Steve Spurrier is such an avid golfer that some NFL types have
questioned whether he's willing to leave the links and put in
the long hours that pro football demands. Three days after his
stunning departure from the head coaching job at
Florida--presumably to take a comparable position in the
NFL--Spurrier spoke about his passion.
SI Will the quality of the golf in the area be a factor in
picking your next coaching job?
SS Not particularly. What I need is a team that has a pretty good
defense, a team that needs another seven to 10 points.
SI Sounds like Tampa Bay.
SS I haven't seriously talked to anyone. Hopefully I will.
SI You're known as a real dimplehead. How many rounds do you play
in a typical year?
SS As a college coach I would play from March through July, about
70 to 90 rounds. Now that my back's O.K. [he had surgery in
June], I'm swinging at the ball a little bit better.
SI How low has your handicap dipped?
SS When I was coaching the USFL Tampa Bay Bandits, from 1983 to
'85, I played year-round. My number was down to one or two then.
I'm about a six now.
SI You're known for your, shall we say, enthusiastic sideline
demeanor. Do you ever come unhinged on the golf course?
SS Oh, I sometimes get a little angry at myself. That's the
beauty of golf: You can only get mad at one person. I don't throw
things or anything like that.
SS Oh, no. I have in the past. It's like the yelling. People
think I yell all the time. Nobody can yell all the time and be
effective. If you do, people won't listen.
SI Word is, you're quite a stickler for the rules.
SS We certainly putt 'em out. If it's 2 1/2 feet, we don't ask,
"Is that good?" You have to have a real score. Everybody has an
if-I-didn't-have-so-many-three-putts score. Hey, they all count.
SI How is the course management of one of football's most
SS At Florida we tried to score a lot. That's just my
personality. I remember reading a letter Bobby Jones wrote to
coach Bobby Dodd after Georgia Tech lost to Auburn years ago.
Jones said, "I am curious why, since you kicked off to start
the game, you also kicked off to start the second half? And
why, when you had a lead, you didn't try to score again? In
golf, when I get a lead, I try to add to it." That's why Bobby
Jones didn't lose. I'm just following Bobby Jones.
COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES