How good is Tom Brady at golf? ‘He basically played 9 holes like a tour pro’

By WEEI 93.7

Everyone knows what Tom Brady is like on the football field — the greatest quarterback of all time.

But, the next time we see the 42-year-old he will be at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida playing in “The Match: Champions for Charity” where he will be paired with Phil Mickelson and go up against Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods. 

Not many people know what Brady is like as a golfer, as his rounds are limited these days and it’s not like they are aired on national television. But, James Driscoll, who currently plays on the Korn Ferry Tour and was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, does. 

Driscoll played with him for three straight days in 2014 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He was partners with Bill Belichick and Brady was partners with tour pro Ricky Barnes. The four-some played the first three days of the tournament together. Coincidentally, Barnes’ brother Andy was Driscoll’s caddie at the time and then the Barnes’ dad, Bruce, was a punter for the Patriots for two years in the 70s and followed the group around each day.

“It was just really cool,” Driscoll said this week. “It was my first time meeting Tom. I had been paired with Belichick at least one year, maybe two years prior, so I knew Bill a little bit. I had never met Tom, but I was blown away by the three days of golf that Tom put together.”

Since the tournament is in early February and the Patriots had just fell to the Broncos in the AFC title game, Brady didn’t exactly have much time to get his golf game into shape. But, just by watching the quarterback play, it was clear he had some skill.

“The first day out he was really sloppy,” Driscoll recalled. “His swing is decent, so I could tell there was something in there. He played pretty poorly the first day. The second day I was like, ‘Wait a minute, this guy has some game.’ He definitely hit some real quality shots the second day. And then the third day, he went out on the front nine at Pebble Beach and I tell people he shot 33 (three-under par, including an eagle on the par-5 second hole). I am pretty sure he did. 

“He basically played nine holes like a tour pro -- hitting his drives 300 yards, hitting his seven iron like 180 (yards) and making putts. He literally played those nine holes like a tour pro. I was like, ‘Oh my God. This guy is incredible.’”

This was six years ago and Brady has played less golf now that his family is getting older and he’s been spending more time with them. But, there is evidence the quarterback still has some game.

According to GHIN, Brady is currently playing at a 8.1 handicap index out of The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts (the course was basically his previous home's backyard). His last posted score is from April of this year at an away course where he shot an 86. Prior to that, there's 10 rounds from 2019 and then a round from April of 2015 — so either he stopped posting his scores during that timeframe, or stopped playing full rounds altogether. 

So, how will he fair Sunday?

Driscoll believes he’ll do just fine and he is able to bring a good perspective as he’s been a member at the Medalist Golf Club for 20 years.

“If he’s got some rounds under his belt and he can keep the ball in play, the course — I don’t know what tees they are going to play — but he has a chance to put up a good number there,” he said. “The greens could be a little bit awkwardly fast. I have a feeling they are going to be fast and that could be a challenge, like it would be for anybody. But, I could see him putting together a number there.”

The pro golfer also pointed out a few holes where Brady, and the others, could potentially have chances for eagles — No. 11 and 14. Both are short, dogleg left par-4s that are around 300 yards. So with his length off the tee, he could potentially drive the green.

“He could make an eagle on either of those two with the perfect tee shot,” Driscoll said.

The format is best-ball on the front-nine and then a modified alternate shot on the back-nine, so it’s not like Brady and Manning can just take a back seat and allow Woods and Mickelson to do all the work.

Given Brady’s competitive nature and ability to thrive in the moment, no one would be shocked to see the Tampa Bay quarterback put on a show Sunday afternoon.

“Absolutely,” Driscoll said. “I mean, he knows it is coming. I am sure he’s been giving his game enough attention and he’s just so cool and calm that the atmosphere — I can just see him thriving in that."