand. But other than myself, no serious, hooked golfers yet.
I started playing when I was about 12, around the time of Arnie's Army. There was a park across the street from my house, and we'd set up our own little course. We'd also sneak onto the public course at Bayshore in Miami Beach before the tee times started and while the sprinklers were still on. The fees might've been three dollars and 50 cents, but in those days that was a big savings.
GD: You were a high school basketball player in Miami. Which NBA player has the lowest golf handicap? (A: Ray Allen, Boston Celtics, 1.2 Index.)
AG: Currently playing? Well, it's definitely not Charles Barkley. Is it Ray Allen? He has great touch on the court, so I see how that could transfer to the golf course.
GD: Jack Nicholson told us in our December issue about his lowest round at Lakeside Golf Club, where both of you belong. What was Jack's score in that career round? (A: 64.)
AG: According to Jack? I believe he said it was a 64. And it might have been ... Jack, Joe Pesci and I actually played together and won the Michael Douglas & Friends event that we support. Jack's a grinder ... and a great putter. He's an American original, and I love to be around him.