Charity Golf Events, Pro Tour Players & Celebrity Interviews


Smokey Robinson Loves Golf
December 18, 2008, 11:36 pm
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Deb & Smokey at PGA Tour Kapalua Invitatinal

At birth, William Robinson was so light skinned that a nurse mistakingly put him in the “white babies” section of the hospital. He grew up with childhood dreams of being a cowboy and his uncle Claude gave him his cowboy nickname “Smokey Joe” at age 3 but dropped it at age 13 to just “Smokey”. As a young boy, Smokey’s father drove him from Detroit to California just so he could finally see the Wild West and put his cowboy non-sense to rest.

At age ten, Smokey’s first job was delivering groceries in the neighborhood for the local grocery store. Aretha Franklin’s brother Cecil was one of Smokey’s best childhood friends and lived just a few blocks away. Diana Ross lived just four houses down the street and the guys from The Four Tops and the Temptations all lived in his North West Detroit neighborhood.

In High School, Smokey Robinson began mastering his love of music writing poems and avidly listening to soul and classic popular music at home with his family. He formed a local singing group called the Matadors and after graduation, Smokey was on the way to college to become an electrical engineer because he thought that becoming a singer was “the impossible dream”. He delivered telegrams for Western Union on his bicycle that summer before college and by chance he met fellow Detroit businessman Barry Gordy who would change his life forever.

Barry took at look at his songs and recorded Smokey’s first record that fall which convinced him to quit college and follow his entertainment dreams. Gordy signed the Matadors (then called the Miracles) and mentored Smokey on his songwriting skills. The result was the best songwriter in America during the 60s, churning out classic cuts for Motown with the Miracles, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and others with songs like “My Girl,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “My Guy,” and dozens of other soul classics.
Smokey’s smooth voice and green eyes rode the charts during the 60’s and 70’s all while being consistently involved in every part of Motown’s operations as Vice President for seventeen years, writing, producing, auditioning young hopefuls, and making his own hit records.
Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988, Smokey Robinson is a Music Legend, passionate song writer, and one of America’s greatest poets. Smokey humorously calls himself the “George Burns” of singers stating that “I’ll sing as long as I have fans and can remember all my lyrics”.
From my personal time spent golfing with Smokey I can assure you that what I’ve grown to love most about this lovely man is his tremendous sense of humor. We share a tremendous love for both music and golf, but Smokey’s depth of character and gracious spirit are his greatest attributes.

From his years of traveling the globe and eating lots of hotel food, Smokey has developed a destinct taste for quality foods. An extremely healthy eater, he has created his own food line with some of his most favorite dishes and recipes. Just like the Grammy Living Legend’s music, Smokey Robinson’s “Soul in the Bowl” Chicken Gumbo and Red Beans & Rice is soulfully delicious and can be found at Albertson and Kroeger grocery stores nationwide.foods
As with most entertainers, life on the road in hotel rooms can be quit boring but Smokey’s love for television and the movies, keeps him watching plenty of new releases to pass the time. Smokey is a self proclaimed Golf Channel junkie and calls “Back to the Future” his all time favorite movie and would love nothing more than to have a great role in a great movie someday.
Currently, Smokey is wrapping up his latest CD due in early 2009 and featuring guest artists India Aire, Joss Stone, and Carlos Santana. Look for another magnificent creation from this gifted man soon!
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Smokey plays about one to two rounds each week around Los Angeles with his best friends and golf buddies Robert Gordy, Barry Gordy Jr, Barry Gordy IV, and Motown’s long time A & R man Mickey Stevenson. “Those guys are my family, my brothers, and my fellow golf-addicts. We love golf, but golf doesn’t care about us at all.” Smokey loves golf more than anyone I know! He has even kept all his score cards over the years so that when he can no longer play, he’ll be able to recall who won or lost all the money that day and relive precious memories with his best pals on the course. “We play team skins, sandies, and low medal each round and the money has passed in and out of our grasp pretty evenly over the years.” When asked what he loves most about golf Smokey says, “What I really love most about golf is that it is an individual sport which constantly challenges you”. If he could change one rule about the game Smokey would love to have footprints in bunkers and divots in fairways played as “ground under repair”. “It shouldn’t be a penalty that someone playing before you was inconsiderate”.
A member at both Mountain Gate in Los Angeles and Spanish Trails in Las Vegas, Smokey carries a 14 handicap and has two (2) Hole In One’s to his credit. He calls both towns home and plays in several Celebrity golf tournaments throughout the year including the Frank Sinatra Classic in Palm Desert and long time friend Tom Dreesen’s Celebrity Classic in Chicago.
Deb’s Q & A:
Current Handicap: 14
Lowest Round: 71 at The Plantation Course in Kapalua during a PGA Pro-Am with Peter Jacobsen in 1998.
Hole In Ones: 2
Favorite Golf Gadget: my new Pro Golf GPS with over 20,000 courses pre programmed
Something people don’t know about me: I used to run marathons. I also have hundreds of golf shoes and gloves from the 70’s in all colors and still wear them. I love to match and wear colorful outfits with my glove matching my shoes and pants.
I’m particular about: The food I eat. I only drink soy milk, prefer Oatmeal for breakfast with turkey sausage, and never drink any caffine, alcohol, or coffee.
Most Inspirational Golf Moment: When I saw guys playing in the snow from outside my hotel room window in New York and realized that I must not really love golf as much as I thought I did.
Fantasy Tour Pro Foursome: Tiger, Sergio, and Lorena Ochoa. I love how much distance they get from their body, especially Lorena!
Most Frustrating thing about golf: Lack of consistant scoring, would love to eliminate the “blow-up holes. I usually carry my golf clubs in the car but recently I played so bad that I put my clubs away on “time out” inside the garage and haven’t looked at them yet……just give me a few days, I’ll be back!”