The world woke up on Saturday morning to the news that Sir Sean Connery had passed away at 90. Some people responded by praising his run as James Bond, while others reminisced about his athletic endeavors. Specifically, some people looked back at Connery's love of golf and his trips to the course.
According to Bunkered, Connery didn't start out with a love of golf. However, he quickly found a fascination after learning to play to film a scene for Goldfinger. Bond plays the titular villain at Stoke Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire. Connery needed to look capable of shining on the golf course for this scene, so he took lessons and "caught the bug."
"I never had a hankering to play golf, despite growing up in Scotland just down the road from Bruntsfield Links, which is one of the oldest golf courses in the world," Connery wrote in his 2008 book, "Being a Scot." "It wasn't until I was taught enough golf to look as though I could outwit the accomplished golfer Gert Frobe in Goldfinger that I got the bug.
"I began to take lessons on a course near the Pinewood film studios, and was immediately hooked on the game. Soon it would nearly take over my life. I began to see golf as a metaphor for living, for in golf you are basically on your own, competing against yourself and always trying to do better. If you cheat, you will be the loser, because you are cheating yourself."
As further evidence of his golf love, Connery once partnered with Hale Irwin during the 1996 Lexus Challenge. The two men faced off with several other prominent figures during the tournament at the Citrus course at La Quinta Resort & Club. They ultimately defeated former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula and Jim Colbert; actor Joe Pesci and Dave Stockton; actor Robert Wuhl and Chi Chi Rodriguez; and baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. and John Brodie.
While there was a stacked field of competitors, Connery and Irwin took the victory by shooting 10-under the par of 62. According to the Buffalo News, their two day total of 21-under par two-day total of 123 shattered the 17-under record. Host Raymond Floyd and Michael Chiklis previously set the mark during the 1995 Lexus Challenge.
"I played 14 straight days at St. Andrews [Scotland] in the Autumn meeting," Connery said in 1996. "The meeting lasts for 21 days and consists of 36 holes a day. I've played in the event every year since I became a member at St. Andrews over 20 years ago."