The surprising age Mardy Fish first picked up the game of golf

Mardy Fish made a name for himself as one of the best American tennis professionals of his generation, but since his retirement in 2015, he’s been earning a reputation as quite the pro-am competitor in golf, too.

Fish carries a low single-digit handicap and is a regular at high-profile events like the star-studded American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, which he won in 2020.

Though it doesn’t seem fair that someone could be so athletically gifted across two sports, Fish revealed to hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on this week’s episode of Subpar that his golf experience actually dates all the way back to his early childhood days.

drew stoltz and colt knost with a golf cart
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“I played since I can stand,” he said. “I’ve got videos of swinging a plastic club. Same with my son — I did the same thing. So I’m a lefty, my son’s a righty, and I have videos of my son watching me swing as a lefty and then him swinging as a righty, literally at 18 months old with a plastic club. He’s got a beautiful swing now, he’s seven. It’s super fun. So I did that, that was my path.”

Fish said he was a multi-sport athlete as a kid, playing tennis, golf and even baseball, but tennis was where he really shined.

“I played junior golf,” he said. “I played some junior events, city golf, nine-hole events, things like that. Never excelled anywhere close to tennis though. So chose the right one I think. But yeah, there’s that part if you that’s like, man, what if I chose golf? I’d still be playing if I did just as good in tennis. But it’s nice to be retired too.”

For more from Fish, including who he looks forward to playing with at celebrity events, and his breakdown of his ability to swing across multiple sports, check out the full interview below. Editor

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