The Super Bowl was in my hometown a few weeks ago. The city was hopping, full of energy, events, and celebrities. I was lucky enough to be invited to play in the NFL Hall of Fame Golf Classic. The tournament is hosted each year by Citibank and benefits the NFL Hall of Fame Players Foundaton.
I played with a couple of cohorts in the golf retail business and our mutual friend and Callaway rep, Tim Williams. Our celebrity playing partner was should-be Hall of Famer Matt Stover.
A 19-year NFL vet, Matt Stover ranks 6th All-Time in Points Scored in NFL history. The 2-time Super Bowl Champion (XXV with the Giants & XXXV with the Ravens) played for four teams in his career (NY Giants, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Indianapolis). He holds the NFL record for most consecutive PAT’s (469) and most consecutive games with a field goal (38).
He was very friendly and engaging, and allowed me to ask him a few questions afterwards to post here on The Golf Dude. I hope to feature celebrity interviews regularly. Enjoy the first one:
Golf-Dude: How long have you been golfing?
Matt Stover: Since I was 15.
G-D: Who got you started?
Matt: My Dad
G-D: At your best, what do you expect to shoot?
Matt: Upper 70’s
G-D: What is your career low?
G-D: Tell me about your most memorable round of golf – and what made it so memorable. Matt: We belong to Iron Horse CC in Whitefish, MT. I was playing my first round of the summer with my youngest son (13) and shot a 76. Crazy hard course. I made a ton of putts on a Fazio.
G-D: Tell me about your favorite course(s) that you have gotten to play. What made them so awesome?
Matt: Iron Horse in White Fish because I play with my son’s.
G-D: Who is the most famous person or people that you have had the privilege to golf with?
Matt: Vinny Testaverde, Bernie Kosar, Todd Heap, Joe Flacco
G-D: Who would be in your dream foursome?
Matt: Justin Leonard, Jordan Spieth, Lee Trevino (All Texas boys)
G-D: What are the similarities between kicking a field goal and golfing?
Matt: Everything but the club
G-D: In many aspects, golf is very mental. Is kicking more mental or physical?
Matt: 80% mental if you have a refined swing. Staying Healthy is the most difficult.
G-D: You’re currently 6th All-Time in points scored in NFL history. Is that the stat you’re most proud of?
Matt: No, the fact that I never missed a game. Had a did not play one time, but I was able to kick. The Bucaneers skunked us and I had a kick off guy.
G-D: Tell me about your most nerve-testing kick.
Matt: A 40 yard extra point. everyone expects you to make an extra point.
G-D: Did you ever have a slump? How were you able to rebound and, literally, kick your way out of it?
Matt: On Sunday Night Football in 2005 I missed 3 field goals against the Colts that lost us the game. I took full responsibility and went back to work and couldn’t wait for the next game. I missed only one field goal for the rest of the year.
G-D: What is harder to forget – a missed FG or a missed putt?
Matt: A missed field goal because I was good at it.
G-D: You mentioned to me that you have been mentoring a couple of very talented young golfers. How have you been able to help their preparation?
Matt: By helping them create a plan for the process mentally, physically and spiritually.
G-D: You started the Matt Stover Foundation in 2002. Tell me about some of the things you have been able to do through your foundation that have been the most gratifying. Tell us how the general public can help.
Matt: Utilizing my God given platform to gain the ear of those who would like to listen and having an eternal affect on their lives.
G-D: Tell me about the Player’s Philanthropy Fund. Are there any ways that the public can get involved to help?
Matt: PPF is designed to assist Professional Athletes as well as others to simplify their charitable efforts by giving them a platform to run all of their operations through. PPF is a Donor Advised Fund, a Fiscal Sponsorship as well as a Private Operating Foundation. Check it out at http://www.playersphilanthropyfund.org
G-D: There’s $1 Million on the line – would you rather kick from 50 yards or putt from 20 Feet?
Matt: For surely KICK! I have put thousands of hours into kicking and not many in putting.