You saw the highlights of their podcast conversation on Monday’s episode of The Charlie Rymer Golf Show on CBS Sports Network. Here, on “Balls in the Air,” country music superstar and professional golfer Colt Ford goes in-depth with Charlie on his experiences both in the entertainment industry, and as a competitive golfer. You don’t want to miss it!
Charlie Rymer (00:12):
Hi and welcome in to yet another edition of the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. I’m your friendly neighborhood host, Charlie Rymer. And I’m going to tell you what, folks. I’m really thrilled about our show today. One of my best buddies of all time, Mr. Colt Ford, is joining us today, and I’ve got to tell you, we’ve been friends since we were probably 14, 15 years old. We played junior golf together, which was a lot of fun. He’s one of those junior golfers where his dad was always around. Mr. Brown was just an amazing character when he was around us growing up, playing golf. He’s still an amazing character, by the way. And then when we got to college, he went off and played junior college for a couple years. Alexander City Junior College over in Alexander City, Alabama, and made his way to the University of Georgia for his last couple of years and I was at Georgia Tech. And it was always a lot of fun to play college golf, Georgia versus Georgia Tech. Mr. Brown, out walking around, watching us play golf. And then in the professional world of golf, we played quite a bit of mini tour golf together.
Charlie Rymer (01:27):
Occasionally, we would get paired together for a practice round in what’s now the Korn Ferry Tour on the PGA TOUR, and always fun to spend time playing golf with, as he was known then, Jason Brown. Now of course, he’s Colt Ford. And after playing some professional golf, we ended up forming a business together. It didn’t do so well, but we had a lot of fun. We had a business that involved taking folks, hosting them on really nice trips over to Ireland. I did that a lot in the summertime and that was quite an adventure as well. And we ended up shutting that business down and he got into music and I continued in television.
Charlie Rymer (02:13):
And he’s been incredibly successful with his music, seven albums now, Grammy-nominated. One of the most fun things I ever get to do is catching up with Colt Ford. When he’s out on the road, we’ll play golf early in the day and head over to his concert venue, hang out in the bus, chat, catch up on life, and then I get a chance to walk up on the stage with Colt Ford and the band and watch the show. And it’s so much fun to look out in the audience and the audience knows every single word of every one of his songs. He’s an amazing entertainer, he’s a great friend, a heck of a golfer, an unbelievable character, an entrepreneur. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage my great friend, Mr. Colt Ford.
Charlie Rymer (03:08):
Welcome in to the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. If you’ve got a 9:00 tee time around here, we’re teeing up at 9:00. We talk about golf, life, and anything else that comes to mind, and today I’m thrilled to be joined by my good buddy, country music artist Colt Ford. He don’t look like much, folks, but he can play some golf. Colt, how you doing today?
Colt Ford (03:33):
Good, Charles. How are you, sir?
Charlie Rymer (03:35):
I’m doing good. How long have you and I known each other, we were 12?
Colt Ford (03:40):
Yeah, somewhere. Early teens. Long enough that we can’t tell old stories on each other because we’d both go to jail.
Charlie Rymer (03:46):
Yeah, we were both a lot prettier back then, too.
Colt Ford (03:49):
I’m still pretty good looking.
Charlie Rymer (03:50):
Yeah, that’s what you always thought. But we’ll get into that another day. We’ll save that for another show.
Colt Ford (03:56):
Charlie Rymer (03:57):
But hey, where I was wanting to go with you is most the time when you see a celebrity, an artist, or a singer, they got into golf after they got into being an artist or an actor. You’re the opposite. You were a golfer, and then you got into being an artist, so just tell me a little bit about your journey.
Colt Ford (04:23):
You’ve pretty much seen the whole thing. I’ve realized now as I’ve gotten older and I look back, yes, it’s very different and it was very unusual. For me, it didn’t feel like that because it’s what I’ve always done, so I didn’t know any better until I got older and it’s like, “Wow, this guy is playing professional golf for a living, also making music and rap records.” I mean, it’s like, “Wait, what?” It just doesn’t make sense and I get that. And you’ve known me long enough to know, sometimes I don’t make a lot of sense. But I love the game, I love music and it’s been a very rewarding, humbling at times, and just wonderful journey I’ve taken. It’s been fun. The people I’ve met from golf to music and back. Playing a lot of golf right now. It’s been an amazing, amazing ride.
Colt Ford (05:16):
Music is really my first true love. Golf was, I knew I could pay the bills for a while and I did for a while, obviously, as a player, and then as a teacher. I taught a little while and then just decided to go back to music. And people probably don’t know we were actually in a business together when I decided to try music one more time, and you and everybody else at the time honestly thought, “You have lost your mind.”
Charlie Rymer (05:39):
Yeah, we did.
Colt Ford (05:41):
And I probably had. Yeah, it’s like, “You’re crazy in making that change in the middle of your life with kids and stuff on the line.” It’s just one of those deals and I just could never turn it off, and here I am with seven albums and almost 15 years later. I got real lucky. We’re still playing music and you and I are still talking about golf and giving each other a lot of grief, so that’s great.
Charlie Rymer (06:02):
You’ve always been a fighter, a battler. You’ve always done things that people told you you couldn’t do. You didn’t have the size to hit it far.
Colt Ford (06:12):
Charlie Rymer (06:12):
You still don’t hit it very far, but I notice I’ve never seen you miss a fairway in all these years we’ve been playing golf. But at what point, and I’ve never talked to you about this, at what point after everybody told you, “You can’t play golf,” you played some great golf at a high level, we played some together on the Korn Ferry Tour, you played at the University of Georgia, but when did it sort of feel good on the music side when you thought, “You know what? Some of these folks that told me I couldn’t do this, I hope they heard this song playing on the radio.” I mean, when did that ever happen? And I don’t even know if you look at life that way, but some part of you had to say, “Yeah, I hope some of these folks hear this song.”
Colt Ford (06:59):
Yeah. I mean, I don’t really look at life that way. Maybe somewhere in your mind, but we all do that I think, probably go, you remember when so-and-so slighted you and you’re like, I wonder how they’re doing now? And I’m sure that happens. It’s not a conscious thing for me because honestly, you’ve known me a long, long time, my heart is for people to do well. I’m not a hater. I don’t want to be that way. I don’t want to live my life that way. I’m happy to see success, I’m happy to see people do good.
Colt Ford (07:30):
I was just listening to all this talk from the Matthew Fitzpatrick kid talking about Bryson DeChambeau, I’m like, dude, you sound like such a baby. You sound like such a hater. Don’t do that. And then to say, “Well, I could do that.” Well then, go do it! Because it seems to be working for him. I ain’t never heard Zach Johnson complain or Jordan Spieth or Jim Furyk complain about if people hit it too far. I mean, look, it’s the evolution of the game, it’s part of it, and I’ve been just really lucky that things have happened the way they have. It’s been fun, it’s been amazing. I know there’s people that hated [inaudible 00:08:09], but when I see him, man, my mama told me to be nice to him. You know my mama, I’m going to try to do what she says because I’m still a little scared of her.
Charlie Rymer (08:17):
That’s a good idea. Yeah, that’s a good idea. My all-time favorite Colt Ford song, you know, is Chicken and Biscuits.
Colt Ford (08:24):
Charlie Rymer (08:24):
What was a song that, because I can tell you a golf tournament that I played in when I was a kid, when I was really feeling the heat and I played well, that I thought, “You know what? I’ve got a chance in this game.” What was the song that let you know that you’ve got a chance to have success in music?
Colt Ford (08:44):
Well, I spent a lot of time in music chasing other fads, if that makes sense. A little bit like some players have done, they’re chasing different theories of teaching instead of just going with what’s worked. So I chased a lot of things, and when I tried to be really honest with myself, Ride Through the Country, I wrote that record and recorded it in about a week or so. I mean, it just kind of came out when I was trying to be really honest about who I was. But as I got that and those songs, Ride Through the Country, started letting people hear it, and I remember even playing some stuff for you in my dad’s little old used car lot. Because at first you thought I was nuts and I get it, so did everybody. But you were like, “Wow. Okay. You may have something here.”
Charlie Rymer (09:30):
That was Dirt Road Anthem. Yeah.
Colt Ford (09:36):
Yeah, that was Dirt Road Anthem.
Charlie Rymer (09:37):
How many downloads, 40 million?
Colt Ford (09:38):
It’s a platinum single. It’s almost a diamond, which is over 10 million sold. There’s more downloads, but it’s over 10 million sold, which, there’s very few records that do that and that was for sure, when people started hearing that, me and Brantley doing that and then Ride Through the Country, No Trash in my Trailer with my buddy Mike Dekle, I mean, people just started going, “Whoa, this is kind of cool.” And I’ve been lucky and it’s worked, and here I am, seven albums, getting ready to put out an eighth album.
Charlie Rymer (10:10):
Let’s switch gears a little bit. And we can’t wait for more music, by the way, but let’s switch gears a little bit and talk celebrity golf.
Colt Ford (10:17):
Charlie Rymer (10:19):
You played in some of the great events, Diamond Resorts, American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, the crown jewel of celebrity golf really is AT&T at Pebble Beach. How much fun has that been for you?
Colt Ford (10:31):
Man, it’s so funny when I sit back and think of mine and yours, our friendship, our connection, the things we’ve done over the years, and it’s so cool when you look back at all that. I’ve helped you with some things, you’ve helped me, and that’s what friends, that’s what buddies do, and that’s how friendships last a long time. I got in Pebble Beach because of you. You introduced me to Steve John, who’s a friend of yours. All you did was open the door for me and said, “Here you go, here’s an opportunity.” And, “You go do something with it.”
Colt Ford (11:04):
And I met Steve and his beautiful wife Lisa and we hit it off, and I think this will be my seventh or eighth year coming up. And I don’t know that I’ve ever truly told you thank you for that, so thank you very much for giving me that opportunity. It’s unbelievable to me. I love it. I just love people, you know me, I love people. You and I like to joke around and have fun, make people laugh, so playing in these celebrity events is a lot of fun. It’s also fun for some of them to go, “Whoa, I mean, I thought Colt was just a really good looking guy that sings. I didn’t know he could play golf like that.”
Charlie Rymer (11:35):
Yeah, let me interrupt there.
Colt Ford (11:36):
Charlie Rymer (11:37):
By the way, that first round in AT&T, you made me look good because, as I recall, you opened with a, I think it was a 65 over at Monterey Peninsula. If it was worse than that, don’t correct me. And you wouldn’t anyway, but let me finish with this. You’re not playing in some PGA TOUR Champions events and you’re not playing as a celebrity, you’re playing as a professional. You’re not playing in the Pro-Am, you’re playing in the tournaments themselves. And real quick if you can, what has that experience been like?
Colt Ford (12:07):
Having chased that dream for so long in my life and had some success and won some tournaments, and then to go a different direction but still have golf be part of my life and to come back around now and get these opportunities to play in a few Champions events with guys, some of them I’ve grown up playing with my whole life, which is fun, and some of them legends that I’ve never got to spend a lot of time with. It’s just unbelievably fun. It was nerve-wracking, the very first one. I got to play up in South Dakota, it was awesome. It actually had fans. I like that, the fans is a good thing. I prefer that for me, I like that. But just being around the guys, realizing how good they are. A lot of people can say, “Oh, I do this and I shoot this and I can do that.” And it’s like, yeah, talking is the real easy part about it. To go out and compete and play with guys that are the best in the world and have been the best in the world, that are hall-of-famers. Ernie Ellis and Fred Couples walking around here and Colin Montgomerie and just guys that have won Majors. Now Phil (Mickelson) is out playing some, he and I are still friends. Jim Furyk, who I grew up with, like you, still buddies, he’s out here. It’s unbelievably humbling.
Colt Ford (13:17):
And I’ve put some work in. Most of the events I’ve been playing at is music and celebrity things. I’m always working really hard, but during this period of time with the pandemic and COVID, I haven’t got to play much music, so I’ve been working and practicing on golf. And the weight loss. The first event, I got to play with our buddy, Chris DiMarco, who’s a great friend of yours and mine, and Chris hadn’t seen me really since I’d lost weight and he was like, “Wow, last time I played with you, you couldn’t hit a five iron 170 yards.” He’s like, “Now you’re hitting it by me and hitting the five iron 200 yards.” It’s amazing when you can play and practice and actually get my stomach out of the way where I could swing it a little better. It’s just so much fun. The guys have been so cool to me out here, the tour has been really good to me. I hope I get to play some more. And I’m not embarrassing myself. I mean, I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but I think I played a lot better than the majority of people thought I would.
Charlie Rymer (14:16):
Well, Colt, it’s fun to see you, as you say, out doing your thang.
Colt Ford (14:19):
Charlie Rymer (14:20):
Which is making music, making people smile, and playing some great golf. We appreciate you joining us right here on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. Buddy, I can’t wait to see you again soon.
Colt Ford (14:34):
Awesome. Anything you’re doing, I want to be a part of it. We’ve done some fun, crazy things together, some serious stuff, but I appreciate you continuing to entertain the world with your jokes and laughter and quick wit and golf. I love you, brother. I’m proud of you and I’m proud to be on this show with you. I just want to say Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. I’ve always wanted to say that.
Charlie Rymer (14:59):
Love you, too, buddy. See you down the road. Keep having fun.
Colt Ford (15:02):
Take care, pal.
Charlie Rymer (15:03):
Colt Ford, ladies and gentlemen. He is the best, although he doesn’t look it.
Charlie Rymer (15:13):
Well, there you have it, folks. Mr. Colt Ford. I’m going to tell you, if you get a chance to go to one of these celebrity golf tournaments and he’s playing in the event, make sure you get out and follow him. You’ll be amazed at watching him hit the golf ball. He’s not long, he’s not going to win any long drive contests, but I’ll tell you what he might win is when you add them up at the end, and that’s what we really get out and play golf for. It’s fun to watch him shape some shots and play touch shots on and around the greens. Heck of a good player. I know he’s going to continue to look for opportunities to play in the occasional event out on the PGA Tour Champions.
Charlie Rymer (15:52):
And the other thing is, if you get a chance to get out and watch him play some golf, get over and talk to him. Say hello. He’ll be happy to talk to you, he’s one of those kind of folks. And the other thing that’s really super cool is the artists and musicians are starting to get out and tour again. Colt Ford’s out on the road making some music, and if you want to catch up with him for a show, you can always find out where he’s going to be playing and get tickets and all kinds of information over at ColtFord.com.
Charlie Rymer (16:20):
Well, that wraps it up for this episode of the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast, so if you’ve enjoyed the show, and as always, you can follow this podcast anywhere that you listen to your podcasts, and we’d appreciate it if you’d like us when you get a chance. All right. We’ll be back right here next week with another great guest and we look forward to having you back as well. Appreciate you. Thank you very much, folks!