NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin working towards taking part in future PGA Tour occasions – USA TODAY


JuliaKate E. Culpepper, Golfweek
Revealed 5:07 p.m. ET Could 12, 2019 | Up to date 5:18 p.m. ET Could 12, 2019

It is no secret NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin is nice at golf. However is he ok to play with the professionals?

Possibly. However not but.

When requested if he’d wish to play in a future PGA Tour occasion  as former quarterback Tony Romo has performed on sponsor exemptions , Hamlin stated it is one thing he’d like to expertise, but he needs to do it when he is actually capable of compete on the stage of Tour gamers.

Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, stated his handicap is three.5.

“I would positively love to try this on a kind of many excursions, however I would not do it till I acquired higher,” Hamlin stated. “I nonetheless suppose I have to get three or 4 strokes higher at the very least be at scratch ought to I am going on the market and embarrass myself.”

Till then, he stated, he’ll accept being “the most effective driver in NASCAR.”

Denny Hamlin performed within the Diamon Resorts Event of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in January. (Photograph: Getty Photographs)

In his 14th 12 months as a full-time NASCAR Cup Collection driver, Hamlin is seeing a resurgence in 2019. He received the O’Reilly Auto Components 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in March and the Daytona 500 in February, which snapped a 47-race winless streak. He completed 16th Saturday within the Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway, one week after experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning on the finish of the NASCAR race at Dover Worldwide Speedway.

Nonetheless, irrespective of how disturbing or busy racing season turns into, he nonetheless finds time to hit a golf course.

The latest occasion he participated in was the Wells Fargo Championship Professional-Am on Could 1. Hamlin and fellow NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson had been matched with PGA professional Harold Varner III.

Probably the most memorable half for Hamlin was attending to know Varner who not solely helped the group navigate the tough greens of Quail Hole but additionally lower free with the racing crew.

“He positively has acquired a whole lot of vitality. He is actually outgoing,” Hamlin stated of Varner. “He is most likely probably the most outgoing professional I’ve performed with in any sort of golf match. … He chats up all people and has a great time. He cracks up with us. We sort of acquired a little bit recreation going between me and my mates and he is trash speaking in between.”

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Hamlin, Larson and Stenhouse are mates and avid golfers, however they had been grateful for Varner’s recommendation in the course of the occasion. Varner helped lead the group of avid golfers to complete in second place with a rating of 56 behind the group led by Webb Simpson.

“That place is fairly onerous to arrange for as a result of the greens are actually quick,” Hamlin stated. “(Larson, Stenhouse and I) play golf most likely as soon as per week, I would say final 12 months I posted someplace within the 85-90 rounds a 12 months and people guys had been fairly shut. … We put together by simply taking part in quite a bit.”

Hamlin stated he schedules two or three Professional-Ams at Tour occasions each season. The particular Professional-Ams and occasions wherein he’ll take part this 12 months are nonetheless up within the air, however Hamlin stated he was “sure” he’d have just a few extra on his schedule this summer time.

Exterior of Professional-Ams, Hamlin and fellow drivers will incessantly schedule casual rounds on Saturdays after they’re completed racing for the day. They discover a native golf membership, get a bunch collectively and compete away from the velocity and adrenaline of the racetrack.

The buddies play in a extra organized format too. It is referred to as “Golf Guys Tour.”

The brainchild of Hamlin and Stenhouse, the “Tour” is in its fourth 12 months. Comprised of 21 gamers, the sphere contains principally NASCAR drivers like Stenhouse and Larson with just a few membership members at Hamlin’s dwelling course, The Peninsula Membership in Cornelius, North Carolina, combined in. The group averages one match per 30 days from March by way of October. This month’s “Golf Guys” match started Wednesday, Hamlin stated.


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