On Feb. 12, you will make your Champions Tour debut at the Ace Group Classic in Naples, Fla. You have conditional status on the PGA Tour. How will you split your time between the two tours?
My ego will lead me to play a few regular Tour events, but my main focus will be the Champions Tour. I’m excited.
What does the no-cut rule on the Champions Tour mean to you? In your PGA Tour career you made 312 cuts in 613 events in 26 years on Tour.
It allows you to plan your schedule and buy plane tickets accordingly. You don’t have to worry about the costly expense of changing tickets when you’re done on Friday.
You and your brother, Sandy, who is also your caddie, have been in Palm Springs for the last two weeks playing golf. Now you’re headed to San Diego to play in the Farmers Insurance Open. You have movie star friends and with your sponsor, the Discovery Land Company, you get to play at some of the nicest resorts in the world. Is it one big party with you guys?
What can I tell you, I enjoy life. One of my favorite things to do in the world is to have dinner with 10 or 12 people in a great restaurant. I learned a long time ago that life is too short.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
I have three: Dan Tana’s in L.A., Nick & Sam’s and Tei An’s, which are both in Dallas.
Have you ever played in a Tour event hungover?
Not in the last 10 years or so. I rarely drink now during a tournament week.
Most people know you as a good-time guy and a ladies man. Keeping Tiger’s recent trouble with the ladies in mind, how difficult is it to fight the temptations on the road?
Women are available to athletes, CEOs and anybody that has a gift for gab. Anything is available for anybody that seeks it out. Golf is show business. Women are a part of it.
Many people in the game have called the Senior Tour a glorified putting contest?
Anywhere you play golf for money it’s a putting contest.
Are you still doing the stack and tilt?
My swing has always been in that vein. But I wouldn’t say that I’m a 100 percent of a stack-and-tilter. I don’t like for my weight to move around in my swing.
You had an injury last year?
I had an operation on my sciatic nerve on June 17 after slipping on the golf course at the U.S. Open qualifier.
When was the last time you saw your pal George Clooney?
I saw George at Cabo San Lucas over New Year’s at the El Dorado Golf and Beach Club, which is owned by the Discovery Land Company. George plays a little golf.
You’re a music nut. What are you listening to now?
A groove compilation. I love lounge music.
Beside the money and the equipment, what’s the biggest difference in Tour life since you first got your card in 1982?
I don’t think the younger guys enjoy themselves as much as they should. Sure, they enjoy playing golf, but it doesn’t appear like they’re living while they’re playing golf. It looks like they’re just going from golf course to golf course to golf course. I hope that some of the younger guys are living. Obviously it’s a grueling routine, but I would hate for them to have turned 50 and not have experienced some of the nice things in life: traveling with the wives and girlfriends and eating and living. I could be totally wrong but it’s just my observation.
You’re kind of throwback. You must have learned some of your style and flash from growing up in Las Vegas. What’s your sense of the style on Tour?
When I see a lot of the younger players off the golf course they’re dressed too casual. They don’t look like pros. They dress like they’re going to the gym. When I came on Tour a lot of players traveled in suits and ties. We’ve lost some of our overall style on the Tour. I think this is a very casual generation. I think this hurts the Tour a little bit because most of the sponsors aren’t that casual.
You won twice on the PGA Tour and in 2003 you set the 72-hole record of 254 at the Valero Texas Open. How do you assess your regular Tour career?
Maybe I could have won more tournaments. I wish I had, but it’s spilled milk now. My goal now is to win more tournaments on the Champions Tour than I did on the regular Tour.