By Paula Pasche – Jun 26, 2019
Kid Rock adjusts his hat following his Pro-Am round with Rickie Fowler at the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club on Wednesday. (Photo by Paula Pasche)
DETROIT — Fans love Kid Rock, the musician.
And, it’s clear, after they watched him play in the Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Wednesday, they love him as a golfer too.
It was one big love fest. He drew a large contingent of fans on a busy day at the Detroit Golf Club where he is a member. (His scorecards reflect his real name — Bob Ritchie.)
And, get this, he’s gotten much better at the game since in 2008 when he played in a pro-am at the Buick Open with his buddy, John Daly. That day he wore overalls and showed up with no golf shoes. On Wednesday he wore a sky-blue golf shirt and short, along with his signature fedora.
His game was on point especially early in his round with Rickie Fowler, the No. 14 golfer in the world.
“Love Rickie,’’ Kid Rock said. “We’ve become friends in south Florida during the Michigan winter times. Great kid, still can’t beat me at pickleball though.’’
Fowler didn’t mention pickleball, but said, “Any time you’re hanging out with Bob, it’s a good time.’’
Fowler said it was good to be in Kid Rock’s hometown.
“I’ve heard a lot about Detroit from him, his brother and some of is friends,,’’ Fowler said. “To see it finally come together for Rocket Mortgage to want to bring this event to Detroit, for Dan Gilbert to have the dream and vision to get the PGA Tour back here, to see that all come together, and to hang out with one of Detroit’s legends, it’s a good start to the week.’’
Kid Rock has become one of Detroit’s top ambassadors, not just through his music but also his appreciation for the Motor City and its people.
“(This is) just another positive, another plus for Detroit. … Right in the heart — smack dab off Seven Mile in the hood, playing golf, fans coming out, it’s a great thing,’’ Kid Rock said. “ We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us we’re doing a lot of work. Whenever it’s a win-win, I’m a fan.’’
He admits he’s not a great golfer but seems to enjoy it. When not concentrating on his next shot, he interacted with fans.
“I know what I do and golf is not one of my strong points, but when I hit a bad shot, Rickie he gives me a little crap and I say, ‘Oh yeah, go get your Karaoke machine.’’’
Kid Rock said the last time he played golf at the club with Jerome Bettis, the Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers running back, who also played in the Pro-Am.
“He whooped my ass. He’s my buddy. I’m like, ‘I thought you played football. You don’t play football, you’re a golfer trapped in a football player’s body,’’’ Kid Rock said.
It was a one-day appearance this week at the event. He’s got plans for the weekend.
“I’ll be sitting on my back porch either on a river in Detroit or in Clarkston,’’ Kid Rock said. “God’s been good to me, watching with a bowl of popcorn. What’s the beer sponsor? Drinking Mich Ultra Light, and enjoying the game.’’