The Definitive Power Ranking of the Celebrities in the 2016 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

The Definitive Power Ranking of the Celebrities in the 2016 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

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Josh Duhamel, Bill Murray, Andy Garcia, Kenny G, Clint Eastwood, Nick Faldo, Charles Kelley, Ray Romano, Chris Berman, Clay Walker, Jake Owen, Huey Lewis and Joe Don Rooney are seen on the 1st hole tee-off during the 3M Celebrity Challenge before the AT&T
C Flanigan

In professional golf, player rankings are pretty much clear-cut. In celebrity golf, it’s a different story. The metrics are subjective, derived from an inexact calculus of game and fame. With the granddaddy of all pro-ams returning to Pebble Beach this week, we crunched the numbers, such as they are, to arrive at a Celebrity Golfer Power Rating (CGPR) for the biggest names in the field. Here are the results in descending order.

10. CHRIS BERMAN

FAME RATING: 4 (out of 10)

A long-time Pro-Am participant, the ESPN announcer is a well-known face around Pebble Beach. He’s also a well-known voice to golf fans. For better or worse.

GOLF RATING: 2 (out of 10)

Put it this way, they don’t call him “Boomer” for the way he hits the ball.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 4 (out of 10)

As bad as his game is, it’s still better to watch him hacking on the tee box than it is to hear him barking silly nicknames from the tower.

OVERALL CGPR: 10 (out of 30)

9. KUNAL NAYYAR

FAME RATING: 7

“The Big Bang Theory” is not the latest distance-boosting golf tip. It’s a wildly popular sitcom. And this British-Indian actor is one of its stars.

GOLF RATING: 4

Not much of a golfer, but he seems to be a gamer. At least judging by his own account of a putting lesson he got from Tiger Woods. 

WATCHABILITY RATING: 4

Spectator #1: This dude seems likable enough, but he’s not all that exciting. What do you say we follow someone else?”



Spectator #2: Nayyar talking!

OVERALL CGPR: 15

8. ANDY GARCIA

FAME RATING: 6

He’s the Web.com Tour’s Al Pacino. But that still counts for something.

GOLF RATING: 6

A member of Lakeside Country Club in Los Angeles, Garcia gets it around nicely. A little too nicely, some have said. Consider the grumbling in 1997, when Garcia entered this event as an 18-handicap only to shoot an even-par 36 on his own ball during the second round at Poppy Hills. He and partner Paul Stankowsi won the pro-am by three-strokes with a record-breaking score of 43-under par. Tournament officials responded by trimming Garcia’s handicap to 10.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 3

The Godfather III was unwatchable, but Garcia earned an Oscar nomination for his role in it, so we figure he must have some magnetism.

OVERALL CGPR: 15

7. LARRY THE CABLE GUY

FAME RATING: 7

If you think plumb-bobbing is hard to figure, try wrapping your mind around the fact that this guy’s been known to rake in up to $250,000 per show.

GOLF RATING: 4

A 20-handicap, he had a golf simulator and putting green installed at his Nebraska home in hopes of getting better. By his own account, he just keeps getting worse.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 7

Check out that cheerful guy with the burly build, the beard, and the fondness for cut-off sleeves and camo. So what if he can barely hit it? Squint and he looks just like Boo Weekley.

OVERALL CGPR: 18

T-5. KENNY G

FAME RATING: 8

Your mother was right. You really should have stuck with the saxophone.

GOLF RATING: 8

Did your mom happen to mention that the Sultan of Smooth also plays to scratch?

WATCHABILITY RATING: 4

Not to rub it in, but you could learn a thing or two from that bland repetition. We don’t mean his music. We mean his swing.

OVERALL CGPR: 20

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T-5. JOSH DONALDSON

FAME RATING: 5

The Toronto Blues Jays slugger won the American League MVP, which makes him a pretty big deal. That he got his Major League start with the Oakland A’s only ramps up his name recognition around these parts.

GOLF RATING: 8

Like Tiger Woods, he appeared on TV as a toddler, demonstrating a sweet golf swing. Unlike Tiger, he’ll be out there this weekend, banging balls 300-plus-yards off the tee.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 7

Because in golf, as in baseball, we all dig the long ball.

OVERALL CGPR: 20

4. RAY ROMANO

FAME RATING: 9

Everybody doesn’t love Raymond. But enough people like him that he’s earned an Emmy, legions of loyal fans and an estimated net worth of $130 million.

GOLF RATING: 5

A season spent as one of Hank Haney’s “projects” didn’t appear to do his game much good. If golf swings were sit-coms, Romano’s would have its own laugh-track.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 7

You look at the guy, with his Everyman persona and his antsy putting stroke, and you think, ‘I could do that.’ No, you couldn’t. Otherwise, he’d be watching you.

OVERALL CGPR: 21

3. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

FAME RATING: 9

A former member of the Mickey Mouse Club, Timberlake was a child star by age 10. Or roughly seven years before Jordan Spieth.

GOLF RATING: 8

Maybe it’s the nimbleness that comes from all that dancing. Or the fact that he took lessons from Butch Harmon. Whatever the case, Timberlake is a legit single-digit with a swing that stays pretty much NSYNC.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 5

Kudos to golf for attempting to appeal to a younger demographic. Then again, what are you, 12?

OVERALL CGPR: 22

2. WAYNE GRETZKY

FAME RATING: 9

No disrespect to DJ, but the 11-time Tour winner is nowhere near as famous as his father-in-law-to-be.

GOLF RATING: 5

By his own admission, when he moves from ice to grass, The Great One morphs into a mediocrity.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 9

Star-wattage of this kind is worth following for at least a few holes. Especially if Paulina’s in the gallery.

OVERALL CGPR: 23

1. BILL MURRAY

FAME RATING: 10

Yes, there’s more to his career than Caddyshack. But no, there doesn’t need to be. He played Carl Spackler. ‘Nuff said.

GOLF RATING: 8

And to top it all off, when feels like trying, he golfs his ball like a young Ty Webb.

WATCHABILITY RATING: 10

Highly interactive, hugely entertaining, and wholly irreplaceable. He blows away the rest of the celebrity field.

OVERALL CGPR: 28