THE NO. 1 GUITAR HERO: TOMMY THAYER
September 03, 2011
The article is also featured in the October, 2011 issue of Golf Magazine, just out on the newsstands.

You're the lead guitarist in Kiss and the band's only golfer. Do the other members tease you?

They used to make jokes when they saw me reading Golf Magazine, saying things like, "Hey, how's your stiff shaft?" Now I think they're jealous because I'm at charity events with cool stars, and I play places like Medinah, Winged Foot and Augusta. Gene [Simmons] came to my charity event last year, but he doesn't have the patience for golf.

That's probably for the best—it's bad etiquette to spew blood during someone's backswing. What similarities are there between playing golf and playing guitar?

A lot. Golf and guitar are both very Zen, very in-the-moment. In golf, you don't want too many technical thoughts. It's the same playing in front of 10,000 people. I'm not thinking, "I'm moving my fingers this way, and now I'll go over here on the stage." No, you just let go. I'm an 11 handicap. I've been playing since I was 12, and it took a while to learn that. Be in the moment.

Do you get nervous on the course?

The first time I played the Hope in 2005, I walk to the first tee. I'm in John Daly's group. Then I hear, "Playing in his first Bob Hope Classic, the lead guitarist from Kiss..." Two thousand people applaud. It gets completely quiet. I'm shaking like a leaf. I almost s--t my pants. Horrifying.

You spent the night in the Butler Cabin when you played Augusta. Did you wear full Kiss makeup?

That would be a sight, wouldn't it? I could get away with it. Look at these lapels—this qualifies as a collared shirt.

Kiss had an '80s hit called "Lick It Up." Any plans to remake it into a song about putting called "Pick It Up"?

[Laughs] Sometimes I get that song stuck in my head, which doesn't help my swing. Man, I'm so lucky to have the best of both worlds—playing with the world's greatest band and playing a lot of golf.

So you're saying you "Rock and Roll All Nite and Make Par Every Day"?

Now that sounds like a hit!