Bruce Irons Joins The Club

Bruce Irons takes advantage of an exclusive opportunity at the David LeadBetter {{{Golf}}} Academy

Imagine being one of the best surfers in the world: traveling to the most exotic places, calling the ocean your office, being gushed over by adoring fans, and knowing exactly what it's like to get barreled. What could top that? After a brisk morning negotiating the tug-of-war with Mother Nature and the awesome power of a beautiful wave, what could possibly come next? Bruce Irons knows this life all too well, having surfed in his native Kauai since he was seven years old. So where does he turn his attention when his feet aren’t on his surfboard? Well, naturally, to golf. Wait a minute – golf?

Yes, it’s true. Irons has been bitten by the golf bug, and he’s got it bad. Rather than question why, Red Bull set up an exclusive opportunity for him to get schooled at the prestigious David LeadBetter Golf Academy in Champions Gate, Florida. While he was in town for a promo appearance, Bruce got to stop in at the academy for an in-depth lesson and a round at the Champions Gate Golf Resort. We checked in with him at the clubhouse to see how his day went.

So when did you start golfing?

About six years ago, but it was just goofing around with my friends and having fun. About two years ago, I actually learned how to grip the club and learned all the fundamentals, so that’s when I got serious.

What attracted you to golf?

My dad was always super into it, and it’s just one more thing I can do with my friends and have a good time. After a while, I got sick of playing the wrong way. My friend showed me how to grip the club right, and from there, I got really hooked. It’s a game you can’t perfect, so you’re just always trying to get better and better at it.

So your day started with a lesson. How did that go?

It was incredible; I learned so much. The instructor videotaped our swings, then took us inside and showed us what was wrong. They had this computer that lined us up against a pro golfer to show our flaws next to the pro’s swing. We went out again and he taped us doing the things he taught us, and it was just a night-and-day difference. I hit the ball correctly, hit it straight, and hit it further. Plus, he took pictures of us showing the rights and wrongs, and then we got a DVD at the end, breaking down our swing in slow motion with him talking over it. It was insane!

So how was the round after the lesson?

It’s all good on the driving range, but then you have to go out and apply it on the course. It was kind of shaky at first, just trying to remember everything, but it turned out well. We weren’t really serious about keeping score, we were just trying to apply what he taught us and get comfortable with it. We only got 12 holes in before a huge storm came in – lightning, thunder, rain, everything.

Have you ever played a course that nice?

That course is really good, but I have actually played better courses — it’s hard to believe. I played a really good one in South Africa, and out in California I played The Bridges. That was the best course I’ve ever played.

Does your brother Andy golf?

Yeah, he plays a lot of golf, too.

You’re known for being pretty competitive with each other; is it the same story out on the links?

Oh, definitely — at first. I’ve gotten way better; he’s not even near my league now.

Do you follow professional golf pretty closely? Would you be star-struck around one of the pros?

Totally. I watch a lot of golf on TV, and I get really star-struck. To see Tiger or any of those guys… They had the Grand Slam in Kauai, and my brother saw Tiger play, but I missed him.

If you weren’t a pro surfer, would you want to be a pro golfer?

I would love to, but man, that game’s crazy. I think it would be really stressful to be a professional golfer. There are just never-ending things to learn.

So what was the best part of the day?

The best part by far was getting the lesson. Getting to see yourself on video doing it the wrong way and then having them teach you the right way. You get to see the results right there and bring them home on the DVD; it’s amazing. This will definitely change my golf game for the rest of my life.

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