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Golf Q&A w/ Alice Cooper

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By Chuck Yarborough, The Plain Dealer

on June 04, 2013 at 5:56 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Alice Cooper likes to say he traded one addiction for another. He put down the bottle years ago and picked up a driver. Now, the man known as the godfather of shock rock is a certified golfaholic.

Cooper lives in Phoenix, an area surrounded by 300 golf courses, which makes it easy for him to maintain his habit of playing six days a week.

Not that he always plays at home, mind you. Even at age 65, Cooper is still a touring artist. He will be in Cleveland at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica on June 13, with fellow shock rocker Marilyn Manson. It's a safe bet that if you noticed a long-haired guy carrying a Callaway bag and clubs -- he's been on the clubmaker's staff for years now -- it'll be Alice Cooper.

We talked music with Cooper to preview that show in this week's Friday! magazine, but as any golf nut knows, it's impossible to have a conversation with another golf nut without talking ... golf. Here's that part of the conversation:

Q: What's your handicap?

A: I'm surprised if I shoot over 76. I'm usually right down the middle, and if I don't hit the green, I'm around the green. I'm a good chipper and putter.

Q: Right to left or left to right?

A: I'm a little bit right to left. I'm not a big hitter, but I'll keep it around 260 yards. I hit 90 percent of my fairways. That's something Johnny Miller taught me.

Q: How do you play so often when you're on tour?

A: It's easier to do when you're on tour in America; golf in Europe is a lot more complicated. We get into town, say Cleveland, and the next show is in Detroit. We finish the show, get on the buses -- which are 5-star hotels now, with double beds -- go right to sleep. We drive all night, wake up at 6 a.m. and on the tee at 7:30.

Q: Favorite course?

A: Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield has always been my favorite. I don't know why, it just seems to fit my eye. It's just one of those courses where every single shot is a postcard.

Q: Your best club?

A: My go-to club is my 9-wood. If I want to hit the ball 200 yards and keep it in play, that's the one.

Q: Any holes-in-one?

A: I have four holes-in-one and three double eagles, where I hit a 3- or 5-wood into the hole on a par 5, and I had another one that ended up an inch away.

Q: Best shot?

A: The last Bob Hope that I played, on the last hole on Sunday. I hit driver, 5-wood and made a 30-foot putt for eagle. Nick Faldo says, 'No way! He waits to do that on TV!'

Q: I run a little golf league here and I was told I have to ask you, will you play with us?

A: Callaway sets up the golf. I've been on the Callaway staff for about 20 years now. They set up the golf a month in advance, and they almost always have it set up with myself, my guitar player, the pro or someone from one of their outlets, like Golfsmith or Golf Galaxy. I don't get to choose.

Well, if they give you a mulligan ...

It appears as though this old timer is one hell of a golfer with stats like that, given if they are not exaggerated. The 200 yard 9 wood and 260 yard average with his driver sounds a bit out there for a 76 year old.... who knows. Pretty cool though.

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