It appears that many of our favorite country musicians do more in their free time than just drink ‘shine on the tailgates of their trucks that are parked down by a bonfire down by the river.
The October issue of Golf Digest recently ranked their “Top 100 In Music” based on “golfers who would be fun to play with, most of them with little patience for the less-than-well-mannered in their industry who tend to dominate the tabloid headlines.” Little surprise, almost a quarter of the list is comprised of country musicians. Five of the music industry’s Top 10 includes some of the biggest names in country music…all with handicaps below four, which means most of these guys can at least hold their own with the pros and maybe even get the best of them from time to time. It also means artists like No. 15 Clay Walker (5.8 handicap), No. 16 Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts (6) and No. 19 Darius Rucker (6.7) could easily beat me on the links by at least 20 strokes. I’d be a much better match-up for Charles “Chip” Esten (AKA Deacon Claybourne from the ABC drama Nashville) who’s a 28 handicap and placed at No. 97 on the list. So Chip, next time you’re in Maryland give me a ring and we’ll play 18.
So who among country’s elite would make the best pairings? Let’s take a look at some of Country Music #CMchat’s Golf Challenge possibilities.
Head-To-Head Challenge Past vs. Future
Country Music Hall of Famer and guitar slinger Vince Gill and hick hopper Colt Ford (who used to play on the Nationwide Tour under his real name Jason Farris Brown) placed No. 1 and No. 2 respectively on the list. Both are scratch golfers. Gill told Golf Digest: “Take any of the top 25 on this list, and any of us can beat the other.” I’d say let’s put these two together to go at it in a titanic head-to-head battle of country’s past meeting country’s future.
Best Ball Challenge
Coming in at No. 6, Kip Moore used to be a scratch golfer whose busy tour schedule has him hovering at a 3 handicap (not to shabby). Let’s team him up with No. 9 Jake Owen (3.4), whose pro career was cut short by injury, to take on the brother tandem of No. 8 Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum (3.2) and No. 18 Josh Kelley (6.5). Something tells me country cut-up Charles Kelly attempts to pull the exploding ball trick with at least one of his opponents. And as lame as that trick has always been, the four will have a good laugh.
How awesome would it be to caddie for either No. 31 “King” George Strait (9.6), No. 46 Toby Keith (12.2), No. 59 Kix Brooks (14.7) or No. 60 Trace Adkins (15)? Can you imagine the amazing stories told by some of country’s most legendary stars while waiting for the foursome ahead of them to hit their next ball? Can you imagine how many beers Toby will have stashed in his bag?
A trio of singer/songwriters No. 49 Thomas Rhett (13), No. 60 Randy Houser (15) and No. 78 Will Hoge (18) would make for a heck of a match-up as all hover around the same playing level…and if a hit song happens to get written over 18 holes, and these three are more than capable, than even better.
The Green Challenge
You can expect a high round of golf (the scores, of course) by pairing the threesome of No. 78 Eric Church (18), No. 78 Kid Rock (18) and No. 87 Willie Nelson (20) together. This trio will certainly give new meaning to getting’ to the green.