Love it to Death

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

ORLANDO, FLA. -- You never know who you are going to run into at the PGA Merchandise Show.

Oh, look, there's legendary rocker Alice Cooper helping launch a new line of clothes for Izod G, looking dapper in a bright orange pullover.

Seems like a good time for a little exclusive one-on-one with the Sun.

So, when you meet legendary rocker Alice Cooper, a golf fanatic, for the first time, what do you call him? Alice?

Mr. Cooper? I asked.

"If I'm short on a putt, you can call me Alice," he said displaying a fine sense of humour. "'Coop,' usually. Then after I win, 'Your Majesty,' is fine. My mom says, "Hey, superstar, take out the garbage.' "

After introductions, we were off and running, especially after he found out I was from Canada.

PLAYS IN CANADA

"I play a lot of golf up there," he said. "The last tour we played, I probably played five rounds at White Water in Thunder Bay, a new course. What a great golf course!

"I've played at Devil's Pulpit. I haven't played the Paintbrush yet. The National. Glen Abbey. Just across the border in Vancouver, Shaugnessy, Capilano. All the way across Canada.

"When we do Canadian tours, we always make sure we do them in Canada in the summer time so I can play golf. Never do a Canadian tour in the winter."

SUN: Best round you ever had?

AC: Sixty-seven. Twice. Once at Camelback Country Club in Arizona in Scottsdale. My other 67 was at Biltmore in Phoenix.

SUN: What's your index right now?

AC: Four ... but I play six times a week. I played nine holes this morning before I got here. I've always found that you can find time to play golf, even if it's only four or five holes. There's a way of getting out there, getting that club in your hand and swinging.

SUN: You a big practiser?

AC: If I was going to practise anything that I really need, it would be mid-irons. I have a tendency to come over the top a little bit. The worst thing about that? It feels good. If coming over the top didn't feel good, we'd never do it.

SUN: Any holes in one?

AC: Three holes in one ... and two double eagles.

SUN: I'm more impressed with the double eagles, because that's two good shots. You don't fluke a double eagle.

AC: No. One was in Phoenix and one was in Chicago. A 3-wood and a 5-wood. There was this time I was playing with some astronauts in Phoenix and I was talking about double eagles and I said they're so rare. We were on a par-5 and I hit a blind shot and we got up there and it was one inch from the hole. It had hit the pin. That would have been my third one, while I was talking about it. The cool thing about double eagles is (the USGA) sends you a pin for your lapel and it's an eagle with two heads on it. One head is looking left and one head is looking right. It's an enamel pin that few guys have.

SUN: What's your most memorable shot?

AC: I made plays of the day (on ESPN) at the Bob Hope last year. On No. 17, I made about a 90-foot putt up the hill and they kept playing it over and over. It was my most memorable shot because it made plays of the day, y'know?

SUN: What putter you using?

AC: The (Odyssey) 2-Ball, 48-inch.

SUN: Driver?

AC: 454 Callaway, 11 degrees, regular shaft. Then I use the new Tour forged irons with Speeder shafts.

SUN:What would be your dream foursome?

AC: If it could be a foursome with me joining it, it would be (Bob) Hope and (Bing) Crosby against (Dean) Martin and (Jerry) Lewis. You could imagine the one-liners. All four of those guys were single-digit handicaps. Jerry Lewis was about a six. Dean was about a four. Next time you see The Caddy, there's a scene where Jerry Lewis picks up a club and takes a swing with it and it's one of the best swings I've seen in my life.

SUN: What are the parallels between golf and music?

AC: It's all rhythm. Rhythm and balance. Johnny Miller says take it back with the same speed you go through and you just go, "Cin-dy Craw-ford." That's a good swing thought.

SUN: Who's been the most influential person in your golfing life?

AC: Johnny Miller. He took a lot of time with me when we were with Callaway and we were doing commercials together. You'd stand there doing a commercial for eight or nine hours and the whole time you're getting a nine-hour lesson from Johnny Miller, which is not bad. I ended becoming sort of his star pupil. We did a clinic at the U.S. Open and he would bring me up and he'd say, "hit one right," "okay, hook one." That was a lot of pressure but he taught me how to do all that stuff.

SUN: Your most memorable course?

AC: One that sticks in my mind is Moscow Country Club. A nine-hole golf course in the middle of Moscow that's not a bad little track except that either of us could be the head pro. I had to give the poor guy his 500 rubles back. I just murdered him, so I said, "Here, you take the rubles back. What am I going to do with them?" I took home about 10 shirts. Everybody was dying for them.

SUN: Who are the other good players among the musicians?

AC: There are a lot of good country and western players. Vince Gill is a good player. Dweezil Zappa can play. Adrian from No Doubt, the drummer. He's probably a good seven. There are not a lot of 'A' players. Oh, and Kenny G. He's a great player. If Kenny G and I played four rounds, he'd win two, I'd win two. We played together at the AT& T.

SUN: Wait a minute. I'm trying to picture your fans and his fans following your group.

AC: It was amazing. Our fan base is so opposite. But I'll tell ya, he's a good, steady, right-down-the-middle player.

SUN: How far do you drive the ball?

AC: A lot of people think they drive the ball a lot further than they do. If I could keep it 240, 245, I'd be the happiest guy in the world. I can get it out to 260, 270 if I really hit it. John Daly said, "Alice, I only want you to hit it 240 and there should never be a time when you have to look for a ball because you hit it so straight," and that's the best part of my game.

SUN: What other personality is your pigeon, your personal ATM?

AC: I've taken some money off Michael Douglas. But I only play with Michael Douglas so I can play with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Bat-um-bump.

Those musicians do have great timing.


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