Ranking the Best NBA Golfers

NBA players have a not-so-secret love affair with golf. From Michael Jordan to Steph Curry, we ranked the best NBA golfers.

Golfer mid-swing at a tee box with sponsor logos in background
Isaac Brekken

The NBA has a not-so-secret love affair with golf.

The intersection between the two might not immediately seem apparent, but when you really think about it, attributes required to succeed in both basketball and golf – precision, patience, and above all mental fortitude – become strikingly clear. 

So, it makes sense that many hoopers over the years have taken to the links. It’s a vehicle to not only unwind (and maybe enjoy a few drinks), but also to channel their competitive energies into a different arena…without 20,000 fans screaming at them.

That begs the question: When NBA stars swap their sneakers for golf shoes, who’s the best? After consulting a range of online sources, we’ve compiled a ranking of the top NBA players-turned-golfers, featuring both past and present players. (Most of these handicaps are estimates and not precise data points.)

Golfer mid-swing at a tee box with sponsor logos in background

13. Charles Barkley – Handicap: 10

A man swings a golf club on a course; focus on technique rather than attire

12. Dwyane Wade – Handicap: Unknown

Two men on a golf course, one in yellow teaching the other in white how to hold a golf club

11. Jerry West – Handicap: 7.9

Golfer standing with golf cart, wearing a white long-sleeve shirt, gray pants, and glove, ready to play

10. Jason Kidd – Handicap: 6.6

Three athletes in casual sportswear practice golf on a sunny day. No identities provided, sports context inferred

9. Kyle Korver – Handicap: 5

Basketball player holding a ball with focused expression during practice, wearing sports attire

8. JR Smith – Handicap: 5

Golfer mid-swing on a course, dressed in a polo shirt and trousers, focused on the ball

7. Ray Allen – Handicap: 4.8

Golfer in striped shirt and cap smiling on the course, holding a club

6. Vince Carter – Handicap: 4.5

Smiling athlete in a polo shirt and cap on a golf course

5. Michael Jordan – Handicap: 3

Golfer in mid-swing with driver on course, wearing cap, sunglasses, and a fitted shirt

4. Clyde Drexler – Handicap: 2.7

Golfer in action, mid-swing at a golf course

3. Austin Reaves – Handicap: 2

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The 25-year-old Lakers guard, who joined Los Angeles as an undrafted free agent, has emerged as a key piece in the L.A. rotation and was even selected to play on the 2023 U.S. national team in the FIBA World Cup. Quite a glow up. Reaves made headlines last year when he declared himself (and not Curry) as the best golfer in the NBA. “Hey, I’m down to play golf whenever, wherever against anybody,” Reaves said during an appearance on The Lowe Post. “I love golf so much, I’d go play Tiger. Obviously, I don’t have any expectation of winning that one…but I would love to play against Steph.” We want to see that.

2. Steph Curry – Handicap: 2

Athlete in polo shirt kisses trophy at golf course with spectators and mountains in the background

1. Penny Hardaway – Handicap: 1.7

Golfer mid-swing with club, focused expression, wearing a cap, sunglasses, and sporty attire

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