Don Johnson Q&A: On Tin Cup shenanigans, the most famous person he’s played golf with and more

Don Johnson

Don Johnson once got down to a 3-handicap.

Jammi York/Verizon Media

When he’s not being charmingly smarmy, (Tin Cup) conniving (Knives Out) and a cutup (the NBC sitcom Kenan), he’s carving shots at Sherwood in Cali.

GOLF: When did you first pick up a golf club?

DJ: In my early 30s. Dickey Betts from the Allman Brothers Band and I were trying to get sober, so we thought, We’ll spend all day at the golf course; it’ll give us something to do. Of course, that didn’t really work out that well.

G: It sounds like there was a ton of partying on the set of Tin Cup.

DJ: That would be an understatement. Kevin [Costner] and I were both single at the time, so we just played golf and partied.

G: Which pro in the movie “enjoyed” himself the most?

DJ: Well, [Craig] Stadler wasn’t one to miss out on some fun.

G: You versus Costner — who wins?

DJ: Kevin’s a great athlete, but I probably play better golf than he does because he doesn’t love the game.

G: What’s the lowest your handicap has been?

DJ: By the end of shooting Tin Cup, it was down to, like, a 3.

G: Have you ever pulled a tin cup in real life? Just totally self-destructed on a hole?

DJ: I mean, we’re men. Isn’t that just part of the DNA?

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By: Chris Nashawaty

G: Golfers are known to wear some crazy, colorful outfits. Would you ever be caught dead on the links in an outfit from your Miami Vice days?

DJ: Most likely not. But I used to play in the AT&T tournament with Payne Stewart, and I loved his whole thing. When you’d run into him off the golf course and he didn’t have his plus fours on, you wouldn’t recognize him. You’d walk right by him. I loved him.

G: Who’s the most famous person you’ve played a round with?

DJ: Maybe Sean Connery. We played out at Sherwood, and it was Mother’s Day. Women kept coming out onto the course, and Connery kept getting really p—ed off.

G: Who would be in your dream celebrity foursome?

DJ: Jack Nicholson and I used to play a lot. He’d be one. But the problem with Jack is that no matter what score he gets, it’s always one less than yours. He’s math-challenged. I don’t know if Eddie Murphy plays golf, but if he did he’d be fun. And then Cheech Marin. He gets more fun out of finding golf balls in the out-of-bounds areas than he does actually playing. It’s like an Easter-egg hunt for him.

G: Which of your films best describes your game on a bad day: Dead Bang, Django Unchained or Dragged Across Concrete?

DJ: I think it’s going to have to be Dragged Across Concrete. That’s when you’re shanking them and it’s just an ugly day.

Chris Nashawaty has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire and Sports Illustrated, and is the author of Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story.

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