Stephen Curry may be the best shooter in the world. Although he has evolved into one of the NBA's top ball-handlers and passers as well, his marksmanship from long range is still his trademark.
Curry's touch from deep goes extends to golf. In fact, he is so good with a club, his father says Stephen could play professional golf.
"He really could," says Dell, who played 16 NBA seasons as a guard/forward. "When we play, he hits balls and we go out and it's three summers in a row he's put up scores in the 60s.
"If Steph got a golf coach and practiced and put in the time like he does in basketball, he could play. He's really good. He's that good. He doesn't miss a lot of shots, and when he does, he can recover. He thinks he can make any putt he stands over."
This trigger-happy mentality translates from Stephen's basketball style. Curry takes shots from an array of spots on the court. His 412 three-point attempts were second in the league as of Feb. 24 (Wesley Matthews took 413 threes in three more games played). As with golf, Curry backs up his shot selection with success. His average of 3.2 three-pointers made to game led the NBA as of Feb. 24 (Kyle Korver was second with 3.1 per game).
Stephen, who played three years of high school golf, beats his dad "consistently," even though Dell has been playing for a much longer.
"I do broadcasting for the Hornets, so I'm off all summer," Dell, who does color commentary in his hometown of Charlotte, says. "He's got a wife, a young kid, and I play a lot more than he does. It doesn't matter. We can both drive it a long way, but his short game and his putting is just really good. He's got soft hands and creativity."
Last week, Golf Digest reported Curry has been a scratch golfer, although, he is currently closer to a 5 in handicap. Any handicap hovering around scratch should be considered successful for a man who devotes the vast majority of his time to a contact sport.
Curry has become a familiar face at the American Century Championship, an annual charity celebrity golf tournament hosted at Edgewood Tahoe South. In 2013, Curry entered the final round with the lead, but dropped to fourth place, giving way for Billy Joe Tolliver to win the tournament. He also finished 28th in 2010 and 13th in 2014.
The NBC-broadcasted event is a good way for fans to get an idea of Curry's swing:
Golf swing guru Hank Haney is known by some NBA fans for his work with Charles Barkley. As part of the Golf Channel's "The Haney Project," Haney worked with Barkley for an extended period of time to improve his golf swing. When working with Curry, Haney could instruct at a more advanced level:
Haney also taught Tiger Woods for a time. Currently, it is unclear which of Haney's students, Curry or Woods would win if pitted against each other. Woods is currently taking a leave of absence from the PGA Tour while dealing with back injuries.
"Right now, Tiger's struggling a bit," Dell says with a laugh. "He's got to get them glutes firing again."
During the offseason, golf is clearly a staple of the Curry family. North Carolina and the Bay Area are both rich with golf courses. The game is used for fun and excuse purposes.
"We actually use each other to play golf," Dell says. "I got to play with my son. I got to go play with my dad."
The Curry household appears to have some similarities to an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Stephen gets to play golf, although, he has to clear it with his wife, Ayesha.
"I'm OK with it," she says. "But there's a limit. I think he would live on the golf course if he could."
For the time being, Curry is still living on the basketball court. His 23.6 points, 7.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game and the Warriors' 43-10 record make him a prime MVP candidate. Curry was the leading vote-getter for this year's All-Star Game. He won the three-point contest, although he lost the Degree Battle of the Game Changers to John Wall.
— Bettinardi Golf (@BettinardiGolf) February 15, 2015
One thing going for Curry's golf game is age. Although his basketball career will come to an end, likely some time in his 30s, golfers can compete at older ages. Phil Mickelson is still competing at 44. Darren Clarke won the Open Championship one month before his 43rd birthday in 2011. Tom Watson went to a playoff at the Open Championship at age 59 in 2009.
Maybe a professional tour looms in Curry's extended future.
"Someone told me he might want to go onto the golf circuit," says Sonya Curry, Stephen's mother. "I'm trying to start something."
If Curry can potentially angle his golf shots with the same precision he shoots the basketball, there is reason to believe two sports could be in his plans. The PGA Tour better be on its heels.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.