The reality that I've retired as a hockey player finally sank in when the NHL season began on Oct. I and I remained at home. Our house overlooks the 13th fairway at Sherwood Country Club outside Los Angeles, and instead of spending another season on the ice, I have been playing golf almost every day with my wife, Janet. She took up the game about a year ago and is getting pretty good. (She even won the closest-to-the-pin contest during Scott Hamilton's charity tournament this summer.) Our three children play too, and take lessons at the club.
I took up golf when I was 18, around the time I broke into the NHL. Today I carry a nine handicap, but compared with my fellow recent retirees, John Elway and Michael Jordan, I'm far from Great at this game—just ask the Secret Service agent I beaned. The guy was stationed behind a tree while I was playing with former President Gerald Ford, who has a reputation for spraying the ball and hitting people, when I roped one into the woods and tagged the agent. Unfortunately, that was not the only time I've plunked someone. The first pro-am I played in was at the Canadian Open, and on the 1st tee I duck-hooked my drive into the crowd and knocked out a 16-year-old kid. I think he broke a couple of fingers trying to block the ball, and as if that weren't enough, he suffered a leg injury when another spectator tried to jump over him to get my ball.
I have no aspirations to become the greatest golfer or athlete-golfer or hockey player-golfer or even the best Gretzky golfer. I don't have that kind of passion for the game. Janet and I are perfectly happy playing a fivesome with the kids or an afternoon scramble with our neighbors Claude and Deborah Lemieux. Family and friends—that's what golf is all about to me.