Josh Kelley Is Starstruck by Golfer Fred Couples Once Again
The 2011 Masters Tournament took place earlier this month, and 'Georgia Clay' singer Josh Kelley could not be happier. The Augusta, Ga. native and his brother, Charles Kelly from Lady Antebellum, grew up going to pretty much every Masters Tournament, as they lived right by the course.
Back in 1992, Kelley was there and ran into golfer Fred Couples, one of his favorite players. The country star tells The Boot, "He was walking from the 17th green to the 18th tee, and he gave me a high-five! It's still one of the coolest memories of my entire life."
In high school, Kelley won the state golf championship during his senior year, and he was later invited to play the Augusta National. Kelley says, "Music has always been my biggest love; I just happened to be good at golf," so he went to the University of Mississippi in 2000 on a golf scholarship. He then had to make a decision: golf or music. He tells ESPN that while at college, "I started showing up late for golf practice and sometimes not showing up at all. My coach knew I didn't have the heart for it anymore." He adds, "I realized that my voice was more unique, and music became all I ever wanted to do."
Kelley had no idea that a couple of years after that first meeting with Couples, he would run into him again -- but this time they were on a jet together, bound for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children's Tournament. Couples was the one who made the first move, asking Kelley how he was doing. All the singer could think of to say was 'Dude! You are my hero!'
"I probably looked like the biggest idiot in the world," Kelley admits. "But I got to hang out with him that night, too. It's actually fun to meet your heroes when they're cool, good people." Kelley laughs as he remembers what else he told Couples: "Look at this hand, look how dirty it is! I've never washed this hand since high-fiving you!"
Golf Digest recently ranked Kelley as the No. 15 musician-golfer in the world with a handicap of six. As for one of the best benefits of playing the game, the singer says, "Golf has made me more of a gentleman and patient in everything I do. I love to make music for music's sake. Even if I lived under a bridge, I'd be making music."