This rocker is 18 (under par)
Golf helped you to overcome your addiction to alcohol. Why golf, why not gardening?
That would be the most boring thing on the planet. I just went out and said, “I’ve got to find something as addictive as alcohol.” I didn’t realize it was more addictive than alcohol. I play golf six days a week, for the last 30 years. I warn people, “It’s probably going to ruin your job.” If you’re in a band, it’s fine. Nobody needs a concert at 7 a.m.
Do you remember the first time you played?
The first time I picked up a club, I hit a 7-iron right down the middle. I was like, “What’s so hard about this?” I was a nine handicap the first year I played, so I was a natural golfer.
Would you trade your music career for one in the PGA?
Oh, never, never, never. There’s nothing creative about golf.
Have you ever thought about going pro?
When I was about 50, I thought, “If I retire from music, I can probably be on the seniors tour,” and it just didn’t appeal to me. It was one of those things where it would be a great story, but I had 10 albums that I was thinking about at the time, so there was really no reason to retire, at all.
What is it about golf that attracts musicians?
It’s surprising who plays. I mean, Bob Dylan plays golf. Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Neil Young. I think there’s a certain amount of challenge to it, but, at the same time, there’s a certain amount of repetition to it, like music. Nobody’s ever sat down and said, “I’ve played my best round of golf.” I think all of us sit around going, “I haven’t written the perfect song yet.” I don’t think [Paul] McCartney thinks he has written his best song yet.
Where are your favourite places to play in Canada?
I play from Vancouver all the way to Halifax. Whitewater Golf Club in Thunder Bay is one of my favourite courses, and I like The National Golf Club [in Woodbridge] and Glen Abbey in Toronto. I feel a little guilty being a Christian boy playing at the Devil’s Pulpit course [in Caledon].