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With I Love Golf self-proclaimed "golf-a-holic" Royce Aube joins the ranks of singing swingers like Bing Crosby and John Daly.
With I Love Golf self-proclaimed "golf-a-holic" Royce Aube joins the ranks of singing swingers like Bing Crosby and John Daly. (Courtesy Royce Aube)

Royce Aube follows in the footsteps of other sporting singers

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,

There is a strong theatrical aspect to professional sports. You have the audience, of course, and an innate sense of drama permeating the event. But even without spectators, characters and plotline, sports can often become more art than activity.

To put it another way: It seems like every time you turn around there's an athlete ready to burst into song. Deion Sanders, Ozzie Smith, Joe Frazier and Shaquille O'Neal are just a few of the big-time sporting stars who have made records in the hope of becoming a crossover star. Each failed spectacularly.

Golfers have occasionally tested their golden throats as well, albeit perhaps with tongues planted in cheek. In 1998, Peter Jacobsen, Payne Stewart and Mark Lye put out an album of song parodies under the band name of "Jake Trout and the Flounders."

John Daly, as is his wont, did it all in a much bigger way, releasing a "semi-autobiographical" album called My Life, featuring such tracks as "All My Exes Wear Rolexes" and "I'm Drunk, Damn Broke," which includes the biting lyrics:

I'm drunk, damn broke, ain't got a penny to my name
Most days I sit here talkin' to myself, but I don't remember my name
Coulda been the whiskey, or the gamblin', that put me here today

Of course, it's not just the pros that combined their love of music and sport. Musical duffers have been trying for years to create golf-themed songs that would reverberate with their fellow players, oblivious to the fact that Bing Crosby perfected the genre with the release of "Straight Down the Middle" in 1958.

Canadian Royce Aube is undeterred, however, and continues to doggedly promote his album I Love Golf.

The 51-year-old Miramichi, New Brunswick resident picked up golf in his 30s and later picked up the guitar after a divorce (he cites sharp-witted, gravel-voiced singer-songwriter John Prine as a musical influence).

"I started getting a little knack for playing the guitar, then started to write songs," said Aube. His first, "The Sandbagger Song," was dedicated to a friend who always managed to win the low-net portions of golf tournaments. Aube would play the song to partners and patrons at the bar following a round of golf, usually to positive response.

"That was the first one, and people used to always ask me to play it and ask when I was going to record it," Aube said. "It was a lot of fun and didn't take long, and within the next 10 years I ended up writing 14 more songs."

After hooking up with a friend who had all the necessary recording equipment, Aube hired musicians and over the course of eight months put together the CD. Other songs include "I Like Golf," "Playing in the Fog," "Wild Golfin' Man" and "Whack Oh," which was written for a playing partner who never swore - "So you'd be on the range and all you'd hear from him was 'Whack!' then 'Oh!'" The chorus goes:

Whack oh, whack oh, I hit off that heel again
Whack oh, whack oh, oh Lord I hit her too thin.

Once the songs were completed and in the can, the real battle began for the now-laid-off mill worker.

"Once you do something like that, then comes the marketing," said Aube. "That's where the work is. I sold 500 copies of it [in New Brunswick], but now I'm looking for ways to get the word out about it."

Listen in Royce Aube MP3s
The SandBagger Song
My "A" Game
Slow Play
Crush It
Wild Golfin Man

Aube, who makes an annual pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach for a week of golf with friends, said he hoped to sell the CD in places like the Grand Strand, where everything golf-related has a price tag on it and someone willing to buy it.

"My wife one time bought me a coffee cup that said 'Golfers have different shafts' on it," he said. "But I think this [CD] is more than a cup. It's more than someone stamping a logo on a cup."

While Aube's subject may be too specialized for him to hit the heights reached by fellow Canadians Barenaked Ladies (although their hit "One Week" does have a line about a man shopping for golf clubs), he's far from ready to call it quits on his musical career.

"I stick the CD in the car everyday and sing along with it. It's really catchy," Aube said. "I'm always thinking of writing new songs. I've written a new song about Tiger Woods, a rah-rah song about Tiger. So maybe that will be for the second CD."

For more information

Royce Aube Golf-A-Holic: I Love Golf
Royce Aube
188 Country Club Ave.
Miramichi, N.B.
E1N 4P8
Phone: 506-773-3095
E-mail: royceob@nb.sympatico.ca
Web site: http://www.royceobgolfsongs.com

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Congratulations Royce Aube

    Dolores T. Dinan wrote on: Jul 8, 2017

    Millions of thanks for telling me who you were Royce after dear Dave Bowie's funeral. Now after a busy day I put your name in the computer and what an outstanding man you are I should have asked for your autograph. Just love your singing and would like to buy a CD. Royce Félicitations! Congratulations! Like I said today please come and visit me with your lady friend you were with today. Just call first (622-0111)so I can put out the royal welcome! All the best! Your Grade 2 teacher, Dolores Dinan