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No Doubt drummer Adrian Young puts his mohawk under a hat on the golf course.
No Doubt drummer Adrian Young puts his mohawk under a hat on the golf course. (GolfPublisher.com)

No Doubt drummer Adrian Young: A rock star who'd rather be golfing

Chris BaldwinBy Chris Baldwin,

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Most guys grow up wanting to be a rock star and end up being something else. You get the idea Adrian Young yearned to be a golfer and still cannot quite figure out he became a rock star.

The eccentric drummer of the band No Doubt wears his hair in a mohawk and his clothes ... well, hardly at all. Young was known for playing nude on stage; now he covers up with a thong. Those shy and retiring drummers ...

Still, talking to Young you get the idea that he'd give it all up to play with Tiger Woods and company. Young moved his rock-star-beautiful wife to a house on a golf course and works on his game daily. He regards the curiosity Celebrity Players Tour as almost sacred competition.

His night job? It's all right, but ...

Damn those screaming, adoring crowds and panties getting thrown in your face! If only I took golf more seriously in high school!

Young shot to fame with No Doubt through a combination of happenstance and sheer guts. When Gwen Stefani's crew was looking for a drummer in 1989, just before they hit it big, the 19-year-old Young auditioned. When asked by the band how long he'd been playing, he confidently said six years - only four years more than the truth.

That big white lie helped propel Young into the rock life. The guy who was hanging out and watching No Doubt as a fan at club shows was suddenly a part of the band. It's one of those great rock 'n' roll stories, the kind of thing they make a cheesy movie starring Mark Wahlberg about.

Only it's apparently not as cool as the golf life. At least, not to this character.

BadGolfer.com caught up to Adrian Young at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs. Finally, the deprived rock star was living his dream, playing with the PGA Tour players in the celebrity-field event.

The mohawk was under a golf fashionable hat, and the thong wasn't on top of it. This was something important.

Not like the Grammys.

Q: Do you get more nervous playing golf in front of a small crowd or playing drums in a 20,000-seat arena?

A: Much more nervous in golf. Golf is just such an intense game. It's front and center when you come out for events like this. And you want to do well. Playing the drums is just playing the drums.

Q: When did you first really get into golf as a serious passion? To the point now where you're looking at tour schedules to see what courses you can get to on the road?

A: Since I turned 14. I played on the high school team. I was golfing before I started playing drums.

Q: Do you have a favorite golf region?

A: I love it out here in the (Palm Springs desert. I love coming out here. It's just awesome. Awesome.

Q: Can you pick up anything from playing with the PGA Tour guys that translates to your game?

A: Sure. Absolutely. They're so consistent and so good to watch. And they all have really good tempos. That's the biggest thing, just seeing the tempo in their swings.

Q: Who's the best celebrity golfer you've seen?

A: Me.

Q: How often do you play and get out and work on your game?

A: Every day. I rarely miss a day. Really rarely.

Q: Has it been like that for since you were a kid playing on the high school team?

A: I really started getting more into it after I joined the band and had a little money.

A: [Comedian] George Lopez said he'd like to see 15 of these PGA Tour events with a celebrity field. Is that something you'd want to see?

A: Well, I play on the Celebrity Players Tour right now. That's really where my focus is.

Q: What's that experience like on the celebrity tour? Obviously you have guys from all different fields of entertainment and sports that didn't make their names in golf. What's the competition level?

A: We're playing for money just like these [PGA Tour] guys are. It's real money too. I don't really see a big difference.

Q: Do you see the Celebrity Players Tour growing?

A: I don't know. I really don't know.

Q: Is there any comparison between being a rock-band drummer and golf?

A: On stage I can at least hide out in the back behind the drums. There's a good buffer zone. There's nowhere to hide on the golf course. You're front and center.

Q: You're not exactly known for hiding out on stage, though. For a while you played the drums nude on tour and then switched to a thong.

A: A tasteful thong.

Q: Ever shock the members at the L.A. country clubs?

A: Two totally different vibes. Sometimes people in the clubhouse will stare at the mohawk, but once they find out you can play, they're cool with it. It's hard for them to say something when I'm beating them.

Q: Do you encourage other rockers to become golfers

A: I don't encourage anyone to pick up golf. It's an evil game. If you want something easy, go jump out of a plane or something. Golf is tough. It's always ready to kick you in the balls when you're not looking.

Chris Baldwin keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

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