Kelly Slater likes golfing. He golfs a lot — probably more than anyone else on tour — and he’s gotten pretty damn good at hitting a ball into a hole. A few years ago, back in 2017, he told the PGA Tour that he plays about 150 rounds a year. In 2015, he played to a three-handicap in the 2015 AT&T tournament. In 2018, he won The Arnie, touted as “Golf Digest’s highest honor.” Yes, he’s a golfer, and he’s been a golfer for a long time.
Golf’s a funny thing — it takes a certain kind of person to really get into it. Playing the long game, as it were. It’s hours and hours of concentration. It’s making sure the little things add up to the smallest number at the end. And it’s frustration. Lots and lots of frustration. So why does Kelly like it so much?
“I like the challenge. It’s such a simple thing,” he told Graham Bensinger. “Hit this ball over there. But all these things have to align. You have to get your mind clear and calm and your technique has to be right. It’s kind of problem solving, you know? Golf’s really problem solving.”
Golfing World walked and talked with Kelly at Pebble Beach, and it’s a revealing look into the mind of Kelly Slater when he’s not focused on surfing.