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Jaxson de Ville

Jaxson on signature hole 16 at the 1st Annual Bermuda Golf Classic (photo: D'Lamina Photography)

Jaxson on signature hole 16 at the 1st Annual Bermuda Golf Classic (photo: D’Lamina Photography)

Jaxson Takes MVP Honors at 1st Annual NFL Bermuda Golf Classic

It’s no secret golf can be a frustrating sport, and that’s just for a normal person. Try being nearly 7ft tall, 403lbs and wearing a size 24 shoe and hitting the links. (To put it in perspective, Shaquille O’Neil only wears a size 22 shoe.)

Twenty seasons in the NFL as the self-proclaimed best mascot in sports, Jaxson de Ville (Curtis Dvorak) recently played just his second full round of golf (18 holes) and first tournament – and he came in 3rd. Flying all the way to Bermuda at Port Royal Golf Course to play in the 1st Annual NFL Bermuda Golf Classic with his Nike Woods driver TaylorMade irons and putters, Jaxson shot a 78 (+7) coming in behind Lawrence Taylor (LT) and Billy Joe Tolliver.

The retired Taylor and Tolliver battled it out in a sudden death round on signature hole 16 (Jaxson’s favorite hole), with LT snagging first place after out-putting Tolliver. Jaxson snagged MVP honors, which is no surprise to Jaguar fans, but his exceptional golf game may be a surprise to some.

Jaxson has been playing golf since he was five and appearances at golf tournaments over the last 20 seasons have been a regular part of his job – that’s a lot of practice for the cat.

Jaxson attributes his third place standing at the Bermuda Golf Classic to having to arbitrarily guess

Jaxson playing caddy for Lawrence Taylor, who won the Bermuda Golf Classic (photo: D'Lamina Photography)

Jaxson playing caddy for Lawrence Taylor, who won the Bermuda Golf Classic (photo: D’Lamina Photography)

his handicap. “I just started hitting balls and always speculated what I thought I could shoot in costume,” Jaxson says. “I didn’t know what my handicap was because I hadn’t played a round in costume so we said lets go with 8 because that seems like a fair handicap.”

His handicap wasn’t the only thing unexpected about his first tournament in costume. “We didn’t know if I’d need to take a break or how much water I’d need,” he says noting he took a small break and probably (like most) didn’t get enough water. “I definitely didn’t get enough Gatorade because I faded the last 5 holes – I ended up bogeying my last 4 out of 5,” he admits.

MVP honors weren’t enough for Jaxson (unlike his recent 1st place winnings) – next year he’s coming back for the real deal. But maybe with different shoes.

“I wore the mascot feet instead of golf shoes because I thought it would make for better pictures, but it’s a lot more difficult,” Jaxson laughs. “It really only hurt in the bunkers – my feet would slide – it was like standing on two soft platters. It hurt my game on a couple shots,” he says.

“I wish I would have been in LT and Billy’s group – with five holes to play I was 3 over at the time and they shot 4 over to tie, so I would have been right there within a stroke of them,” he recalls. “I figured Billy Joe and LT were shooting 70 or 60,” which likely would have put him out of the running he says. Knowing he was so close to winning the first-ever Bermuda Golf Classic, Jaxson is already practicing for next year.

Since LT came out the winner, Jaxson undoubtedly wants a chance to face off against him at the next tournament. As for players he hopes to see in Bermuda next year, he’s personally inviting two Jags players. “I definitely want Blake Bortles here because he wanted to come this year but his schedule conflicted, and of course Scobee because any chance I get to play Scobee in the same tournament is good. He got me in the last tournament we were in together,” Jaxson says looking for payback.

“ I definitely will be working on it leading up to it (next year’s tournament). That’s why I wanted to win the first one because I knew there were only a handful of guys with the handicap as far as the gross. The net balances everything out, but I wanted to win the gross because next year there’s going to be a lot of good golfers out here because guys are going to hear about it,” he says.

Another obvious disadvantage to playing in costume is not being able to see your ball after you drive, which luckily didn’t affect Jaxson’s game too much thanks to an extra set of local eyes. “They gave me a guy named Chris from the club (‘Big Chris’) to ride around with – he was definitely the MVP. He was my eyes and had knowledge reading the greens, so he definitely helped me,” Jaxson says.

Just like a mascot to grab EVERYONE'S attention (photo: D'Lamina Photography)

Just like a mascot to grab EVERYONE’S attention (photo: D’Lamina Photography)

As for the week in Bermuda, Jaxson says, “It was fun to see a lot of guys you haven’t seen in awhile” – like Fred Taylor, Marcus Stroud, Doug Jones and a bunch of the other guys he spent time with.

“I’m learning things for next time like packing the cart with bananas, Gatorade, and power bars,” he says. And it’s undecided what kind of shoes he’ll wear. Next year’s tournament is slated for April 13 – 17th.