At the Gaylord Springs Golf Links in Nashville, Tennessee, the comedian Katt Williams is three hours late to his 10 a.m. tee time. Not that anyone should mind. It’s Friday afternoon. The sky is clear. The green is calm. Even the comedian Mark Curry, the earliest riser among us, is just now renting his clubs for the day. We’re all off to a sleepy start. Until a young woman named Lena Smith—Katt Williams’ longtime stylist—blasts into the apparel shop and starts causing happy commotion. She's snatching golf shoes from the walls and jackets from the racks. Price tags fly. The cashier smiles. Lena Smith warns our photographer: “You never seen black people on a golf course before.”

In Nashville, Williams is on the tenth stop of a hundred-city tour for his latest stand-up comedy special, Conspiracy Theory. On stage, and here at Gaylord Springs, Williams comes accompanied by several friends and peers, including the comedians Red Grant, Ashima Franklin, and Curry, who, tonight, will open for Williams’ headline set.

Williams, 44, says golf is his timeless, standard excuse to assemble his closest confidants. “Golf is a game with morals,” he says. “There’s always an opportunity to be a scoundrel. That’s why it’s a gentleman’s game.”

How congenial for a man whose stage presence is so famously yappy and bellicose. In person, it comes as some surprise that Williams can speak so low and seem so shy. He talks, just not so much about himself, and rather about nature, birds, women, brotherhood, competition, and the score.

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