BY MATT CRAIG | PGA.COM INTERN | BALL STATE SPORTS LINK
This piece was originally posted on PGA.com
If there’s one thing that people in the United States and across the world love, it’s celebrity. We seem to always want to know what famous people are up to.
But if there’s one thing that celebrities have proven to love themselves, it’s golf. Every year the biggest stars of sport and screen are seen teeing it up around the globe, to varying degrees of success.
Here’s a list of the best moments from celebrities on the golf course in 2016:
7. Steph Curry, Justin Timberlake, and Alfonso Ribeiro show off their dance moves at the American Century Championship. San Francisco’s well-attended celebrity golf tournament in July also included Aaron Rodgers, Jim Harbaugh, Charles Barkley, Brian Urlacher and more, but Timberlake and Curry definitely were the headliners for the raucus crowd. Curry recreated his famous mouthpiece-throw from the NBA Finals before he was joined by Timberlake and Ribeiro to do the signature “Carlton dance” from Ribeiro’s character on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
6. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Willie Robertson, Kevin Nealon and more compete to smash panes of glass. If you’re not a celebrity, one of the main goals in a round of golf is avoiding breaking anything. Alas, the benefits of fame. A long list of celebrities including actors, comedians, and more than a few professional athletes competed to see who could break a pane of glass in the fewest number of shots.
5. The Chicago Cubs playing Pebble Beach in August before their World Series run. I’m not going to give the Cubs playing golf together full credit for their postseason success, but it does seem to be an interesting coincidence doesn’t it? Either way, there aren’t too many chemistry-building exercises more fun than playing Pebble Beach together. Oh, and nice hat Rizzo!
4. Michael Phelps, Bill Murray, Rob Riggle, Kurt Russell and more play at Ryder Cup celebrity match.Phelps became a golfing legend in 2012 with this 159 foot putt at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but four years and five Olympic gold medals later Phelps was back in the golfing spotlight during Ryder Cup week. Phelps, Murray, Riggle, and Russell led the United States celebrity team to a victory over a European celebrity team that included Niall Horan and Martina Navratilova.
3. Yao Ming displaying the longest golf swing in the world. Yao showed off his golf swing at the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am in Shenzhen, China, alongside LPGA star Natalie Gulbis. Standing at 7 foot 6 inches tall with a pitching wedge that’s one inch longer than the average driver, Yao packs quite a punch on the course.
What Yao lacks in golf skill, he more than makes up for in picture-posing. He took some time at the event to make golfing legends Gary Player and John Daly look miniature.
2. Harold Varner III beating Steph Curry at his own game. If I just asked you out of the blue which scenario was more likely, Curry beating Varner III at golf or Varner III beating Curry at basketball, very few people would pick the second option. But during October’s Safeway Open Pro-Am in Napa, California, Varner III did just that. From DEEP!
1. Alex Ovechkin and Eugeny Kuznetsov’s long putt and ridiculous celebration. The NHL superstars were out and playing in October when Ovechkin showed the world exactly why he’s a hockey player and not a professional golfer. This swing off the tee is…less than ideal
While he struggled, his teammate Kuznetsov showed off a deep bomb on the extra-slow greens.
Well until next year, we’ll keep loving celebrities, and they’ll keep loving golf.