Deep Thoughts With Ken Duke
Tour veteran Ken Duke, 46, sounds off on his love of ’80s power ballads, his dream Euro getaway and his on-course encounter with a Hooters server.
What’s your secret talent?
I really like to fish. A lot of people don’t know that. I enjoy it though. It’s just fun and relaxing to me. You get out there and start playing golf holes -- casting to a spot is like trying to get to a pin that you don’t think you can get to. It’s really fun.
What’s something you are terrible at?
Singing in the shower. My kids know every song that comes on the radio, but I’m not that guy. I think we all try to [sing], but that’s not me.
If you could have tickets to any musical act in history, who would you see?
Journey. They play for the love of the music, the love of the sound. And they play to the crowd. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, that’s why [musicians] played music. Nowadays, it’s all about the money.
When is the last time you wore a costume for Halloween?
I have two young kids, so they are always putting me up to something. Two years ago I dressed up as John Travolta from the 1970s. I had a see-through shirt, white pants, six-inch high heels that were big old cloggers I got at some shop in L.A., a big wig and sideburns. You couldn’t even tell it was me!
Where is a place you want to visit that you haven’t been?
Italy. You hear so much about it, and there are so many things to do over there. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I know it’s the place for wine. Just the scenery over there would be special to see.
When did you know you could make it on the PGA Tour?
I think you always have your ups and downs, but you keep believing in what you have to do. About six years ago, I made a swing change when I was working with Bob Toski. It made it easier for me. I have a back condition, scoliosis, and [his fix] made me swing the golf club at ease. It made it fun. Obviously, I’ve had a pretty good career so far.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on a golf course?
One time I was over in Tampa, and on one of the holes a guy hit a ball next to the Hooters tent. One of the girls over there said, “Hey, can you sign my left boob?” I don’t know if I should say that on [video], but it is what it is. You see a lot.
This article appeared in the most recent issue of SI Golf+ Digital, our weekly e-magazine. Click here to read this week's issue and sign up for a free subscription.