Teeing It Up with Timberlake
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 days around range sessions and pacing his house with a club in his hand. Having begun playing the game just seven or eight 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 Callaway Golf last December. 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. He currently plays a Diablo Octane Tour Driver, RAZR X Tour Irons, and X Series Jaws Wedges. He also plays Tour i Series Golf Balls and an Odyssey Black Series Tour Design Putter. Callaway's Tim Sweeney caught up with Timberlake 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 tournament, your own course back home, and I read that you turned a room in your house into a bit of a practice area. You've taken a love for this game to a new, almost scary level at this point.
Timberlake: I heard that story. 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 right now. 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 up the game. 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 where does the Callaway Staff Pro status come in? Is this like a kid in a candy store type of situation for you?
Timberlake: Yes! I don't know how this happened but I thank my lucky stars for this deal.
Q: I know you've had the Callaway Tour Fit Van experience and have been in for a custom fitting at the Ely Callaway Performance Center, just like our Tour Pros do. What was that day like?
Timberlake: It was really unbelievable. I found that the guys were really helpful and the thing that I liked about the Callaway simulator is that it's not so much what you're doing; it's what the club is doing. I think even for high handicappers, the guys at the Callaway test center can be really helpful. They can help you get the club to do the right thing. For someone like me, I'm a single digit handicap, but I have my blowup rounds every now and then, and it's usually when the club is not doing what I normally make it do. When I got there, it was just interesting to see how many of my swings are correct with the club and how many were not.
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? Maybe at Augusta National? Or perhaps at your home course in Los Angeles, which I hear is home to some of the best margaritas anywhere.
Timberlake: You're right. 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 U.S. Open conditions), which you did at Torrey Pines. Jordan seems to enjoy a cigar when he plays. Will you light one up with him and go at it?
Timberlake: Just tell him to bring his checkbook.
To learn more about Timberlake and all of our Staff Icons, visit the Callaway player bio page