An avid golfer, rock and roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper is a regular on the pro-am circuit and holds an annual charitable golf tournament in Arizona that attracts numerous celebrities each year. While Cooper is not big on discussing politics -- although he has let slip a few conservative opinions -- he has shared the golf course with several notable politicians.
Born in Detroit as Vincent Damon Furnier, Cooper later moved with his family to Arizona, where his music career began. He eventually named his band -- and himself -- “Alice Cooper,” putting on extravagant stage shows in the 1970s featuring large snakes and simulated gore, including hangings and beheadings. Off-stage he played golf occasionally, but didn’t get serious about the game until the 1980s. He initially kept his golfing low-key, believing the game didn’t fit his “shock rock” image.
A New Addiction
An admitted alcoholic, Cooper completed a successful rehab process in 1983. But in his book, “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster,” Cooper says he feared he’d start drinking again if he had too much free time. Seizing on golf, Cooper began taking lessons and playing 36 holes each day, beginning the day after his rehab stint ended. He credits golf for helping him remain sober, terming the game an addiction and adding that he "traded one bad habit for another habit, only this habit (golf) was a lot healthier."
Cooper has played pro-am events with past and present PGA Tour golfers such as Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, and has also teed off with numerous celebrities, including Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason and Samuel L. Jackson. He’s also played golf with former President Gerald Ford. Cooper and former President Bill Clinton both played, although in separate groups, at the 2012 Humana Challenge tournament. Former Vice President Dan Quayle played at the 2005 Alice Cooper Golf Tournament, which benefits Cooper's nonprofit Solid Rock organization.
Cooper’s Golf History
Cooper’s golf handicap has been as low as 2, although in 2009 he told reporters at the Bob Hope Classic he was then a 5-handicap player. He met Calloway Golf President Ely Calloway while doing a golf TV show and eventually did a series of ads for the company. Cooper says he’s played at courses around the world, including Scotland, Australia and the Moscow Country Club in Russia. In his book, Cooper said the three greatest compliments he’s received were from Groucho Marx and Bob Dylan -- regarding Cooper’s music career -- and from Woods, who said he “would not give Alice two (handicap strokes) a side.”