Tee time with Tico Torres
The annual golf-fest that is the Dunhill Links Championship gave Carolyn Nicoll the opportunity to catch
up with musician Tico Torres, one of the most popular figures on the international celebrity golfing circuit
Fast approaching thirty years as ‘The
Hit Man’ for one of the world’s greatest
rock bands, drummer Tico Torres
continues to travel the globe as a
major player with the multi-award winning
Bon Jovi. Notching up almost three decades
of hits, with record sales currently at a staggering
100 million plus and continuing to rise, not
to mention having performed to over 34 million
fans...it’s just all in a days work for the New York
So, what does this internationally renowned
rock star do when not in the recording studio or
touring the world?
Tico Torres doesn’t miss a beat. He’s an accomplished
artist and sculptor, with an infant
clothing range Rock Star Baby and founder of his
own charity the Tico Torres Children Foundation.
But there’s still time for a thrice-a-week golf
habit – essential rock ‘n’ roll relaxation.
Tico, what’s your first golfing memory?
The first time I ever played golf was with Willie
Nelson [American country music singer/songwriter]
at Pedernales Golf Club, Texas on his 9-
hole course. It’s also known as the Willie Nelson
Cut–N-Putt and as the great man says, it’s located
just “8 songs away from Austin”. I played
with a 7 iron and putter and remember it well.
Who taught you to play golf?
Willie actually taught me to play. It all started
back in 1989, I was at his house and he asked if
I’d ever played golf, I hadn’t so he took me out
there and said, “Just look at the ball and hit it!”
So I did. After all, the man is an “icon”.
Favourite professional golfer past or present?
Gary Player – The Black Knight. He’s always played
with such determination and has real integrity.
Favourite celebrity golfer?
There are so many I could name, but I’ll say Alice
Cooper, because in the words of Alice “If rock 'n'
roll made my life, then golf saved my life”.
Best golfing memory?
Easy – the practice round I enjoyed this week
here at the The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
I played the Old Course at St. Andrews
with Michael Douglas, Huey Lewis and Andy Garcia.
It was the ‘Dream Fourball’!
Worst golfing experience?
This would have to be in Scotland, playing in
high wind, rain and cold!
What’s your favourite UK course?
I really like all of Scottish golf, links golf, but I
also love to play at Sunningdale Golf Club in
Berkshire. I enjoyed playing a round there not so
long ago with with club pro Keith Maxwell.
Do you have a ‘home’ club?
I live in Florida so I regularly play at the gorgeous
Admirals Cove at Jupiter in Florida, it’s a
marina and yacht club, with tennis courts and a
spa, as well as some great golf. I also spend a lot of time at La Gorce Country Club at Miami Beach,
another great setting. I’m lucky to have two fabulous
clubs, not far from home.
Favourite holiday golf destination?
This would have to be Leopard Creek in South
Africa. It’s bordered by the Kruger National
Park and the Crocodile River, and the wildlife is
Your favourite ‘19th hole’?
The Jigger Inn at St. Andrews. It dates back to the
1850s when it was the Station Master’s lodge. It’s
now got lots of golfing memorabilia, roaring open
fires, and you can get drinks and home cooked
food. A great atmosphere at the ‘Home of Golf’!
Best ever handicap to date?
Two months ago it was 7. Now I’m 8.
Favourite charity golf tournament?
The Tico Torres Children Foundation Celebrity
Golf Tournament, a great way to have fun and
raise money for kids in need. I have a son of my
own and my heart goes out to children and their
families who are less fortunate. The charity was
founded in 2008 to help kids in difficult circumstances,
whether through hunger, disease, homelessness,
neglect, abuse or illness. The charity has
also contributed to help children affected by the
earthquake in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
How often do you play golf?
Three times a week, schedule permitting.
Ever had a hole in one?
Just the once. It was at Miami’s Doral Golf Resort,
I was playing in the VH1 Celebrity Golf
Event, and I loved it!
Favourite item of golf clothing?
Here in Scotland? It has to be mittens. It’s so important
to keep the hands warm when playing in
Best piece of golfing equipment?
For me, the Momentus Power Hitter 310, a
weighted training driver that has really helped to
coordinate and strengthen my swing.
Country with the best golf courses? Where
would you like to be stranded?
I’m partial to links golf, so Scotland or Ireland, I
don’t mind. It’s that windy weather that does it.
Who would be your dream golf partner?
Of all time, it has to be the late, great Seve Ballesteros,
because he could pull off the most impossible
Favourite professional golf tournament?
Any of the majors, as it all goes up a notch.
The absolute best thing about playing golf?
The people you meet.
The worst thing about playing golf?
[Laughs] Sometimes, the people you meet.
What do you wish to achieve in your game?
I’ve never shot even par, so that’s what I’m aiming
Top tips for up and coming golfers?
Have fun! Fun’s the great thing about golf.
What’s next on your golfing schedule?
I’m heading to Albany Bahamas in December for
a Members Tournament, such a beautiful resort
with a stunning beach and yacht marina, and I’m
really looking forward to the golf.
When not golfing, what are you up to at the
The band’s off the road now, so I am in my studio
painting, and developing my line of baby
clothes – Rock Star Baby.
Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine