x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Alice Cooper plays the Dubai Desert Classic

Alice Cooper, the 64-year-old American musician and self-professed "golf monster", joined the sport's greats for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Challenge Match at Jebel Ali Golf Resort this week.

While fans of the 1970s legend would surely welcome morning renditions of his classic anthems Poison or School's Out for Summer, Cooper concedes that sticking to a rigid golf routine helps keep him on the straight and narrow. Razan Al Zayani / The National
While fans of the 1970s legend would surely welcome morning renditions of his classic anthems Poison or School's Out for Summer, Cooper concedes that sticking to a rigid golf routine helps keep him on the straight and narrow. Razan Al Zayani / The National

From a distance you might easily mistake shock-rocker Alice Cooper for any other golfer enjoying a leisurely 18-holes on a sunny afternoon. Get a bit closer and the head-to-toe black ensemble, raven ponytail and tiger claw necklaces give him away.

The 64-year-old American musician and self-professed "golf monster", joined the sport's greats including Mark O'Meara, Thomas Bjorn, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Challenge Match at Jebel Ali Golf Resort this week.

"I just keep looking around at these guys and going 'what on earth am I doing here?'" the artist (real name Vincent Damon Furnier) said, laughing. "I'm in the presence of greatness, but I'll get my revenge and make them all go on tour with me!"

Unlike his devilish on-stage persona, Cooper's tanned face bore not a trace of white makeup, and his mischevious eyes peered out - kohl free- from beneath his sun-visor, throughout the competition. Having made the impressive leap from hacker to scratch golfer and serious Pro Am sportsman some years ago, Cooper admits while he's found his sporting passion, he won't be trading in heavy metal permanently for a nine iron any time soon.

"I never really feel the need to choose between music and golf," he said, "because, in the morning I golf and at night I play music - the best thing is being able to do both. And I'm guessing nobody needs a concert at 8am in the morning, do they?"

While fans of the 1970s legend would surely welcome morning renditions of his classic anthems Poison or School's Out, Cooper concedes that sticking to a rigid golf routine helps keep him on the straight and narrow.

"I absolutely love the game and play six days a week," he said. "I stopped drinking about 30 years ago and started playing golf instead. I had to trade one addiction for another. A bad one for a good one."

Though he'll always be known for his theatrical musical career and penchant for guillotines, gallows and generally gore-themed shows, Cooper is a surprisingly patient, enthusiastic teacher with words of wisdom for novice golfers.

"Swing easy - you don't have to swing hard," he advises. "I can't even watch these guys swing because they do it so good-and-hard - well, they're the pros I suppose. Whereas I'm just going to take it easy."

 

rduane@thenational.ae