The Forecaddie got his first glimpse of actor Mark Wahlberg playing golf during Wednesday’s Genesis Open pro-am. If there is a similar spectacle, The Man Out Front has not seen it.
Rarely does Tiger Woods take a back seat to his pro-am partners, but the Tinsletown setting and a litany of peculiarities in Wahlberg’s modus operandi made it easy to ignore the Big Cat. To be clear, Wahlberg’s dramatics do not interfere with his fan friendliness or appeal. The legendary product pitcher, box-office star and fitness freak is a man of the people, dutifully stopping for selfies, autographs, hugs and fist bumps. (Germ-friendly hand shakes do not appear in his wheelhouse). But then there are his eccentric ways.
Let’s start with the entourage.
His personal chef never was never more than 30 feet from Wahlberg, carrying two coolers the entire way. Inside? One of his client’s eight daily meals at the ready. (Eight!) The nuclear codes drift further away from the president of the United States than Wahlberg’s lunch boxes. Sea bass is Wahlberg’s preference and TMOF can say that watching a chef carving up fish mid-round was certainly a first.
Then there’s Wahlberg playing the entire round with Apple AirPods in his ears. Fans, fellow players and even commissioner Jay Monahan, who stopped by to say hello, asked what he could be listening to while still paying attention to his fans, playing partners and Tiger.
The Forecaddie asked Wahlberg’s playing partner, super-friendly CAA partner Rob Light. But even one of the music business’ most powerful figures was not sure. Turns out, after talking to many sources, TMOF learned Wahlberg was not listening to anything. He’s just prepared if his iPhone should ring and a little double tap of the wireless headphones might turn up Jack Nicklaus or Will Ferrell on the line.
This naturally begged another question: Who would be important enough to accept a call when you’re playing golf with Tiger Woods, someone Wahlberg calls the greatest ever (don’t tell Jack)?
Apparently Wahlberg’s regular morning rounds at Riviera are no less zany. He starts on the 10th tee after one of three caddies has greeted him in the parking lot and another looper handles the clubs and raking. A third is there to do sprints with Wahlberg in between shots. These extraordinary bagmen are well compensated for their brief time—two Benjamins at least—to keep Hollywood’s busiest man active.
While a case could be made it’s all a bit excessive, given all of the goodwill the actor fostered with his Genesis Open pro-am appearance, The Forecaddie is more than happy to tolerate the eccentricities of a global superstar.