Timberlake talks golf: “Do it for the love.”
He’s a grown man now, not a child-performer; a 30-year-old pop and movie star and avid golfer who has traded his mouse ears for a logoed cap and a collared shirt. “There aren’t many places I can go where I don’t feel like I’m being watched,” Timberlake says. “But the golf course is one of them. It’s my refuge. It’s where I get a chance to be alone in the world.”
His 6-handicap and celebrity status make him something of a modern-day Bing Crosby: a serious stick with mega drawing power. His name appears on a PGA Tour event (the Justin Timberlake Shriners Open) and atop private lockers (he’s a member at Liberty National in New Jersey and Lakeside Golf Club in Los Angeles). It’s even on the deed of a Memphis-area course, which he purchased, with his stepdad, in 2007.
Bankrupt when he bought it, Big Creek Golf Course came with a personal connection: It was the course on which he had learned to play. With Timberlake’s backing, it has been reborn as Mirimichi (a Native American word for “place of happy retreat”), an eco-friendly layout that has racked up honors for environmental stewardship as quickly as its owner collects Grammy Awards.
During a recent swing through his hometown, Timberlake dropped by Mirimichi for a casual round and a wide-ranging conversation about the game he loves.
“I could talk golf all day,” he said.
Join the club.
My first advice to anyone who is thinking about buying a golf course is: Don’t do it.
But if you’re going to do it, don’t do it because you think you’re going to make money. Do it for the love. Do it because you want to give people a memorable experience. Mirimichi is close to my heart for obvious reasons. This is where I grew up playing. When it fell into financial trouble, I saw an opportunity to create something special and give back to the community at the same time. The idea of this course going under and becoming a housing development, I just couldn’t live with that.
Check out the rest of this interview at Timberlake-Justin.com.