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The Clown Prince of Golf

March 07, 2005
March 07, 2005

Table of Contents
March 7, 2005

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
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The Clown Prince of Golf

When golf nut David Larible (a.k.a. the World's Greatest Circus Clown) hits the links, the funny business is over--sort of

What do golf and clowns have in common? Funny shoes and David Larible, who as the Prince of Laughter is the headline performer in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. He's the only clown in the troupe's 134-year history to be the star attraction and the only clown from any circus to win the Golden Clown, the world's most prestigious award for circus performers. Whenever Larible, 47, gets a break from the serious world of clowning, he heads for the course. "Golf is the perfect release for the stress of circus life," says Larible. His goal: win the annual Ringling Ryder Cup. "I try to make my opponents laugh so they play poorly," he says.

This is an article from the March 7, 2005 issue Original Layout

COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierCOLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierPLAYING FOR PEANUTS On the road, Larible plays with whomever and whenever he can.COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierJUMP SHOT A fellow circus member introduced Larible to the sport in 1981.COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierACT IV Daughter Shirley (left), son David and wife America also perform.TWO COLOR PHOTOSPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierHARD LINE Larible even works a gravity-defying display of putting into his routine on the high wire. COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierBEACH OUTING A 22 handicap, Larible gets in about 80 rounds a year.COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierTRICK SHOT A clown comes across obstacles other golfers don't usually see.COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierSKILL SET The ultratalented Larible speaks five languages and plays seven instruments.COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierTOUGH GAME "I can ruin the show," Larible says. "There's nothing sadder than an unfunny clown."COLOR PHOTOPhotographs by Heinz KluetmeierHOME TRACK Most of the year the Laribles live in a four-bedroom train car.