Golfmagic catches up with Parnevik

Eccentric Swede chats injury, career... and Gangnam

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By Mike Smyth on Fri, 22 Feb 2013 - 03:02

Golfmagic bumped into Jesper Parnevik at the recent PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, where we discussed the possibility of the Swede one day becoming Europe's Ryder Cup captain.

Later that evening, we sat down for a beer with the Cobra Puma newboy and had a more in-depth discussion about his career, his new equipment and... err... Gangnam Style. 

Here’s what the 47-year-old had to say...

Jesper, it’s obviously been a tough ride for you off the course with injury in recent years. How’s your health right now?

I’ve been injured a lot in the last decade, particularly over the last four years, but things are great right now. I’ve had surgery on my hip, a herniated disc in my back and cut my finger off last year on a boat when my hand got caught in a winch.


It's okay, because right now I feel as good as I have ever felt in the last five years. Everything feels good heading into the new season. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing competitive golf again.

What is the earliest golf memory you have as a kid growing up in Sweden?

It was difficult growing up in Sweden because golf wasn’t really happening. I was about the only kid in my community that really played and had an interest in it. I even brought a golf club to ‘show and tell’ one day at school. No one knew much about it.

My dad, Bo, was in the entertainment business and I managed to watch some tournaments with him. My biggest idols were Gary Player and then Seve Ballesteros who just had so much energy. He got me into the game. His aura was special.

How pleased are you to have signed a new deal with Cobra Puma?

I’ve been looking for a new brand for a while and I am very happy to be a part of the Cobra Puma team.

I tried other clothing brands but Puma was just the right fit. The company is colourful, energetic and fun and that appealed to me. Puma is probably the hottest clothing brand in golf right now - and it's not afraid to do things a little differently.

What Cobra bats are in the bag this season?

I’ve got the Cobra AMP Cell Pro driver in silver and 7.5-degrees, Cobra AMP Cell silver fairways, AMP forged irons and Trusty Rusty wedges, which I love.

What are the goals for 2013?

To stay healthy and to gain full-time status on the PGA Tour once again having been injured for so many years. It will be tough with a limited amount of starts but I will do my best. I feel like I am playing some good golf right now.

Was there a reason for the flipped up cap back in the day?

That actually happened by accident. When I flipped it up, I actually started putting better as the rim of the cap was out of my eyeline.

I played for the first time with the cap like that in Majorca on the European Tour with Seve and it just caught on. The crowd seemed to appreciate it and it stuck with me for much of my career.

If you could hit one shot again, what would it be?

It would probably have to be my approach to the 18th at Turnberry in the final round of the 1994 Open.

I thought I needed a birdie to win and I went for pin, which was tucked way left, and it ended up five-feet short of the green and in rough. I couldn’t get up and down and made bogey and it cost me. Nick Price played great on the final few holes and I missed out on a play-off by a shot.

In the light of your new-found singing career has Simon Cowell been in touch?

Not yet, I am waiting for X-Factor to call. We had a lot of fun with our Gangnam style video for a birthday party for a friend and we called up some of the golfers in the area to join in, including Dustin Johnson and Fredrik Jacobson. It was a good laugh and I think everyone enjoyed it.

How many takes?

One. [Laughs]

And finally Jesper, here are some quick-fire questions. Best gig you’ve been to? Pink Floyd all around the world and Swedish House Mafia in Miami last year.

Best buddy on Tour? Tim Herron.

Favourite European Tour stop? Stockholm.

Favourite PGA Tour stop? Hawaii.

Favourite tipple? Red wine.

Favourite colour? I’ve won a lot of tournaments in pink pants, so I’d have to say that.

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