Welcome to His Fairway


Alice Cooper, whose quasi-satanic actions in concert have for decades put fear in the hearts of parents, is now terrorizing opponents on the pro-am golf circuit.

Cooper is among a dedicated contingent of celebrities who make the rounds of charity golf tournaments, including the Nabisco Dinah Shore LPGA tournament, which kicks off this week in Rancho Mirage.

But spectators shouldn’t look for the trademark long hair and makeup. Cooper is so indoctrinated into the game that he even follows all the rules, tucking his unruly mane under a Callaway cap and wearing traditional golfer garb.


“I go out on tour during the summer,” Cooper said. “The rest of the time I’m out playing tournaments like this. . . . Call me the Callaway ambassador.”

Fans of “Killer” and “Welcome to My Nightmare” might wonder what sent the original shock-rocker from the heavy metal fringes to the finer fairways.

“I spent so much time on the road sitting around in hotel rooms,” Cooper said. “I’d hack the ball around and drink a lot of beer.”

But 15 years ago Cooper stopped drinking and had a lot more time on his hands. He started playing as many as 36 holes a day and got down to a six handicap.

“I got more addicted to golf than I got to alcohol,” he said. “But this is a better addiction.”

Cooper isn’t alone in his addiction. Among the celebrities who frequent the tournaments--and will play this week at the Dinah Shore--are Joe Pesci, Glenn Frey and Michael Bolton. Even Michael Jordan is a golf junkie. He’s played two Southern California PGA tournaments in the last few months--and did it while smoking a cigar the size of a putter. In fact, the pro-ams are so popular that there is a celebrity waiting list for the Dinah Shore.

Many players tend to reiterate former Eagle Glenn Frey’s assertion that golf is “an affliction.”

Did his love of the game have anything to do with the name of his band?

“I’ve been an Eagle, but I’ve never had an eagle,” Frey lamented.

Nabisco Dinah Shore Celebrity Pro-Am tournament, Mission Hills, 34-600 Mission Hill Drive, Rancho Mirage; Tuesday and Wednesday; tee times start at 7 a.m. Tickets are $15; free to ages 55 and older or 15 and younger. LPGA tournament, Thursday-Sunday. Information: (760) 324-4546.