"I'm not a good golfer," the multi-platinum singer tells Tonic. Nevertheless, his performance on the links helped raise $300,000 for charities just last weekend.
Nick Lachey knows a thing or two about raising money for charity. The multi-platinum singer and his longtime buddy, NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson, teamed up for their 3rd annual Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic this past weekend, raising close to $300,000 for twenty different charities altogether.
"We had a great time," Lachey tells Tonic. "We raised a lot of money for a myriad of charities, so it was a very successful weekend."
When it comes to swinging a golf club, though, the good-natured Lachey admits he's not as great on the green as he would like to be. On Friday, Lachey teamed up on the links with his brother, fellow 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey, and 2010 NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, raising $32,000 for the Haitian relief efforts through his charity, The Nick Lachey Foundation.
"All thanks to Jerry," says Nick. "He was definitely the ringer of our group. I'm sure my brother and I both embarrassed ourselves badly in his company. Jerry is nearly a scratch golfer so I'd say he was probably one of the best players out there. I'm certainly at the back of the pack, if not the furthest back on the pack. I'm not a good golfer whatsoever."
Did his longtime pal, Rice, have anything to say about Lachey's performance on the course? "There were no words to describe my playing," Lachey jokes. "He just laughed."
The two-day charity event began Thursday night with the Super Skins Kick-Off Party at Hotel 944 at the Eden Roc Renaissance in Miami Beach, which featured a special performance by Snoop Dogg. "Snoop did a great job. He is one of the classic performers of my generation, so it was great to have him," says Lachey, who hung out with his longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Minillo, Johnson, the four-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. "We had a blast."
On Friday, Lachey hosted the Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic at The Biltmore Golf Club in Coral Gables, Fla. The golf tournament challenges celebrities to win individual holes in a "team-skins" format. Each hole had a designated monetary value. The celebrity team who won the hole got to donate their winnings to the charity of their choice. "That gives the players — who so graciously give their time — a feeling of satisfaction of knowing that if they win a skin, they will be able to dedicate that money to a cause that's near and dear to them," says Lachey.
‘NSync star Joey Fatone played for the Fatone Family Foundation; Drew Lachey for Autism Speaks; the Miami Dolphins Jason Taylor for the Jason Taylor Foundation; NFL receiving great Tim Brown for the Tim Brown Foundation; Fox Sports Net analyst Jason Sehorn for Sehorn's Corner; former Miami Dolphin Rob Konrad for the Miami Dolphins Foundation; Josh Johnson for Boys & Girls Club-Miami Dade; New York Jets' kicker Jay Feely for the Muscular Dystrophy Association; Pro Football Hall of Famer Will Allen for the Will Allen Foundation; professional poker player Greg Raymer for Safe Haven for Cats; Creed drummer Scott Phillips for the Lewy Body Dementia Association; ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit for the Kirk Herbstreit Foundation; Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen for All Stars Helping Kids; and the Atlanta Falcons' Chris Redman and Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan for Global Outreach Ministries. In addition, one "skin" worth $15,000 was donated to the Clinton Bush Haiti Relief Fund.
Lachey is grateful to all the celebrities and sports icons who showed up to help others. "Jerry Rice has been at the event all three years," says Lachey. "For all his success, he couldn't be a more gracious human being. He's a really great guy and has done a lot for me in putting this charity together for the last three years."
Lachey, who is known for his generous spirit and for being an all-around good guy, says he and his team work so hard for charity because "we just feel like we're all so blessed and it's a great opportunity to do something and have good things come from it and raise awareness about different charities."
He adds that he was happy that lots of the players helped raise money for earthquake victims in Haiti, as well as other kinds of charities: "It's in the forefront of everyone's minds, but all the other problems are still out there as well."
Even though he's a diehard Cincinatti Bengals fan, Lachey was rooting for the New Orleans Saints, who became Super Bowl champions for the first time ever on Sunday night. "I was definitely pulling for the Saints," says Lachey, who watched the game with family and friends at a private party in Miami. "It's one of my favorite cities and certainly I think that the victory meant so much to that city, and is a great source of pride for them."
As for his golf game, Lachey — who often plays in charity tournaments that Rice, Marcus Allen and others host -— says he's going to try to improve his handicap this year. (He thinks it's a mere 20, but says his handicap is "debatable"). "It's always my resolution to 'finally get good at golf this year,' and we'll see if it happens this year," he says.
At least he can always play in his own tournament, he says, laughing. "Since I'm the host of this tournament, they can't kick out the host," he jokes. "That's the only reason they let me play!"
Photos courtesy Kevin Mazur/Wire Image