Golf Q&A with former New England Patriots defensive back Rodney Harrison
Rodney Harrison is a 2-time Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots and since 2009 has been a commentator on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
But when he’s not breaking down tape and providing football analysis with Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy, you can often find him on the golf course enjoying the game around the Atlanta area.
We caught up with Harrison for a quick chat between shots at the Matt Ryan Celebrity-Am Charity Golf Outing on Monday. The outing -- now in its seventh year -- is organized by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and raises money for the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as the Matt Ryan Foundation.
PGA.com: What did you think of the Masters?
Harrison: I was really proud of Sergio and how he kept his composure. Especially, obviously, when you get on the greens that shows your nerves and for him to continue to come up and hit his tee shot, I thought it was really remarkable and showed a lot of character.
PGA.com: What was your favorite shot of the tournament?
Harrison: I think it was that lucky shot Justin Rose had on 18 where it hit and kicked toward the hole.
PGA.com: What was it that got you on the golf course?
Harrison: My buddies had been telling me about golf for years. And I was like, 'I’m not going to go out there and play golf, it’s stupid chasing this white ball.' And all of a sudden I tried it, I hit the ball a few times and I started to find success. It became very competitive because it was something I hadn’t mastered. I had played NFL football at such a high level, but this gave me something else I could use in my spare time when I’m not playing football and away from the kids. And it gives me a sense of peace and just tranquility when I’m out here. So, I love it, and I’ve worked really, really hard over the last 10 years and I’ve come down to about a 3 handicap.
PGA.com: From getting from a 10 handicap down to a 3, what was the thing you worked on?
(As we stood about 90 yards out from the green) Short game, right here. 100 yards in.
PGA.com: What was it that you did to improve this part of the game?
Harrison: For me, it was enjoyable just playing these shots around the greens, because it was just a lot of hard work banging balls and stuff like that. So, I would come up here and just hit balls from 20 yards, 30 yards, 100 yards and I became very comfortable around this area. Whereas most amateurs, they can bang the driver and get it out here, but it’s here they start to choke up and tense up. This is the kind of shot that I like.