Golf Stories From NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson Go Exactly How You Would Expect Them To
During the Chase for the Sprint Cup, four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has been writing an exclusive online diary for USA Today which details what life is like for the NASCAR driver away from the track. In the third installment, Johnson writes about his love for the game of golf and how it helps him unwind after spending so much time within the confines of a car while making left turns for prize money.
Johnson writes that after his wife noticed how tightly wound he was during his 2006 championship season, she recommended he take up a hobby, so he turned to golf for much needed relaxation and fresh air, away from the track and the noxious exhaust fumes. A golfer in high school, Johnson has now fully committed himself to the game and boasts a decent 21 handicap, which isn’t bad for the random weekend warrior.
Towards the end of this particular entry, Johnson regales us with some off-the-wall stories regarding some of his more, shall we say, wild and crazy golfing escapades, the kind of anecdotal narratives you would expect to come from a race car drivin’ good ol’ boy.
I could summarize the gist of his drunken golfing tales, but his first person narratives speak for themselves. Via USA Today:
This is part golf tournament and part Caddyshack. A friend had a little too much fun the first night and passed out twice in the wrong cottage. The first time that happens, it’s “OK, your cottage is over there.” The second time, we felt as if we had earned the right to mess with him. We found a Sharpie and did some amazing artwork on his forehead and his face. We even put a Nike Swoosh on his foot and colored his toenails. Then we thought it’d be brilliant if the grounds crew would find him in the morning on the first tee box. So we took a mattress, wrapped him up like a burrito with a comforter and dragged it out to the first tee box. He was out cold.
That I like having fun on the golf course probably comes as no surprise to those who know how I broke my left wrist nearly four years ago. I was playing a charity tournament in Florida the week after being celebrated as a first-time Cup champion at the season-ending awards ceremony. That’d been an emotional week, and it was time to have fun. We left Charlotte early in the morning with a group of guys, and it was on. I was just out of control.
This goes back to my high school days when I’d play with my buddies, and we were rowdy. We’d run into each other with golf carts and do stupid stuff. That was when I learned the technique for surfing on golf carts.
I’d surfed a par 5 earlier in the day with no problem. Toward the end of the day, we were playing in a huge group of guys who were goofing off. The guys on the tee box behind were shooting balls at us, and my buddy took off to chase them down with me on top of the cart. It was very chaotic. I’m hanging on, and my buddy is driving off the cart path, and I’m thinking, “I’ve got to get off the top of this thing.” So I jumped.
I’d done this in high school, but I never had to complete a moving dismount. I didn’t take into consideration how slick those cleats would be on a plastic roof. There was no traction. I just slipped and went down head first. I put my hands out to break my fall, and that was it.
The funny thing was I hit my mouth really hard, too. I got up to check my teeth with my left hand and couldn’t feel a thing. I looked down, and my wrist was just destroyed. I tried put it back together, and it fell apart. That was when I knew we had a problem. But I still had my teeth. They were hurting, and my wrist didn’t. That reversed a couple hours later, but I initially had no clue how badly I hurt my wrist.
One of my friends saw my mangled wrist, and I heard him on the phone going, “911! We need a helicopter immediately.” I said, “”Dude, hang up the phone! It’s just a broken bone.” “OK, I’m sorry. Bye!” Click.
YEEEEEE-HAWWWW! Darn tootin’! Now that’s what I’m talking about! Drinkin’, carousin’, lettin’ it all hang out and not worried about nuthin’ but a havin’ a good time! Some brews and some golfin’ and hangin’ with your good buddies! YEAH!
Jimmie Johnson keeps his cool with low-stress golf game [USA Today]