Golf? No thanks. Growing up in California in the '60s, I was much more into boys. Besides, golf clothes were not cute.
It took me 25 years to get with the program. In 1992 my husband, Jeff Lester, and I went to Orcas Island in Puget Sound, Wash., for our honeymoon. After days of tennis, hiking, biking and kayaking we noticed a funky little public golf course, and in no time we were passionate golfers. Only six months later I was at the Greater Greensboro Open—just watching!—when Reggie Jackson dropped out of the celebrity pro-am. Tournament officials needed a pinch-celeb. All I had to do, they said, was tee it up with John Daly with thousands of people watching.
To make a long-driving story short, I survived. On one hole, playing from the red tees with a huge distance advantage, I actually outdrove John. That taught me two things: I love hitting it long, and John Daly is a complete sweetheart. If he minded hitting his second shot before the girl in the group, he didn't show it.
Length is still my strength as a golfer. Hitting my stiff-shafted driver up to 260 yards, I'm long enough to outdrive quite a few grown men. I get a kick out of playing with them because they're so competitive. I play from the whites these days, and I try like crazy to hit it past the guys.
At home in Las Vegas you'll find me at the TPC at Sumerlin, where they call me Vijay because I spend so much time on the driving range. I love the range—wide open space, no rough and no trees. I'll lose track of time and hit hundreds of balls, imagining that I'm out on tour with Annika Sorenstam and Kelly Robbins. Then it's suddenly time to hurry off to work.
I may be the only Vegas headliner with blisters on her hands.