Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum recently joined fellow Duke alumnus J.J. Reddick on Redick’s podcast “Old Man and the Three” to talk Disney restart life and basketball more generally, talking about a host of ‘bubble’- related topics.
One of the things they spoke of most was how the Celtic swingman had famously picked up golf in recent months — though not as recently as some seem to think.
” I didn’t pick up well, until right around Mother’s Day, explained Tatum, “so that’s May.”
“I’ve been like Top Golf and stuff, on occasion. But I remember I actually came down with my family to Orlando in the month of May, and just because the weather was kind of bad in Boston, we rented a house. We came down here on a golf course and we had a pool for Deuce [Tatum’s young son] and my stepdad, he’s a huge golfer. He’s been playing golf for like 20 years and he always told me like, ‘Jay, I’ve got to get you out there one day. And I was like, ‘Man, golf is boring. Like, once I get done playing, once I retire, I’ll pick it up’, and one day, he was going into the driving range. I was like, ‘I’m going to go with you, I ain’t got nothing else to do’. One day turned into two days, turned in three days turning into ‘Let’s play nine holes’, [then], let’s play another nine’, then it’s like ‘let’s play 18’ and I’m like, ‘Damn — I’m starting to figure it out.’ And it’s fun; I’m starting to enjoy it.”
But it wasn’t over for Tatum.
In fact, he decided to work on hs game.
“So then once we went back to Boston, I started getting lessons. I would go get lessons, four to five times a week for like three hours, and I eventually got fitted for all clubs and I started ordering all this Nike, Jordan golf gear, shoes, shirts, and I’m addicted.”
Is he the best golfer in the Disney restart?
Not if you ask Tatum — and he can think of a small handful of players he thinks have a better swing, too.
“I wish I had the best golf swing in the bubble because I’ve seen Kyle [Kuzma] play, I’ve seen [Andre] Iguodala play, I’ve seen Garrett Temple play — those guys have got a sweet swing, but I’m getting there,” offered the Duke product.
Tatum is definitely not being modest about his golf skills, though.
“I’ve been playing with a couple of our coaches, Kemba [Walker] — he just picked up golf recently,” offered the St. Louis native. “I’m definitely the best golfer on our team, by far.”
How good is he on an average course?
“[I’m] not really super competitive, because I just started, but I would say if I’m … having a good day, I’ll probably shoot anywhere from like, 87 until I get 91, 92.”
This of course registered some incredulity from Redick.
“Everybody had the same reaction when I tell them I just started playing. Like, ‘Yo, I’ve been playing for six years — I’m still trying to break 100!’”
Danny Ainge opens up on that mid-series golf game with Michael Jordan https://t.co/CrVvzZirfJ via @thecelticswire
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) April 22, 2020
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have off days — not unlike his shooting when he first got on the court in the Disney ‘bubble’.
“Some days … it’s like the first time I’ve ever picked up a golf club, but I enjoy it though.”
“I really love playing golf,” he added.
Enough to want to go at his ‘boss’ in the shoe game, Michael Jordan?
“I don’t know. I heard he played 18 holes in like two hours — like you don’t take any practice swings. He doesn’t lose the ball, and I’m not there yet. I gotta take a practice when I get to.”