Cover Story

"Jimmy The Golfer"

Continued (page 3 of 3)

After high school, golf disappeared.
I'm relearning the game now, which is fascinating because I'm 39, and it's like: Can you relearn the game at 40 years old? And the truth is, you can totally do it.

Ever been on a buddies golf trip?
I went with Batali and some other guys to Ireland back in 2007, and we played a lot of great courses. Portmarnock, The K Club, Lahinch, Waterville and a few others. The caddies over there are amazing. You've got to aim where they tell you even when you think it makes no sense. Trust me, they know where the ball will end up. We had this one crazy, profane caddie at Killarney who kept ribbing us, and I remember thinking, I'm paying this guy for this? So I started ribbing him back, and it became fun again.

Have you ever thrown a club or cursed while playing?
Oh, no. I just think about my grandfather. I know If he ever saw me throw a club, he'd take it and stick it back in the garden. When I see people snapping clubs and stuff, that's so not my style.

Golfers are always looking for "the secret" to better golf. Have you found it?
The secret for me is to approach the entire 18 holes knowing that all you're after is one great shot. Just one. You get all these tries, and all you're looking for is that one great chip, or a good drive, a great putt, anything. Just give me one that I can talk about when we're done.

Jimmy Fallon

"People who say golf is too hard or too stressful
haven't played with me."

Have you had many of those yet?
Well, I've never made a hole-in-one, but I've hit some that for a few seconds looked like maybe, just maybe. Batali has chipped in from the sand a bunch of times, and that makes me mad. [Laughs.] Then, finally, I did it myself.

And you had video of it for "The Tonight Show" that same evening.
It was unbelievable! We were on the fourth hole at Bayonne. It was me, Batali and Michael J. Fox, and Mario got the whole thing on video. He probably was shooting me thinking I'd be in that giant sand trap for days. When I drained it, everyone was happy for me because this never happens. There we were, freezing and getting rained on, windy as Ireland, and I lucked out on a magical bunker shot.

Let's end with some rapid fire.

Tiger or Phil?
I'm a giant Tiger fan. Right now he's hurting, and America loves an underdog. But all of us want to witness history. Besides, Phil had a green in his back yard growing up, and I was jealous of that. I didn't have that.

Caddie or cart?
Oh, it's gotta be a cart, right? Driving a cart is so much fun, but I'm a bad driver. My parents are from Brooklyn, so they don't know how to drive. They took cabs and subways everywhere, and they taught me how to drive. As a driver, I'm second-generation terrible.

Favorite scene in a golf movie.
"Pool and a pond. ... Pond'd be good for you."

All these Baba Booey shout outs at PGA Tour events: good or bad for golf?
It's the new Freebird! Remember at concerts when it was quiet, some guy would yell out, "Freebird!" That used to get a giant laugh. Now it's kinda corny. And I think that's what's happening with all of these Baba Booeys.

Complete this sentence: Your friends would play a lot more golf if ... My friends would play a lot more if Kate Upton was in our foursome.

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