I recently came across an interesting story about a bodybuilder-turned-professional golfer named Gerry James. The reason why this tale caught my attention is because you rarely hear of a bodybuilder crossing over into the pro golf world.
As for how it happened, James grew up idolizing Arnold Schwarzenegger as a teenager and worked his best to achieve this build. And while the Michigan native never won Mr. Olympia or anything, he did have a very successful career that included the prestigious Mr. California title in 1990.
Aside from hitting the stage as a bodybuilder, James also played football for the USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws and wrestled professionally under the name “Gerry America.” As he said, “(I) wore a red, white and blue cape and had the red, white and blue Spandex and the big high boots.”
These days though, the 6’5″ former bodybuilder has turned in the spandex, football uniforms, and tanning oil for golf clubs. James discussed this by saying, “And really I believe the Lord just replaced my competitive juices with golf, you know? And it was long drive at first and now it’s competitive golf as you see here.”
So far Gerry James has remained a fringe U.S. Senior Open competitor, and he’s managed to make a good living as a golf instructor. He discussed this by saying, “I am a golf instructor first and foremost. I’ve studied the game. Whenever I do something, I do it kind of to the extreme. I believe if you do something in life and you’re passionate about it, you should go all in. And I’m not on afraid to go all-in.”