When Tiger Woods calls you, “a hell of a golfer”, you know you’re doing something right. Such was Wood’s assessment of Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo, Wood’s partner in last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. In 2008, Romo shot an impressive 84 in the 2008 U.S. Open Challenge at Torrey Pines. Since then Romo, whose handicap has been as low as 3.3, has consistently made it to the top of the pro-am leaderboards each year. Having just signed a six-year $108 million contract extension with the Cowboys, Romo’s ongoing dream of qualifying for the U.S. Open will no doubt be sidelined as he puts in more time on the gridiron.
Proving that there’s more to life in the off-season than weightlifting and wind sprints, Peyton Manning has been getting some pretty good licks in on the links this year. Making a hole-in-one during a recent round in Denver, the Broncos quarterback took on the famed course at Augusta National and shot a 77. Going from a handicap of 4.6 in 2009 to what many are saying must be around zero in 2013, Manning is proving himself a formidable contender on the turf and the green.
Sporting a handicap index that has dipped as low as 0.4, Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steeler’s two-time Super-Bowl-winning quarterback, has no doubt made more than a few of his fellow players on the golf course call out a few “audibles” of their own. And having just hosted his Second Annual Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Invitational in June—benefitting the Make-A-Wish-Foundation and other great causes—Ben has found a seriously rewarding way for him and many others to up their golf games.
With a handicap hovering between 7 and 8, this Green Bay Packers QB has been keeping his “irons” in the fire in the off-season. Ranked as the best quarterback in the NFL, Rodgers was unable to play in the 2013 Pro Bowl due to injuries. But that hasn’t stopped him from getting out on the golf course. His two most notable appearances so far this year have been the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and the American Century Championship Celebrity Tournament at Lake Tahoe.
Another “A-List” football regular at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady boasts three Super Bowl rings, a $20 million-dollar mansion, and a supermodel wife. Throw his “8” handicap into the mix and now you’re talking. Recently touted by Donald Trump as having a swing like Ernie Els and the ability to hit the ball a mile, the 35-year-old Brady— who says he plans on playing football until he’s forty—may have already found his next big career.
What does an MVP award for Super Bowl XLIV and a 3 handicap in golf have in common? They both belong to Drew Brees, one of the greatest passers in NFL history. Celebrating his first hole-in-one back in 2009—a 5-iron shot on a 199 Yard par 3—Brees professes a deep love of golf, a game he says he’ll never stop playing. When asked if the two sports ever overlap, Brees confessed in a Golf Magazine interview, “I try not to think about football when I play golf and I definitely don’t think about golf when I’m playing football.”
Although he’ll always be known as the little brother, Eli Manning has carved out his own place in football history, bringing home two Super Bowl rings to Peyton’s one. And with a solid 7 handicap, it looks like Eli will be teaching the Giant’s new rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib—who recently confessed his newfound love for golf—a thing or two on the field and on the fairways.
Tied with Warren Moon for the second-most passing yards in a single game in NFL history—527 yards in a 43-37 overtime victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars just last year—Matt Schaub holds every passing record in the history of the Houston Texan’s franchise. Although he may not be breaking any course records in his golf shoes, his 7 handicap puts him on the list of great gridiron golfers.
After three productive seasons with the New England Patriots, running back Danny Woodhead is headed to San Diego on a two-year contract with the Chargers. An avid golfer with a 7 handicap, Woodhead sightings at Torrey Pines may soon be a regular occurrence.
A Heisman Trophy winner and #1 pick in the 2003 NFL draft, Carson Palmer has put up impressive numbers as quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders. And with a single-digit handicap, some might think that Carson is related to that other Palmer who plays golf. Recently signed as the Arizona Cardinal’s new signal caller, Palmer is no doubt looking forward to some great Arizona golf in the off-season.