Wayne Gretzky bonds with Kid Rock, future son-in-law
FEB 06, 2014 10:34p ET
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Wayne Gretzky took a break from promoting Southern California hockey this week to swing a different set of sticks. The Great One is in Pebble Beach this week to play with his future son-in-law Dustin Johnson, a pretty great PGA Tour player in his own right, in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
As a team, Johnson and Gretzky are only two shots off the pro-am lead, while Johnson is four shots off the tournament lead. Gretzky took time to talk to the media about everything from the Stadium Series game to playing with Kid Rock, or as he knows him, "that nice young man Bobby."
The Stadium Series game between the Kings and Ducks at Dodger Stadium two weeks ago was a proud moment for the former L.A. Kings great. Gretzky was influential in getting the league to stage the game in Southern California and watching it all come together was a proud moment.
"I don't think anybody anticipated 30 years ago that we would be able to play a game at Dodger Stadium," Gretzky said. "It's something we're all very proud of. I think the people of California have showed that if there is another game, they'll support it. They did the game in L.A. and I think a year or two down the road, we should look at Anaheim doing a game at Angel Stadium."
Gretzky said the game went over so well that the league would be crazy to not think about holding another game on the West Coast. He wouldn't change a thing - he loved the palm trees and beach volleyball, and the showcase of all that is Los Angeles.
"You can't compare it to the Super Bowl but it's an event where more things go on than just the game," Gretzky said. "People want to be entertained. I thought they did a really spectacular job."
Gretzky the Golfer
Starting the week on Spyglass Hill, he decided not to worry about his score, saying only that it was somewhere in the 80s. Which makes sense after shooting a very round 96 on the hillside course last year.
It's Johnson's job to shoot low, not his.
"I'm here for fun, he's here for work," he said.
But he did say that he's picked up from tips from Johnson, who is engaged to his daughter Paulina.
"He's been at our house a lot the last couple months, him and Paulina, so I've had a chance to practice a lot with him and play with him," Gretzky said. "He's so attentive to everyone that he plays with. He's helped my game tremendously."
However, Johnson has yet to pick up any tips from Gretzky. The South Carolina native has yet to lace up for fear of injury. And it's not Johnson's fear of injury - it's Gretzky's fear.
"We almost (got him on skates) and then I talked him out of it," Gretzky said. "Last year we had him at my fantasy camp and he was getting ready to go play Doral and I said, 'You better not.' One of these days we'll get him out there."
Gretzky and Johnson had one of the biggest galleries of the day. While the two of them are arguably one of the biggest draws, the other half of their foursome - the infamous John Daly and Kid Rock - were easily the most entertaining.
Robert Richie, also known as Kid Rock, is a close friend of golf's biggest renegade Daly, and he's now won over Gretzky as well.
"We had so much fun, our group today," Gretzky said. "He's a really nice young man. Just a really personable person. He's a really nice person, just such a personable person. He's the exact opposite image of a rock-and-roller."
Wayne and Bobby, just a couple buddies playing golf.