HOUSTON — Seems unlikely, but one of the baddest men in all of Texas got his butt whupped by a 14-year-old girl. Even more unlikely, he's grateful for the whupping because it introduced him to one of the new loves of his life.
"I started playing a good year [ago], in September," [artist id="15723"]Scarface[/artist] said, standing on the greens at Wild Cat Golf Club.
'Face attends the Matt Swanson School of Golf at the club. The golf course used to be a junkyard back when Uncle 'Face was just a young buck. Now he spends just about every day he has free here fine-tuning his stroke. On average, he can hit about 93, but on a good day, his score is in the 80s. (See if he inspired Shaheem Reid to take up golf in the Newsroom blog.)
"My daughter played golf," said 'Face, in full golf attire. "She was taking golf lessons. I bought her some clubs, and I bought me some clubs. I got out there thinking it was all fun and games, and my daughter kicked my ass. Can you imagine getting beat by your 14-year-old daughter? That kinda hurt my pride. So I'm trying to get good so I can play my daughter again."
Training for a rematch with his kid (they still haven't played again) caught 'Face off-guard: He began to love what he was doing.
"Messing with wanting to hit the ball straighter and even straighter and wanting to chip the ball and place the ball got me addicted. So when I wake up in the morning, I'm going to hit some balls. I play every day. Every single day. I look forward to Sunday. That's my favorite day to play, because I play with some old cats that are my buddies.
"It's a beautiful thing, man, to get out here," he added. "It's real quiet. And it's just you and the golf ball. It looks easy, but this is probably the hardest thing you had to do. Golf is like a woman. One day everything is cool. Next day, you be like, 'What happened?' "
'Face and his instructor, Bruce Olson, made a heckuva combination. Olson is the straight man to Scarface's comedian.
"I don't trust you," Olson said to 'Face, who was sitting behind the wheel on their golf cart.
"You don't trust my driving?" asked 'Face, who moved over to sit shotgun.
"I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, and that's not far," Olson replied.
Their rapport is like two friends who've known each other for years.
"Why do my clubs feel so short today? Am I getting taller?" asked 'Face, now on the grass ready to tee off. Olson just shook his head.
"I don't wanna yank up the rug," Scarface would later whine with a smile.
Olson just calmly encouraged the rap legend to keep yanking it up. "Divot after the golf ball," Olson said, explaining what Scarface's made-up phrase "yank up the rug" meant. "In the past, when he's taken divots, they've been pointed to the left. So he's coming in the golf ball too steep. So we're trying to shallow him, so he can get a little more pressure on the golf ball and get the ball first, then grass. When he says it hurts, it's because he's coming in too steep. We wanna get ball first, then rug, so it'll go straight."
"We got this love/hate relationship," 'Face joked. "If I hit a good shot, I love him. If I mess up, all hell is gonna break loose."
It was all love that day, though. Scarface's stroke has improved drastically since fall of 2007. But he's not pumped up — well, not too pumped.
"Vijay Singh would kick my ass. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, I might kick Tiger's ass. ... Nah. God sent Tiger Woods here to play golf for real," 'Face said.
He does think he could take [artist id="961130"]Lil Jon[/artist] or [artist id="1161"]Will Smith[/artist]. "I call him the Fresh Prince," he said of his blockbuster-making friend. The two go way back to tours in the '80s.
Don't look for Scarface to be performing for too many more years. He released his "last" album, Emeritus, last week and has ruled out a comeback.
"I quit. I'm done. I'mma do a farewell U.S. tour, then a farewell European tour," he promised. "Then I'm heading for the hills. This is my last run, man. I had a real good time. I enjoyed it."
So does he love golf more than rapping? That is yet to be determined, but he does admit that swinging clubs is tougher than slangin' rhymes.
"Waaayyyy harder," he said. "When I was doing the Made album, I was just learning how to play. When I was doing the Emeritus album, I was playing my ass off. That's all we had to do — come out here and hit balls and go to the studio."