Like many of us, Callaway Golf Staff Pro Justin Timberlake has a bit of a golf problem. The award-winning artist admits to planning his hectic work days around range sessions and pacing his house with his Callaway clubs in hand. Having begun playing the game just seven years ago, Timberlake is now a six handicap who has taken his love for golf to new heights.
In 2008 he joined Callaway as a Brand Ambassador and was appointed as a Creative Director for the Company in December of 2011. As a Creative Director, Timberlake will engage in the development and execution of high-level concepts within Callaway’s marketing activities and offer wide-ranging consultation on the visual representation of the Brand. He also hosts the PGA Tour’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Callaway’s Tim Sweeney caught up with Timberlake in the green room prior to an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and posed a few golf-related questions.
Q: Let’s talk about this golf addiction, because we are well past it being a hobby here. You have your own PGA TOUR event, your own course in Tennessee, and I read that you turned a room in your house into a bit of a practice area. You’ve taken your love for this game to an almost scary level.
Timberlake: I heard that same story about the practice room, but I don’t know where that came from. I have way too many expensive pieces of furniture in my house to do that. That’s a little ridiculous. But, yeah, I mean I do wake up in the morning and I walk by my clubs and well, look at me now, I’m sitting here with a wedge in my hand. And I’ll walk around my house with a wedge. I have hardwood floors and I’m tapping it on the floor as I walk around the house.
Q: So where did this love affair with the game come from?
Timberlake: Honestly, it’s self-inflicted. But more or less, it came from my dad. My dad tried to get me into it when I was about 10 years old, but I never really picked it up. And then, about seven or eight years ago, I took up the game and immediately became addicted. More or less because I was on tour and I wanted to get outside. It was a great way to get outside. Then I started really hitting the ball. From there it became, “OK, how do I switch those interviews around so I can go hit balls?” Like this morning, I didn’t have to start until 10, and I was at the driving range at 8:45 to hit balls until 9:45. Then I started my day at 10.
Q: So this business of being on staff with Callaway, is this like being a kid in a candy store?
Timberlake: Yes! I don’t know how this happened but I thank my lucky stars for this deal.
Q: You are certainly willing to try a lot of different things professionally, but I’ve heard celebrities say that there is a huge difference between performing onstage versus playing golf in front of people. Is that true for you?
Timberlake: Absolutely. The first couple of celebrity pro-ams, you walk out there and think: Golf is the one time I’m not around people, and now I’m around a bunch of people playing golf. So you definitely get jitters. But you get used to it the more you play in them and you zone it out.
Q: This question we ask all of our Staff Pros: If you could put together a dream foursome, who would you play with and where would you play the round?
Timberlake: I would say Bobby Jones. And I’d love to play with Ben Hogan because he had the greatest swing ever. And then my dad.
Q: And where would you like to play with that group? Augusta National? Or your home course in L.A., which I can personally attest to having some of the best margaritas you will ever taste anywhere.
Timberlake: You’re totally right about that; they do have the best margaritas! They are known for that. They are actually known for having the most alcohol content in their drinks. But if it was a dream foursome, yeah, we’d all have to go play Augusta.
Q: I noticed you left one name out of your foursome. So I have a quote for you…
Timberlake: Uh, oh. Here it comes: “If Justin Timberlake can break 100, I damn sure can.” Is that what he said?
Q: Yes, that’s the quote. To clarify for our readers, Michael Jordan was asked about playing in the U.S. Open Challenge (playing the U.S. Open course in tournament conditions), which you did at Torrey Pines. Are you ready to light up a cigar with Jordan and go at it?
Timberlake: Just tell him to bring his checkbook.