Darius Rucker Hosts ACM Golf Classic, Talks Surprise No. 1 Single: 'I'm a Risk Taker'

ACM Golf Classic
Jake Owen, Scotty McCreery, Brett Eldredge, Charles Kelley and Rucker (Getty Images for ACM)

Darius Rucker laced up his golf shoes on Saturday morning to host the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic, held at TPC Las Vegas.

Rucker marveled at the day's picturesque weather during a quick chat with Billboard -- "I don't think you could ask for any better." He was also glad to be working with Lifting Lives again. "This is such a great cause," he said. "I've got to do some things with those guys. They do such great work, and I'm honored to work with them."

It's not his first time working with Lifting Lives. In 2011, on the Academy of Country Music Awards telecast, he performed the original song "Music From the Heart" with campers from the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp, to bring awareness about those with developmental disabilities.

Rucker also praised the Academy of Country Music for the weekend series of events they have scheduled that allows the artists to interact with the fans. "Anytime you come to Vegas, you know it's going to be a party. The ACM's do that rather well, and they always managed to include the fans, who have always been big in country music. I love being part of it."

How is Rucker's game? He's just "ok," he says. "I play a lot, but I should be a lot better. It's all about fun, coming out here and seeing my buddies like Jake Owen and all the guys that come out to play. It's about that and raising money for a good cause."

The tournament comes on the heels of his latest single, "Wagon Wheel," hitting the top of the Hot Country Songs chart. The decision to release the Bob Dylan / Old Crow Medicine Show track as a single might have taken some by surprise, but it's one that the singer stands by.

"I'm obviously a risk taker. I left Hootie & The Blowfish to come and play country music, so I'm ok with risks. But, I just loved the song. I just thought it would be a great song to cut. I think the Old Crow Medicine Show guys are very happy about it, and that's all that matters to me."

The track appears on his "True Believers" album, set for a May 21 release. It's his first album since 2010's "Charleston, SC 1966." 

In addition to Rucker and Owen, Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley, Scotty McCreery, and Brett Eldredge also participated at the golf tourney.