JANET'S JAM SESSION Her embattled brother may no longer put in the, er, odd appearance at Las Vegas's Shadow Creek, but recording artist/wardrobe-malfunction victim Janet Jackson could be appearing soon at a course near you, dress code or no dress code. Until her 2001 divorce from Rene Elizondo, Jackson had taken lessons at Southern California's the Farms Golf Club, the home course of Elizondo and such high-profile members as Michael Jordan. Jackson owes her renewed interest in playing to her producer, Jimmy Jam, who recently joined Sherwood Country Club and, according to one observer, is "a golf addict. He has the funkiest left-hand swing in the world, but his enthusiasm is contagious." Jam and Jackson aren't a regular twosome, but Jam did manage to team up at Tiger Woods's pro-am tournament last December with Branford Marsalis, San Jose Sharks co-owner Boots Del Biaggio and New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg to finish a fairly respectable fourth.
TEE AND TACKLE Making the Pro Bowl isn't the only way for NFL stars to get a ticket to Hawaii. The seventh annual Kona Marlin and Golf Tournament (April 16-20) attracts gridiron greats both past and present as well as fans who want to compete with them on Waikoloa's Kings' and Beach courses, fish for enormous marlin, and indulge in luaus, hulas and sundry social activities. Past participants have included Jeff Garcia, Rich Gannon, Jim McMahon, Jim Plunkett and LaDainian Tomlinson, among scores of other players. New invitees this year included legend-still-in-the-making Peyton Manning. "This isn't some celebrity pro-am," says organizer John Herkenrath. "It's four days of up-close contact with a little friendly competition thrown in."
BALL MARKER Actor Mark Wahlberg's frequent guest rounds at Riviera Country Club have sparked speculation that he might try to join. The thirty-two-year-old star of Boogie Nights and The Italian Job (and former leader of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, if you're of a certain age) has gotten so serious about his game that he told a German magazine in November he's "switched the disco club for the country club. Today I'd much rather play golf than go dancing." Wahlberg currently plays to a nine out of Wilshire Country Club—where he recently won the member-member high-low tournament. A membership at Riviera, however, would confirm Wahlberg's place among Hollywood's serious players.