June 2, 2009

My Game: Grant Show

Now a devoted golfer, actor Grant Show says he only wishes he picked up the game earlier.

Now a devoted golfer, actor Grant Show says he only wishes he picked up the game earlier.

Editor's Note: In "My Game," a weekly series, GolfDigest.com asks noted personalities to expound on their experiences in golf, and what keeps bringing them back. This week, actor Grant Show ("Melrose Place", "Swingtown") speaks to his obsession for a game that accompanied him to Scotland for his wedding.

I came late to the game. My dad played when I was a little kid, but by the time I was old enough to play he quit playing, because we couldn't afford for both of us to play golf. So I was about 35 when I started playing (I'm now 47) and I could pay for it myself.

I started playing with my dad, because it was kind of an easy place to spend four or five hours with the old man. It was perfect for that. Dad is still alive, but he doesn't play anymore. He's in his 70s now. I think he wishes he could still play, but it's just too tough for him. We're both perfectionists. He made it over the hump and now he's declining in his abilities and it's just frustrating for him to play golf.

My Game

I was obsessed with the game from the outset and have been obsessed with it the entire time I've been playing. I love it, because you're never done working at it; it's something at which you can always become better. And every time you step up to the ball is a chance for instant gratification.

Here's how obsessed I am with it: I got married in Scotland and played the day we flew in. My friends and I drove up to the Old Course at St. Andrews and played there. We went out at 5:30 and still finished the round. It was great.

We played every day until the wedding day, five straight days. At least I didn't play on my wedding day nor the day after. But my wife (Pollyanna McIntosh) is Scottish, and though she doesn't play, she understands the passion.

I've also played virtually every day for the last 45 days, missing maybe five days in that stretch. I don't play 36 a day anymore, though. My feet hurt. I like to walk; it's a better game when you're walking. When I play 36, I play pretty well until about the 15th hole of the second 18, then it starts going south.

I've only recently become a decent player. It wasn't until last fall that I got my handicap down to single digits for the first time -- I'm a 9. I'm handicapped by my work. I might go three months were I'm out here every day and will go from a 15 to a 10, but then I'll be back at work and not playing much and my number will rise.

There is a correlation between acting and golf, absolutely. They say one shot at a time, play shot to shot, don't get ahead of yourself. The same is true in acting. If you're thinking what your next line is, you're going to screw up the line you're saying right now or ruin the moment you're in. It's the same with racing cars. I raced cars for about five years. It's all similar in that regard, that you have to stay in the moment. You can't be looking forward or behind, especially if you intend to win.

I just wish I'd started playing earlier. I've finally gotten to the point that it isn't nearly as hard as I thought it was.