The Ryder Cup Of Rock

Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen: In the hole! (Image credit: Getty Images)

As Europe’s finest players gather at Gleneagles for their bi-annual Ryder Cup rumble with the Americans, we’re more focussed on the parallel universe of rock star golf.

Here’s country music legend Willie Nelson. His commitment to the game is underlined by the fact that he’s tied his pigtales together, presumably to enable a smooth, unhindered swing. The photograph was taken at Hyannis Golf Club near Cape Cod. Bonus fact: Hyannis is mentioned in the song Rock and Roll Band by Boston, which includes the lyrics, “Dancin’ in the streets of Hyannis, we were getting pretty good at the game”. Were they talking about golf? It’s possible we’ll never know.

The world’s greatest golfer, Gene Simmons.

Remember the alt-rock band Lit? Us neither. But there’ll always be a place in our hearts for guitarist Jeremy Popoff following this iconic pose, throwing up the horns as he prepares to tee-off at the 2nd Annual Mark & Brian Celebrity Golf Tournament in 2001. It’s a great sporting moment.

Rock’s most famous golfer, Alice Cooper, can be seen here giving putting tips to celebrity midget Verne Troyer at 2000’s Fight Night Celebrity Golf Tournament. Eagle-eyed readers will notice Troyer’s cut-down putter, customised to match the tiny star’s stature.

Eye on the ball? Check. Follow-through? Check. Not afraid to take plenty of sand with the ball? Check again. Here’s Meat Loaf, providing a perfect example of how to exit a bunker, while representing the American team at the 2006 Northern Rock All Star Cup at Celtic Manor. U.S.A! U.S.A!

Golf’s governing body, The Royal and Ancient, finally opened its doors to women members recently, but Motley Crue’s Vince Neil has always been more welcoming. Here he is with “adult entertainer” Jenna Jameson at the 6th Annual Skylar Neil Memorial Golf Tournament in 2002. Comedy lovers will enjoy the hilarious golf/porn pun on Jenna’s shirt.

Here’s Creed’s Scott Phillips “horsing around” with former ‘N Sync singer Joey Fatone at the Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic Tee Off in 2010. Won’t somebody please call the green-keeper and ban these idiots?

An obviously hungry Eddie Van Halen prepares to snack on his own, Van Halen-branded driver at the 1st Annual Police-Celebrity Golf Tournament at Rancho Park Golf Course in West Los Angeles. Don’t do it Eddie! Ask your caddie for a banana!

Here’s Bob Seger, possibly distracted by the rattle of a photographer’s shutter as he prepares to tee-off. Whoops. Sorry, Bob. Don’t step on those glasses.

Poison’s Bret Michaels on the practice tee at the Eddie Van Halen Golf Tournament in 1994. Judging by the lack of glove, unsuitable headwear, jeans and trainers, we suspect that Michaels is not one of the sport’s keenest proponents.

Here’s Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer with Doors legend Robby Krieger, posing for photographers at the Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Classic in 2012. Bonus points for Kreiger’s psychedelic-bistro trouserware. Tremendous.

We have a winner. Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s bass grappler Flea in sartorially magnificent splendour at the 2008 Bogart Foundation Charity Golf Tournament in Palos Verdes, California.

But what about the Brits? All these fancy-dan Americans raising money for charity are great, but what of the European contingent? Where are famed metal golfers Nicko McBrain and K.K. Downing? They’re nowhere to be seen, that’s where. So you’ll have to settle for a picture of Ringo Starr and David Essex playing crazy golf. Judging by Ringo’s rather feeble grip, he’s not much cop.

Alice Cooper on playing live, metal fans and golf

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.