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Stallone II

After years of muscling his way across the screen, Sylvester Stallone seeks a different label: serious actor.
Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
Sylvester Stallone, Mar/Apr 98

(continued from page 5)

Stallone: Five years ago. I was curious about the game. I wasn't excited at first. I was actually quite miffed by the fact that so many people were attracted by this odd game that had been stigmatized for years as being an old man's sport. So having played polo for years I thought I'd just try to burst this myth--what could warrant hours and hours of television every week? Who's watching this? I didn't know one golfer. So I went out there and I proceeded to make a fool of myself the first two days. I bent the hozzle on a 3-wood and a 5-wood, which is pretty hard to do. I was atrocious. But the instructor kept saying, "Oh, that's wonderful, Mr. Stallone. That's wonderful." I was literally digging elephant graves. A family of five could live in one of my divots. That's how bad it was. What happened was I became captivated by my ineptness, my inability to function properly. I was outraged by the way my body rebelled and refused to cooperate. I said, "I feed you, I clothe you, I bathe you and I ask you to do one thing--hit this stupid white sphere, and you betray me over and over." So it came to me doing battle--me against me.

CA: I can imagine. You've had a good relationship with that body. You've been athletic, this should be easy. Right?

Stallone: Exactly. I couldn't understand it. I thought I'd done sports eminently more complex: polo, downhill skiing and boxing--not even close. There is no more precise sport in the world. And I think that is the fascination. There is a psychological dependency that happens with golf. That's really why it does bear definition by so many different quarters. In other words, there are probably more books written on golf than any other sport.

CA: Thoughtful books.

Stallone: Yes. They're like philosophies. And you realize that golf is completely psychological. One hundred percent.

CA: You've been quoted as saying that it's like a window on the personality of a person. Do you see that every time with every person you play with?

Stallone: One hundred percent. I've played with the finest pros in the world and I've played with people who seriously should have their arms amputated. They are that dangerous to their fellow man. I mean they're hitting ball washers. How do you hit a driver and the ball goes behind you? I've seen them hit ducks on the course, trees. Horrifying. I mean truly dangerous. You want to lay flat on the ground every time they hit.

CA: What about their behavior, is that a window on them, too?

Stallone: The behavior. I have no tolerance for people who make a living, a very good living, in a multitude of professions and then come out on the course and absolutely have the audacity to believe they are going to bring this course to its knees, and they're shocked, angered and outraged when they miss a 20-foot, left-to-right, downhill, breaking-against-the-grain putt. I said, "Are you out of your mind? Do you really think that you're going to make that?" Or they're stuck in wet sand and they wonder why they top the ball--excuse me, a pro couldn't make that shot. So that bothers me and I tend to never play with them again. I'd rather play alone. Because the most beautiful part of the game is I don't do this for a living. Imagine if that putt was for the house. The kids' college education. Your future, your insurance, your reputation. Your card, your tour card. That's pressure. But we're doing it for nothing. We get to go home and go back to our well-paying job. So what is there to be angry about? Why should there be temper tantrums? This is a perfect time where I think people have an opportunity to learn control. Don't give in to it. Who doesn't want to go crazy and smash the club? But it's a poor carpenter who blames his tools, that's all I can say.

CA: You've started bringing a hitting net on set. Do you find that is an easy release between scenes or at the end of the day?


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