Grip it and rip it: The nine best NASCAR golfers
Golf and NASCAR have a lot in common. Both require finely-tuned skills combined with a dose of God-given ability, nerves of steel and laser focus.
With the 114th U.S. Open getting under way at Pinehurst, our friends at the Back9Network take a look at the top nine NASCAR golfers.
Despite being retired, Jarrett still makes the list because he is far and away the best golfing racecar driver. Jarrett still carries a single digit handicap and has reportedly been as low as a two. The three-time Daytona 500 winner and 1999 series champ is a regular at celebrity and charity events all over the country. Friends of the NASCAR Hall of Famer have mentioned the Champions Tour for Jarrett, though there isn't enough evidence to confirm or deny a run at pro golf in the future.
Kyle Busch is a newcomer to the game but he makes this list because of his tenacity and competitive fire. Busch is a 29-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series and has 134 wins in the NASCAR, and if he puts in the same time and effort in golf that say, teammate Denny Hamlin has, then there's no reason Busch won't move up this list soon.
The six-time Sprint Cup Series champion spends as much time on the golf course as his two young daughters will allow, and is said to be improving on the links. JJ is a regular in the Quail Hollow Pro-Am and hosts his own charitable affair each year that brings out jocks and celebrities from far and wide. Johnson is 'about a 20' and shot 97 and 100 at Augusta National in 2008.
Hamlin reportedly cut 15 strokes off his handicap from 2011-2012 and is now an index 12. PGA Tour player Joe Ogilvie, who played with Denny at a charity event said he "wouldn't be shocked" if Hamlin someday soon held a single digit handicap. Spending winters in Arizona has allowed Hamlin to build a friendship with Masters champ Bubba Watson, with the two frequently playing sub-three hour rounds. Hamlin also caddied for Watson in the Par 3 contest at the Masters in 2012.
The two-time Daytona 500 winner has played Pebble, Pinehurst No. 2; he's played with Phil and Arnie, and taken tips from Butch Harmon and Peter Kostis. Waltrip, who claims to be "about a 20," is a regular in charity and celebrity tournaments and played with Hamlin in Tahoe this past summer. He and his hall of fame brother Darrell Waltrip host a charity golf tournament in North Carolina annually.
Harvick is always "Happy" to hit the links. He holds a charity golf tournament every year to benefit the Kevin Harvick Foundation and owns an 18 handicap on the course.
The four-time series champ has been known to play a little bit, taking part in charity events when time allows, as well as playing in the World Amateur Handicap Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1989 series champion was one of the first drivers to really embrace golf during their career. During his time as an active driver, Wallace was sponsored by Callaway and later, as an owner, fielded a Nationwide Series car sponsored by Top Flite. Wallace still fills his schedule with charity events throughout the Carolinas, but doesn't play quite as much as he once did.
The youngest Nationwide Series champion in history and driver of the 55 Aarons Dream Machine for Michael Waltrip Racing, is an avid golfer who makes appearances in most driver charity events, as well as a select few celebrity ones with car owner and fellow member of this list, Michael Waltrip.