Normally on this site, if we’re writing about someone contending to win the U.S. Open, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that player has an instagram dedicated to golf.
Except we’re not writing about someone contending for golf’s U.S. Open title, we’re writing about a finalist in Sunday’s tennis U.S. Open final.
Casper Ruud even told ESPN last week he played 2020 U.S. Open (golf) host Winged Foot Golf Club, nearby the tennis U.S. Open venue in New York City, and walked away with a respectable 80. Ruud posted about his visit on his golf Instagram the last week of August.
To shoot 80 at a U.S. Open venue — and apparently doing it from the black tees, which are one step from the back at Winged Foot and clock in just under 7,000 yards at both courses — and then less than two weeks later finding himself in the final of one tennis’ Grand Slams, Ruud is clearly one of those guys who excels at all of the sports that drive us mere mortals mad.
Ruud told USOpen.org he tries to play as much golf as he can, especially when traveling to tournaments.
“So it’s something I do a little bit when we are building up to the tournament,” Ruud said. “I try to play nine or 18 holes here and there if I get the time, but at the same time I’m here to do a job and that is to play tennis, so I can’t look at it as a vacation.”
Ruud’s golf instagram has about 6,000 followers (and growing) compared to his main account which boasts more than 275k. He’s chronicled many visits to top courses in the world from his home country of Norway, to Austria, to notable venues in the North America like Winged Foot, Nemacolin, Big Horn and Indian Wells Golf Resort, a favorite of his.
“You can find golf courses anywhere and so many good ones,” Ruud said. “Indian Wells is a paradise for golf. In New York, the northeastern courses are incredible in their own way.
He told USOpen.org he carries a one or two handicap and showed off some of his skills with an impressive shot hit right-handed with a left-handed club on his Instagram.
Ruud also told USOpen.org about the similarities he sees between golf and tennis, which is probably why so many greats of the sport are drawn to golf. Former ATP No. 1 Mardy Fish teed it up in the PGA Tour’s 3M Open this summer and I think we’re familiar with a certain friendship, by now, between the GOATs of each sport.
“I always enjoy a challenge and golf is the same,” Ruud said. “You’re really playing yourself and your own emotions. In tennis you have only splits of a second to react, while golfing you have minutes between your shots.”
As for his strengths, probably another reason to be envious is Ruud is that, like so many other athletes who take up golf, he says he can hit bombs.
“I think my strong side when I play well is my drives,” he said. “Being a tennis player you have some explosiveness in your body, so we tend to hit it quite far, though not quite like the guys on the PGA Tour. If I hit a couple of bombs it can go up to 310 yards, so when I drive it well it kind of builds my whole game. If you drive well you play well, it’s a little bit like this. If I don’t drive well I struggle a lot.”
And while he tries to find a tee time around his tennis schedule, you probably won’t be finding the ATP No. 7 at Bethpage Black or Shinnecock, some of the New York City areas other U.S. Open venues, Sunday morning.
“I try to play as much as I can, but I don’t play 18 holes the day before a match, because I would like to save my energy for [tennis],” he said.
Maybe he’ll be grabbing a quick nine or hitting the range, instead.