They didn’t believe he could win his rematch with Steve Stoute. God did. Boardroom caught up with the blessed party rocker to hear why he’s taking over another club.
“My eight iron is like a magic wand,” DJ Khaled tells Boardroom. “I can win a whole game with a driver, an 8-iron, and a putter.”
Hours after turning the record industry rivalry into a tie and the morning after ordering the finest food Gekkō has to offer, he’s supposed to talk with Boardroom about the big win and even bigger celebration.
The only problem? He’s busy, he’s golfing.
Hitting the greens with Hall of Fame receiver Chris Carter and his main man Michael from Boston, the country clubs of South Florida now have a new resident regular rounding the links at all times.
“Golf is my life,” Khaled says the next morning after finishing a cappuccino and planning his next nine. “I love golf.”
Catching up with 305 noise-maker, learn why the quiet calm of the course has become more than just a hobby between album runs but a new passion that centers him as a father, philanthropist, and competitor.
Not New to This
In the last two decades, DJ Khaled has gone from the background of the “Lean Back” music video to touring with Beyonce.
He’s the only producer who can consistently get Hov to turn in a feature and the only celebrity who wears fame like a halo and not a brace.
Entertaining an audience of 34 million Instagram followers every day that ends in ‘y,’ photos of his family, meetings with moguls, and big box shipments from Jordan Brand have painted the picture that Khaled’s life is more loaded with love and filled with fun than most can conceive.
Talk to him for five minutes and you’ll learn as much.
“I’m for the people,” says Khaled. “I come from a place of love and positivity. I come from a place of being great. When the greats win? We celebrate.”
That celebration is more than just award wins or birthday bashes; it’s the little things in life like seeing his son draw a lion or watching a friend get their flowers.
However, the celebration Khaled is talking about in this quote is the Sunday night seafood spread that served as the cherry on top of taking down Steve Stoute in the game of golf.
As alluded to, golf is not just a new hobby for the ‘gram — it’s his life.
“It becomes addicting,” Khaled says. “After that? You have to make a decision: Do you want to be great at it?”
If you know anything about Khaled, you know what his decision was.
While anyone tuned into his feed knows how golf is going for the Def Jam exec, few may know how it started.
“I’ve been playing for two years consistently,” begins Khaled. “When I was a teenager, my friends used to live in the back of a golf course. I used to mess around with the golf carts and hit the driving range, but I knew I loved it.”
For the better part of the ’80s and ’90s, Khaled’s life looked much more like Juice and much less like Tin Cup. His unrelenting dedication to breaking into the music industry by his 20s and sitting atop of it by his 30s left little room for early morning tee times or swing lessons.
Once he had his first child at the age of 40, his shift in priorities and attention to a forgotten love began to surface.
“When God blessed me to be a father? These were some of the things I wanted to do once my kids were born,” Khaled says. “To eventually get them lessons to play golf and for me to go full-time mode in golf.”
As Ashad hits the driving range with his proud pops and Aalam just joined the action, golf will be the platform to connect with his kids and the great outdoors for years to come.
For the month at hand, however, his obsession with the game is turning to the same spirit he used to bring to soundclashes. Heading into April 30, it’s all about besting his friend-turned-rival in The Trilogy.
“You’ve gotta understand, Steve Stoute is used to playing mind tricks,” says Khaled. “It can’t work over here.”
No More Games
Mark Wahlberg, P Diddy, and Mr. Morgan are all capable of having the time of their lives when playing golf with DJ Khaled.
His longtime friend and Miami Beach neighbor, Steve Stoute, is not.
“When you play golf with Khaled, it’s fun, it’s love, and it’s pure,” Khaled says. “We go out there and be ourselves and we have a good time. Of course, Steve loves me and he’s my brother. But when he’s being competitive? I don’t know about him. I don’t know who that guy is.”
Back in January, the two titans of businesses and hip-hop went head-to-head in an outing in South Florida. Upping the ante on the competition, the two put a bag of $200,000 on the round with all money going to charity and all footage featured on Instagram.
When all was said and done in Round 1, Stoute served Khaled with the money making its way to the Robin Hood Foundation.
“I beat him by seven holes,” Stoute told Boardroom. “It was over by the 14th hole.”
When it came time for the rematch — of which Khaled won and danced on the greens — a rivalry had been built and an at-home audience became engaged.
“My fans are telling me that my matches are bigger than The Masters,” says Khaled. “The biggest in the game have congratulated me.”
Setting the stage for The Trilogy, Khaled has made himself a magnet in a new field while adding an accessible layer to the competitive nature that drives the best in business. The rivalry has caused a slight riff with a longtime friend and new neighbor, but it’s also provided plenty of entertainment for everyone tuning in at home.
“I keep telling Steve, ‘I just want to play golf with you for fun!’ Because he’s missing out on a lot of golf games that I’m playing with my brothers and sisters for fun,” says Khaled. “He won’t come out and play because we’re in this match. Once I win The Trilogy with God’s blessings and His glory? We can finally play for fun afterward.”
Until then, Khaled is playing golf. Constantly.
“My drive game is incredible,” Khaled says. “I can hit my 8-iron like a 4-iron, a wedge, or just to be safe. It’s my go-to club. That’s the club I used to hit golf balls in my backyard into the ocean.”
The same confidence that made him overachieve the expectations of “they” in music makes him a candidate to turn golf into his new platform for family, friendship, content, and business.
“I knew I had the passion and I knew I was a natural,” says Khaled. “But anything you want to be good at you have to put work in. That’s what I love about golf; it’s not easy. Golf is like life: It’s not easy, but it’s beautiful.”
Though Khaled came up messing around on a cart as a kid and eventually earning enough coin to play at any course in the world, the global ambassador for both winning and positivity is keen on growing the game in the most inclusive way possible.
“Golf is for everybody,” Khaled says. “I’m encouraging the young world out there to check it out. When I was a young kid, I played basketball, football, and soccer. I messed around with golf and I think it’s a great sport to add to all the other sports you love.”
For the time being, Khaled will continue to golf around the clock whether with his kids, All-Pro athletes, or his good friend, Steve Stoute.
A win in Round 3 of The Trilogy would mean much more than bragging rights, it would mean another bag for the We the Best Foundation. It’s a fresh take on the centuries-old sport from Scotland with a Miami flavor only Khaled could provide.
“I want these matches to inspire everybody out there to do more like this,” closes Khaled. “To come together and do things for charity, but at the same time inspire and motivate. Find things that you love that make you happy, and that’s what golf is doing for me.”
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