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Original Issue

Mad Hacker

Forget the beverage cart: Unlike his TV alter ego, Jon Hamm is all golf

His suaveMad Men character, '60s ad man Don Draper, would be right at home teeing off at the country-club course and wooing clients at the 19th hole. If the script calls for it, Jon Hamm will be plenty warmed up: The 39-year-old St. Louis native, who is among the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at this Sunday's Emmy Awards, has a fairway fetish.

MY BEST TIP

I first played at age 10 or 11 on this little nine-hole quote-unquote "country club." I learned to just pick the damn ball up if you're slowing everybody down—which is still a very valuable lesson.

CAREER ROUND

The only time that I ever broke 80, I shot a 76 at Hillcrest, which is a very beautiful, very tight old golf course in L.A. And my game is not an "accurate" game, so tight courses are usually the kiss of death for me. I'm probably a pretty solid 15 handicap.

SPECTATOR DANGER ZONE

About 280 yards out on the righthand side. I can hit it a long way off the tee. I'm righthanded, and I've got a pretty bad tendency to swing outside-in and get that banana ball going.

DRINK LIKE DON?

Well, I've been known to have a couple of beers on the course, but the thing about golf and drinking is the same thing as playing pool or darts and drinking. There's a certain threshold that once you cross it, the looseness goes away and the sloppiness enters into the fray.

FANTASY FOURSOME

Lee Trevino, because he seems like a real fun guy who's got a lot of great stories. Tiger—I am utterly fascinated by how that guy hits a golf ball. Also Ray Romano, who I've actually played with, because nobody gets down on himself quite like Ray, so that makes you feel better about your game. I could shoot 120, and I wouldn't feel bad.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Reds are unable to hold a ceremony honoring Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd hit on Sept. 11, the 25th anniversary of the play, because Rose has an appearance scheduled at a casino that day.

PHOTO

CHRIS PIZZELLO/AP (HAMM)