How rapper Macklemore managed to break 80 — and how you can, too

Rap superstar Macklemore has been playing golf seriously for only three years, but he’s already on the brink of becoming a single-digit handicap. He has also recently hit a meaningful milestone: breaking 80.

On this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, Macklemore revealed the keys that enabled him to cross that important threshold.

“I shot a 78, I shot 79 a couple times — I think I’m at three or four rounds at 79 — and a whole bunch of 81s and 82s,” Macklemore said. “At one of my clubs, I still haven’t broken 80. The times that I have broken 80 — because immediately if I have a good front, my brain goes there — like, is this the day that I can break 80? My handicap is a 10.6. And I’m trying to get down to single digits. But I know I can break 80. I’ve done it before, I can do it, I have the ability.

Macklemore in finishing position
Why Macklemore hoped he wouldn’t have to play with Jason Day at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
By: Jessica Marksbury

“The times that I have done it, it is literally like, I get in that zone where it’s just the next shot. And it is such a mental exercise of, you know what, don’t get ahead of yourself — don’t start thinking on hole No. 13, like, what do I have to do to break 80, and start doing math. It’s not gonna help. It just doesn’t help.”

Macklemore said that during a round over the summer, he had to par the last two holes to break 80.

“I just hit this zone where I’m like, hit the ball in the fairway, you know what to do here,” Macklemore said. “Did it. It was a par-5, hit the 3-wood, 20 mph wind at me. I’m like, hit a good 3-wood. You have it. Don’t over-swing. All you gotta do is advance the ball. Hit a good wedge in there. Two-putt. Great, now we’re on to the next.

“When you start thinking like that, one shot at a time, I got laser-focused.”

For more from Macklemore, including what sets his clothing line apart from the rest, and a hilarious story about why he hoped he wouldn’t have to play with Jason Day at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, check out the full interview below.

Jessica Marksbury

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on