It takes more than one good shot per game to survive in the NBA, but in a first-timer’s
round of golf, that’s often enough to get hooked.
New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams had never played before teeing it up in a celebrity tournament a few years back. “I
actually had two good shots that day,” Williams says. He’s been obsessed with the game
ever since, playing up to four times a week, often at the Santaluz Club in San Diego, where
he spends part of the off-season.
When he played for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, Williams and teammate Michael Redd even snuck in 18 holes at a Beijing course. (Don’t
worry. They brought home the gold.) Williams brings the same intensity to golf that he shows on the court. “I’m competitive at everything,” he says, admitting to a learning curve on the links. “Golf is more mental, while basketball is more reactionary.”
Still, his favorite golf tip applies to his day job. “If you hit a bad shot, just focus on the next shot.”