Michael Graves designs everything from museums, hotels, libraries and embassies to the toasters and blenders that line the aisles of Target stores. The renowned architect, who won the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal last year, also received the National Medal of Arts in 1999 and was one of GQ's 1997 Men of the Year. As president of Michael Graves & Associates, based in Princeton, New Jersey, he works and travels all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S. and never leaves home without his golf clubs.
BEST ROUND: Seventy-nine at Springdale Golf Club in Princeton
BEST SHOT: "A hole in one at Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, California—I still have the ball. From about 180 yards I hit the ball straight at the green and walked off the tee. One of my playing partners said, 'It's going to go in! It's going in!' I looked back, but not in time. I missed my own ace!"
BEST PART OF YOUR GAME: "That depends on the day."
WORST PART OF YOUR GAME: "Long irons. I use a seven-wood or a nine-wood instead."
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN GOLF? "About fifteen years ago I had a girlfriend whose father would come to visit us, and he played all the time. He got me started. The problem is, the girlfriend disappeared and he did, too!"
FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE GAME: "The serenity. In the summertime I'll leave the office at about 6 p.m., play nine holes at Springdale and then go back to work."
FAVORITE PRO: "Tiger Woods. When he was starting to become a public figure, I liked how he answered questions—how careful and considerate he was. I like his intelligence, his grace and discipline and concentration, and of course his amazing skill on the course."
PET PEEVE: "Cell phones. I play in a lot of celebrity events, and there's always somebody who thinks his business is more important than the game. Cell phones should be banned."
DRESS CODE: "For some reason I seem to play better in shorts than in long pants, so I'm always calling ahead, asking, 'Can I wear my Bermudas?'"
TROUBLE SHOT: "At the Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic I found my ball beside an alligator. The gator wasn't moving, so I reached for the ball with my club and scooped it up. I played it as ground under repair. The alligator didn't mind—he was snoozing."
CLUBS: Callaway Big Bertha Hawk Eye VFT driver and Great Big Bertha Hawk Eye irons, Cleveland sand wedge, Scotty Cameron putter
ARE GOLF AND ARCHITECTURE ALIKE? "Architecture is not a game of perfect. There's no right way; you're always practicing. Golf is that way, too. It's like Ben Hogan said: 'I find the more I practice, the luckier I get.' The more you practice architecture, the better you get. As in golf, there's a sort of discipline to it. You have to concentrate and relax at the same time. Architecture and golf—you don't do either of them casually."
LATEST PROJECTS: A new U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, to be completed by 2006, and a commercial project for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. "I've never played in Athens, so I'll probably take my clubs."