Q&A: Andre Iguodala talks day at PGA, his golf game and Steph Curry


CHARLOTTE – It wasn’t even 9 a.m. Eastern and Andre Iguodala’s day at the PGA Championship was already in full swing. He had just gotten out of a production meeting with TNT and PGA.com producers, and was relaxing on a couch in a trailer at the TV compound just across the street from Quail Hollow’s front gates.

Decked out in Nike gear, the 6-foot-6 Golden State Warriors forward was like a little kid getting ready to go to Disney for the first time. This was his first major championship and he loves golf. Plus, he has a unique role Friday at the PGA – he will serve as a special multi-platform contributor for TNT and the PGA’s social and digital channels.

Golfweek‘s Brentley Romine caught up with Iguodala before his big day at the PGA:

They have you here until 5 p.m. doing a bunch of different things – Facebook Live on the range, swing tips with Michael Breed, Instagram takeovers. What are you looking forward to the most?

“I want to see some of the tall guys swing. I think I’m looking forward to that the most. Then I’m going to do something with Mike Breed; I watch him every Monday and I record him sometimes, too.

Are you worried what he’s going to say about your swing?

“Nah, nah. I’m not worried about it too much. I just want to make sure – You know when someone gives you a tip or a lesson? It’s hard to transfer it to the next swing, and then you’re on camera. You’re like, ‘Ahhh!’ That’s how you get the yips. But no … I should be good. Hopefully.”

When you mention tall guys, who do you have in mind?

“Tony Finau, D.J. (Dustin Johnson), Chris Wood, Thomas Pieters, (Matt) Kuchar, Henrik Stenson.”

Wow, you got the list.

“I’m in a golf fantasy league so I know a lot about the taller guys.”

Andre Iguodala played with Justin Thomas in the Safeway Open Pro-Am last fall. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Are you close with any PGA Tour players out here?

“So Finau and I will text throughout the season. Justin Thomas I’m probably coolest with; we text all the time. I texted him this week. We were going to have dinner last night but I got in too late. Chris Kirk hit me on Twitter. (Jordan) Spieth reached out, trying to get a round with me and Steph (Curry) when we were in Dallas. Played a round with Anirban Lahiri in the Bay Area; we have a mutual friend. So a handful of the guys.”

Are you surprised how far Justin can hit the ball?

“When you see the tape of him at age 2 hitting it 150, you kind of see how.”

How’s your game now that you’ve had some time since the season ended to play more? And what’s your handicap at right now?

“My game is really good now. I’m trending at like an 11.7, so I’m like a 12. It’s the lowest I’ve ever been. I hope I don’t jinx myself but I haven’t shot over 90 in like three weeks. And it used to be breaking 90 was my day, like if I shot 88 or 89 it was like a perfect day. I shot 88 the other day and I was so mad. I played so bad. I three-putted like four greens (that I hit) in regulation, like stupid stuff. But it’s funny how the game works. I broke 80 for the first time last week in Vegas, at Bali Hai, it’s right on the Strip. Planes are flying over your head. I got hot the back nine, real hot on the back nine. My irons were money; I was just striping them and hitting everything straight.”

When adrenaline is pumping on 18 and you hit a 6iron 220…. #Breaking80 #ByAnyMeansNecessary

A post shared by Andre Iguodala (@andre) on Aug 4, 2017 at 1:17pm PDT

A lot of guys in basketball when they retire they go into broadcasting, like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Could you see yourself doing that, and then also doing something like you’re doing today after your career is over?

“There’s a few thing that I would like to do and I would love for this to be one of those things if my schedule allows me to get involved. It seems like the PGA is going toward more of a seasonal season instead of a yearlong, which is perfect because it will give you that thirst for golf to come back. It would be perfect for me with my summers. I got a newborn daughter and she’s going to be on the PGA Tour, so I gotta get her ready. My son actually thought I was a professional basketball player and a professional golfer when he was like 4 years old because I was always going to golf and always going to the gym so he’s like, ‘Oh, he’s a professional at both.’ If I can get out here on TV and my daughter sees it, she’ll think I’m a professional and she’ll want to follow my footsteps because my son wants to play basketball and I don’t know why.”

Thoughts on Steph and his Web.com Tour performance?

“Steph is like, I don’t know, he’s a weird guy because I’ve never seen a guy not practice and still perform. He didn’t practice for the Web.com Tour event and talking to the guy who caddie for him, Johnny West, who works with us at the Warriors and he’s always in our group when we play during the season, and he was like, ‘Steph was like I’m going to try this bump-and-run out of the bunker.’ He was like, ‘What?’ Steph goes, ‘Gimme my 50 and I’m going to do this.’ And he’s like, ‘What’s it going to do?’ And Steph goes, ‘Well, it’s supposed to do this, but I’ve never tried it.’ He said he pulls it off. I mean, this dude didn’t even practice.

“Steph is a cool guy. He’s a guy you HAVE to have in your group, so he would always be in my dream foursome.”

Andre Iguodala is a 12-handicap right now, the best he’s ever been. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Who would also be in that dream foursome?

“Pete Myers, one of my coaches I used to have with the Warriors. He’s a funny guy. And that last guy … I don’t know.

It would have to be Tiger, right?

Ah, Tiger. I’m thinking Tiger.

A healthy Tiger, though.

Um, nah, I’ll get Tiger now. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Tiger from people who played rounds with him.

Have you ever beaten Steph?

“Nah. People always say, well, handicaps. But it’s not the same. I’ve taken down three guys that I’ve never beaten before in the last three weeks, though – Peter Myers, finally took him down; a good friend of mine, Spencer, from Chicago; I could never beat him, I beat him twice; and my good friend Clarke Miyasaki from Stance Socks, finally took him down. I was just lining them up.”

What did you think Steph was going to shoot (at the Ellie Mae Classic)? Because a lot of people didn’t even think he was going to break 90, and he shoots 74-74. Was your prediction somewhere in the middle of that?

“I thought he would shoot under that. I was giving him 71 or 72. And then just seeing his round, he could’ve easily gotten that. He had a few missed putts the first day and then the second day he was right there, too, so it was about what I expected. And he was having fun, too, and that was real cool to see. I was hearing a lot of that stuff (the over-90 predictions) and I was like these people have no clue. I’m glad they had a chance to see him get out there and do that.”

Do you play at all during the season?

“We play in certain cities. We’ll look at our schedule ahead of time and we’ll see like, OK, we can play in this city, we can play in this city. And if coach will let us. … Luckily, we’ve got a golf coach. He can’t play anymore but he gets it.”

Tis the season….

A post shared by Andre Iguodala (@andre) on Jun 13, 2017 at 11:17pm PDT

What’s your best golf memory?

“Hmmm, I have a lot of them.”

It’s gotta be Augusta, right?

“Augusta is up there. But I’ve seen a lot. Like my first time seeing someone shoot under par was Steph and the way he did it was crazy. We were playing the course where they play the Zurich in New Orleans (TPC Louisiana) and on 18 tee Steph needs par to shoot 71 (even par), and off the tee he goes in the water. Then he has to drop – it’s a par 5 – and for his third shot he bombs this 3-wood and leaves it like 50 yards short. This dude then dunks the pitch from 50 yards. Boom! And the grandstands are set up and everything because the tournament’s about to go on the next week, and we’re all running around and going crazy. That was fun.”

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