The Death Metal Pioneer Who Had A Second Life As A Golf Instructor

Lilrizz, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons Michal Žilinský, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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In the context of their lifestyles and reputations from back in the day, more than a few former professional headbangers have taken up some unexpected careers after leaving music. Former Faith No More axeman Jim Martin is a world-renowned pumpkin farmer. When extreme metal legend Wagner Lamounier dissolved Sarcófago in 2000, he got a phD and became a professor in applied statistics and economics at  Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Steve “Mugger” Corbin from notorious Black Flag offshoot the Nig-Heist became a tech millionaire.

In the pantheon of musicians with jobs that seem to come out of left field, one great example is that of Bob Rusay. After getting kicked out of the band in 1993, the founding Cannibal Corpse guitarist  became a golf teacher in Arizona!

As reported by Metal Injection in 2013, Rusay didn’t mention the name of the band he was in on his profile, but talked about their three albums and their tours over North America and Europe.

“In junior high school I had discovered ‘music’ and the power and exhilaration of a live performance. Shortly after reaching high school, I was playing in a band and by graduation time I had signed with a major recording label and we were on our way.

“In the course of eight years, we had put together three full-length albums and toured the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Canada several times and were featured in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

Although golf had been a part of Rusay’s life as a child, he stepped away from the sport when metal became the dominant force in his life in high school. He played guitar in a band called Satan’s Angel in 1985, who reformed as Tirant Sin after the lead singer quit.

When Tirant Sin broke up in 1988, Rusay teamed up with former bandmates Chris Barnes and Paul Mazurkiewicz as well as bassist Alex Webster and guitarist Jack Owen to start Cannibal Corpse. The rest was history. 

Rusay played in Cannibal Corpse on their first three albums and toured the world with the band over the course of his 8-year tenure. He was fired in 1993 due to a lack of technical progression on his part. Fellow founder Chris Barnes later said that Rusay was “100% the most underrated contribution to that band that there ever was.”

After his dismissal, the guitarist married Julie Christine Hammond and had two children. With his family’s encouragement, Rusay reignited his childhood passion for golf and began a career as an instructor, receiving his teaching certification from the United States Golf Teachers Federation before joining Western Skies Golf Club in Gilberg, Arizona.