Jason Gore went from pro-golf journeyman to people’s choice after a pair of stellar rounds gave him a share of the midway lead in the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. His ensuing Sunday meltdown—and the poise with which he handled it—only solidified his newfound fame. He bounced back to win the 84 Lumber Classic a few months later, and he’s had seven top-ten finishes since. When not on Tour, the thirty-three-year-old Van Nuys native relaxes back home in Valencia with his wife, his young son and his longtime pals.
What’s your favorite course in Los Angeles?
Riviera and L.A. Country Club are probably the two best, though it’s tough to argue with the mystique and tradition at Bel-Air. I also like Valencia Country Club. It’s underrated and has some of the best green complexes around. I’m also a fan of Lakeside in Toluca Lake.
Do you play any public golf courses?
I grew up playing Vista Valencia Golf Club. Though just a par sixty-one, it’s a pretty tough little track. And it holds a warm place in my heart: I met most of my friends there as a kid, and my best friends still play there. Every Friday when I’m home I join a weekly skins game that’s been going on since I was seventeen.
Does the L.A. area have a shrine to golf?
Bel-Air’s Swinging Bridge (below). It connects the tenth tee to the tenth green and sits up and over the eighteenth green. Ten is a great par three, and the view up eighteen is awesome.
Where do you and your wife go for a fancy meal?
We have a two-year-old son, so our fine dining has been kept to a minimum lately. But we do enjoy good sushi, and we like to go to Maru Sushi in Valencia.
Do you have a favorite burger joint?
Now we’re talking! I’m an In-N-Out guy. I know it’s become mainstream, but it’s so good. I also love Del Taco.
Where do you like to shop?
My wife, Megan, enjoys the stores on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. They’re little shops with real personality. I’m lucky enough to get most of my clothes for free. But I do have my pants made by J. David’s in Stevenson Ranch. The owner is a great tailor. He made my wedding tux, and it actually made me look good.
Got a favorite beach?
I’ve loved Zuma Beach (above) ever since my days at Pepperdine University. We also like Ventura a lot. Whenever we go up the coast, it’s usually to Pebble Beach. We love it there—we got married right next to the eighteenth green.
How do you unwind?
I love to go into the back room and play my guitar (right). I’m not very good, but when nobody’s around and I can turn up the amp, I become Eddie Van Halen.
Do you have a favorite place to hear music?
We try to go to a few concerts a year. We just saw John Mayer with Ben Folds at the Hollywood Bowl, which, by the way, has sushi and wine. Does it get any more L.A. than that?I guess I really love L.A., on my own terms.