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​Michael Douglas on Golf, Disney World and How He Fell in Love With Catherine Zeta-Jones

Nov 18, 2016

Michael Douglas at Mission Hills (Photo by Jayne Russell / Geisler-Fotopress)

#legend caught up with actor Michael Douglas when he participated in the World Celebrity Pro-Am 2016 at Mission Hills. 

What is playing golf like to you?

Well I go to play golf, I feel the same way as when I am sneaking out of school as a young man. I feel like I should not be doing this, this is a sin, because I’m so excited, because it’s so much fun. It’s just a wonderful escape, I find that for me, golf allows me to forget about everything else and since for a few years now I’ve learned not to take it so seriously, that my game is not going to get better, I have to accept who I am, I’m enjoying it much more.

Do you think you’re a golf addict?

If I was an addict, that would be my addiction, I would love that to be my addiction.

Did you teach your wife how to play golf? Or how do you guys play golf as a family?

When I fell in love with Catherine you know, there are a lot of reasons. But on our first date, she told me, “I love golf” and I melted. I said, “well that was the closer. Not only is she beautiful and talented, but she plays golf! And I always had a fantasy about weekends where my wife and I would be in a golf cart together. It was a wonderful surprise. She’s very good, she makes me jealous.

Have you ever played without a shirt?

No, although there is a golf course in the Bahamas which allows you to play in your bare feet and without a shirt and only in a bathing suit. Called Baker’s Bay. Very nice, very much fun.

Douglas finds golf a

Have you ever drunk beer when playing?

No, maybe I’ve tried a couple of times in the beginning but it does not help your game. Getting drunk does not help you play golf better.

Have you ever drove for playing golf?

I have never played for money.

Do you guys teach the kids how to play golf?

No, they haven’t showed much interest. And I can’t blame them, it’s a frustrating game. I try to encourage them because I started the game late, you know. And you watch the people when they started when they’re kids and they play much better.

How do you think Mission Hills plans to make China more of a tourism destination?

I think the point that they are at now is extraordinary. It reminds me a lot about early days of Orlando where there is Orlando Florida, Disneyland, Disney World and Universal Tours. Originally I came here for golf and now I’m just seeing the movie studios, I’m seeing the centre of Village. The commitment is extraordinary, not only for Mission Hills but for Hai Nan and the whole province. I think it’s going to be spectacular. The weather is gorgeous. It’s strange, I know that we are on an island but I have not seen the ocean yet. So I think they’re doing a great job and I think this golf term has been a great export of what they have to offer.

Who’s your legend?

Well, you know obviously I look at my father’s career who’s going to be a hundred years old in December. He’s been that, but more than an actor, he’s my father, you know? And another man who was important to me was Karl Malden, who was my co-star on “Streets from San Francisco. He was very helpful to me and was really an inspiration. 

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Janice Jann