Golf Gold

Your 13-Step Guide To Living Like a Tour Pro

The Best Wines in Golf
More than a handful of Tour pros have their own wine labels. But which vintages reign supreme? We asked master sommelier Brian Cronin to blind taste five whites and seven reds from some of the game's top players -- and name the best in class.

Keeping up with the Joneses is all well and good. But you know you’ve really made it when you keep up with the Johnsons. As in Dustin Johnson, whose recent purchase of a $4.95 million Florida manse (private island included!) was just the latest eye-popping acquisition by a top Tour pro with extravagant tastes. Fancy wheels. Trendy threads. Offbeat emblems of material excess. To match strides with golf’s biggest spenders, turns out you need more than just a beachfront home and custom-ground wedges. You've also gotta have the pleasure boat in the harbor, the airplane in the hanger, the hovercraft wherever people keep such things. Your own fashion line doesn’t hurt, nor does having a super-model hitched on either arm. Ambitious? Sure, but by following our simple 13-step plan, you, too, can compete with the rich and famous in this fevered game of conspicuous consumption. It doesn’t even matter that you don’t have a major. Neither do a lot of the pros. Step 1: You gotta have…

1. The House

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Just down the coast from DJ’s Palm Beach Garden’s pied-à-terre stands the waterfront mansion of the man himself. Tiger Woods’ $60 million Jupiter Island spread has a 100-foot lap pool, a 60-foot-diving pool, a spa, a basketball court and more. If that strikes you as a tad excessive, consider a modest starter home instead.  The median list price for a three-bedroom on the island is a paltry $5.28 million.

2. If You’ve Got the House, You Gotta Have the Cars

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What good is that 12-car garage in your oceanfront estate if you don’t have a full complement of wheels to fill it. Might as well emulate Hunter Mahan, whose automobile collection includes a $200,000 Bentley GT.

3. If You’ve Got the Cars, You Gotta Have the Jet

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A fleet of cars is swell. But you aren’t really flying high if you aren’t flying private. Leasing is the first choice of most penny-pinching Tour pros. But jet ownership is the ultimate indulgence. Lefty seems to like it. He wings around on his own Gulfstream V. For $40 million, you can soar right with him in that rarefied air.

4. If You’ve Got the Jet, You Gotta Have the Yacht

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A rising tide lifts all boats. Especially boats belonging to those in the same tax bracket as Greg Norman, who shelled out $70 million 20 years ago for this 228-foot seafarer, which he christened Aussie Rules. Norman sold the yacht in 2004, and it’s not currently on the market. So you might have to settle for the Project Hermes, a 63-footer that’s listed on superyachts.com for $59.5 million. Don’t listen to the Shark when he tells you that you’re going to need a bigger boat.

5. If You’ve Got the Yacht, You Gotta Have the Hovercraft

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Imagine what would happen if people saw you breezing around the golf course in something resembling an ordinary golf cart. They might come to the conclusion that you aren’t filthy rich. No risk of that when your ride is a BWI golf cart hovercraft, a.k.a. the Bubbacraft. It’ll run you nearly $60,000, a small price to pay to set yourself apart from the hoi polloi.  

6. If You’ve Got the Hovercraft, You Gotta Have the Motorhome

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With all the luxe distractions of your lavish lifestyle, you’ve got no time for homesickness. And no cause either. Not when you take your travel cues from Davis Love III, whose $1.25 million RV is more like a luxury hotel on wheels. Or John Daly, who wheeled into the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in the beautiful behemoth pictured above.

7. If You’ve Got the Motorhome, You Gotta Have the Motorcycle

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Paul Azinger is the golf world’s Easy Rider, even if he isn’t Henry Fonda-hip to Harleys. He’s owned 35 motorcycles throughout the years and, at the peak of his collecting, he had eight great bikes in his garage. Among his favorites is a BMW R1200R, a $13,000 powerhouse that’s known as the Adventure Bike. Try one out. When the road gets rough, the ride remains as smooth a certain Ryder Cup captaincy.

8. If You’ve Got the Motorcycle, You Gotta Have the Golf Cart

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Forget courtesy cars. Pat Perez has been known to show up at tournaments with a courtesy cart. Witness this little beauty, which Perez parked in the players' lot at the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open. The cart is modeled after a Toyota Scion iQ, which most Tour pros would never be caught dead in. But at this size, it’s irresistible.

9. If You’ve Got the Golf Cart, You Gotta Have the Entourage

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Former Tour bad boy Anthony Kim resurfaced this week, in an interview with the Associated Press. Kim hasn’t pegged it in 18 months, but his reemergence served as a reminder of one of A.K.’s greatest assets: his wingmen. In his playing heydey, Kim’s posse were more than just loyal friends—they were his practice partners, sounding board, chauffeur. "[I’m] the happiest I've been on and off the golf course,” Kim told SI’s Alan Shipnuck in 2010. “It's all because I've surrounded myself with the right people who have my best interests at heart.”

10. If You’ve Got the Entourage, You Gotta Have the Model Girlfriend

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There are some things money can’t buy, and true love is one of them. But a smoking girlfriend? Being a plus-8 golfer has never hurt in that department. Just ask Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland or, yes, Dustin Johnson again.

11. If You’ve Got the Model Girlfriend, You Gotta Have the Clothing Line

Not to worry. What looks like an explosion in a paint factory is actually your wardrobe, a colorful sign of your capitalist conquests. So is your decision to make like Ian Poulter and launch your own clothing line, which lets other people dress as if they’ve triumphed, too.

12. If You’ve Got the Clothing Line, You Gotta Have the Wine Label

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Plenty of Tour pros have their own wine labels, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Christie Kerr and Luke Donald. But in a blind-tasting conducted by Golf Gold, the wines that went down easiest were made by the Big Easy, Ernie Els. Seek to replicate the subtleties of his sauvignon blanc, even if you can’t replicate his swing.

13. And If You’ve Got All of the Above, You Gotta Have the Twitter and Insta Feeds On Which to Show Them Off

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Any star can draw a gallery. Only the biggest build a following. Witness the million-plus Twitter loyalists who track Rickie Fowler through the virtual world. It doesn’t take a lot. All you need is charm, talent, looks, fame—and a boatload of bling to boot. Oh, and keep your messages short and clever.

 

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