October 8, 2008

Q&A with Natalie Gulbis

Why Vegas?

Originally I moved here because of Butch Harmon. Since then I've fallen in love with living here. There's always something to do here. There are great golf courses, always great shows and great restaurants. There's always a concert or an event. There's always something happening. I live out in Lake Las Vegas, which is a half hour from the Strip so I'm far enough away from the touristy part of Vegas, but close enough to entertain people if they come in from out of town.

What's the best show you've seen in Vegas?

The Beatles show, "Love."

Your favorite restaurant in Vegas?

Nine Steakhouse. No... it's probably Bradley Ogden at Caesars.

Do you gamble?

Blackjack. Five, ten bucks a hand. [Laughs.] It's not much.

Do you ever ask Butch about working with Tiger and Phil?

Daily. I ask about their keys to success. He's got so much experience. Not just with the ones you mentioned, but with Greg Norman, Adam Scott, stories that have been passed down from his father. It's amazing. You spend a few hours with him and you get to pick his brain.

What have you taken from Tiger's regimen?

Tons. Where do you want to start? I play all my practice rounds at six or six-thirty. I've learned drills Tiger has done.

How much time do you spend practicing per week?

At a tournament site, I usually play nine or eighteen holes a day -- so that's seven or eight hours. On a pro-am day, same thing, I play eighteen holes and I usually practice before and after I play, so that's seven or eight hours. When I'm at home it depends on what I'm doing. On a normal week, if I'm not testing equipment, I practice three or four hours a day. The better I'm playing, the less I practice. When it needs work, I'm out there all day.

What aspect of your game are you working on now?

Consistency. Always being more consistent with my iron play and driving.

What's the deal you made with your dad about a sports car?

I had said that if I won my first tournament I'd buy myself a sports car. But I haven't done it because I turned my garage into a home gym.

Do you gamble on the golf course?

For dinner, drinks or something like that. Once I played in a Butch Harmon skins game with Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux and Butch's brothers. It was a $500 entry, it was one of my first years on tour and Greg Maddux sponsored me. I ended up coming home with three or four thousand dollars, so it was a good day.

Nice. A little extra shopping money.

That's exactly what I thought.

At what nighttime hot spot in Vegas might I run into Natalie Gulbis?

Pure, at Caesars.

What course should I play the next time I'm in Vegas?

Reflection Bay, it's the best course in Vegas.

How do you kill time on a plane?

I love to read about current events in Time and in business magazines. Especially now.

So you're not just a pretty face.

[Laughs.] Don't tell anybody that.

Most played song on your iPod?

Right now I really like Carrie Underwood.

What's your airline of choice?

Delta. If I'm on the West Coast -- Southwest, because they are the easiest airline in the world. But I love Delta. I'm always in the business center and the Crown Room.

Last vacation?

Puerto Rico for my father's 60th birthday. We jet-skied and laid out by the pool.

Craziest food you've ever tried?

Ostrich in South Africa. It was incredible. I had it every single way. Ostrich steaks. Ostrich burgers.

I heard you had travel troubles recently?

I have travel troubles weekly. In the last five weeks I've been in six countries. I've missed flights, lost my clubs two or three times. The worst was when my driver broke. It was the Monday of McDonalds.

What did you do?

I had just found a driver two weeks before. I was hitting it further than the last one. I called Taylor Made and told them I have good news and bad news. The good news, the driver you made was great. The bad news is, the head's off. So we got to work at 9 o'clock the next day and started driver testing, all day, for several days. I changed drivers a few times before we found the one that I'm using now.

How many pairs of shoes do you take on a golf trip?

Normally not more than two or three pairs.

How often do you go from golf shoes to high heels?

Daily. [Laughs.]

Does turbulence bother you?

No.

Any interest in learning how to fly?

Yes. When I get some more time I'd love to get my pilot's license.

Would you trade your aisle or window seat for a middle seat so a family can sit together?

Absolutely. In a heartbeat. I can sleep anywhere, and I can read or listen to music in any seat.

You tied for ninth in the Women's British Open at Sunningdale in England this past July. How do you prepare for golf across the pond?

I spend lots of time on my short game. Especially early in the week.

When you play with famous athletes, do you ever ask for their autograph?

I ask athletes for their autograph all of the time. I just played in a skins game with Dan Marino, John Elway, Greg Norman, Bubba Watson, Peter Jacobsen and Jerry Rice. I got autographs from all of them. I brought jerseys, absolutely. I collect all of that stuff.

You always get the attention as the hottest girl on tour. Who would you say is the hottest girl on Tour?

Cristie Kerr.

Tiger, Phil or Sergio?

For what?

Playing partner?

Tiger.

Is Annika the greatest female player of all time?

Yes.

You're from Northern California. Pebble, Spyglass or Cypress?

Pebble.

Have you ever played Cypress?

No, but I'd love to play it. Butch and I are trying to plan a retreat where we go and play.

If you weren't a golfer, what would you be doing?

I'd go to law school.

Tell us something we don't know about Natalie Gulbis?

That is the worst question ever because I get asked everything. What you don't know about me? How about the first two things I turn on in the morning are CNN and ESPN.

If you could go back and do anything differently to this point in your life, what would it be?

Nothing. I love all the things that have happened. I've learned from the bad ones and the good ones. You keep it in your memory.

Have you ever gone on a date with a tour player?

No.

Are you tired of being asked about Ben Roethlisberger?

No. We're friends.

If Playboy offered you a large sum of money, would you pose nude?

No.

Are you really single? Isn't there some show where you can win a date with Natalie Gulbis?

I am single but it's win a DAY with Natalie Gulbis, not a DATE! [Laughs.]