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Nick Costner, left, and son Josh have teamed up on the golf course and in the music studio.
Nick Costner, left, and son Josh have teamed up on the golf course and in the music studio. (Courtesy of Nick Costner)

Singer-songwriter Nick Costner takes a healthy swing with new CD of golf songs

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,

When a devout Christian from Arkansas admits that golf has tested his faith, you get a pretty good idea of just how frustrating the game can be.

"Yeah, I guess it has," says songwriter Nick Costner, laughing. "I don't curse when I hit a bad shot but the grass dies."

Costner is just enjoying a laugh at himself, of course, and his faith remains as strong as ever, both in God and golf. In fact, the gospel singer-songwriter from Paragould, Ark., has taken his love for the game into the recording studio along with musician/son Josh and created an album of golf-inspired music, appropriately titled "We're Gonna Play Golf." Costner said his love of the game became irresistible to him as a songwriter.

"Because I love golf so much, I wrote the title song. I was going to pitch it to Peter Jacobson, but he just does parodies," said Costner. "We were going to do a Christian album, but we ended up doing a full album on golf."

While he's never had a true breakthrough as a musician, the 54-year-old Costner has had an eventful career in music. On "We're Gonna Play Golf," Costner has worked with Donna Rhodes (wife of famed fiddler Dusty Rhodes) and Craig Morris, an established pianist who regularly works with country music superstar Loretta Lynn. Of course, his 27-year-old son, Josh Costner, is who Nick is most excited to work with, both on and off the golf course.

"I am so proud of him. He's a great backup singer, actor, mandolin player, guitar player and comedian," said Costner. "He plays Christian rock, and he's quite an athlete."

The combined talent that Costner pooled together helped him do something that so many others have failed to do in the past - produce golf music that's not just humorous and fun but quite listenable to boot.

From the title track to songs like "Virgil's got the Yips," "Foot Wedge" and "Bad Weather Blues," the album is no joke, as Costner's soulful voice and top-notch musical accompaniment makes "We're Gonna Play Golf" one of the better niche albums you'll find. Of course, with Costner's love of the game, it should be no surprise that the album came out so well.

"I played tennis for years, but golf is the game I've adopted," said Costner. "I took up golf around age 30 and was just trying to learn the game. Now I'm a legitimate six handicapper."

But it's more than just the game that draws Costner, who plays the majority of his rounds at Fox Hills Country Club in Paragould, where he's a member.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Costner is an out-going fellow, and the camaraderie that comes along with golf is one of the main reasons he's become a certified golf nut.

"I love people, the golf and fellowship," said Costner, who hits the links with Josh often. "I'm so glad we live in a country where we can play golf. I've played golf with guys in their 80s as well as young kids. It's a great a part of our social life."

So, does Costner, who has been a songwriter as long as he can remember and has success writing jingles as well as working with prominent artists, believe that music about golf will be what propels him to the big time? Well, he's a realistic sort but not one to discount any possibilities.

"Music has always played a big part in our life. I've won a couple talent contests and sold a couple songs," said Costner. "Everyone who has heard these songs really enjoys them, so who knows where something like this may go."

For more information, see www.songsaboutgolf.com.

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

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