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The Beastie Boys Are Not Golfers Photo by Jake Chessum
The Beastie Boys Are Not Golfers Photo by Jake Chessum

Jake Chessum still remembers them playing with the props and wigs. It was 1994, the day after the Beastie Boys shot the “Sabotage” music video, and Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock were hanging at Mike’s house in L.A.

Chessum was a photog-rapher for London-based The Face magazine, which had become trendy in the States. Despite being just three years out of college, and with no formal photography training, he was about to add the Beastie Boys to a profile list that, over a 30-plus-year career, now includes subjects from U.S. presidents to Ice Cube.

He checked into the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, where he promptly walked into Lou Diamond Phillips’ wedding. When he reached the Beasties’ compound, both parties barely knew what they were doing. Chessum had no real plan for the shoot, and the subjects (real names: Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz) certainly didn’t. 

“They asked me what to do,” says Chessum. “I said, ‘I don’t know, fuck about?’ So they started hitting fruit with golf clubs.”And that’s how the Beastie Boys took some of their only swings on camera. Technique aside, their contributions to golf culture are nothing to snicker at. For part of the promotion for 1994’s Ill Communication album, the Boys offered a sleeve of balls, each emblazoned with a group member’s face. Their willingness to fuse traditional golf attire with skate-streetwear fashion throughout their career paved the way for Grammy winner Tyler, the Creator’s successful GOLF line. And, based on his rhymes on “B-Boys Makin’ With the Freak Freak” and that follow-through, we strongly suggest Mike D play more often. 

“B-Boys Makin’ With the Freak Freak” (partial)

ILL COMMUNICATION (1994)

Well, I might seem out there, a little deranged

I’ve got to cool off, catch me on the driving range

Well I’m the ladies’ choice like I was J.J. Evans

Legalize the weed and I’ll say thank heavens

I’m talking PGA Pro Tour II

I’m Doctor Beepers on the TV, in my golfing shoes

Pass me an iron and I’ll bust a chip shot

Then you throw me off the green because I’m strictly hip-hop

I’ll grab the tee, I’ll tee off

I’ll grab my golf clubs and I’m off, I’m Audi, so check me

I’ve got the Timbos on my toes when I’m on the green

I’ve got the custom-made boots with the spikey things

I’m working on my driving cause I’m going pro

I’ve got the funky fly golf gear from head to toe

Yeah, the B-Boys makin’ with the freak freak cause it’s unique unique

Mario’s calling Nonni’s about the pesto pizza

And then he’s on a mission and he’s checking for peacha