San Francisco - Michael Jordan caught smoking on public golf course..

October 7, 2009 - San Francisco is asking basketball superstar Michael Jordan to snuff out the cigars, after he was caught on the front page of The Chronicle's Sporting Green breaking the city's ban on smoking on public golf courses.

The Presidents Cup golf tournament is being held at San Francisco.

City officials sprang into action after seeing the full-color photo Tuesday of the NBA Hall of Famer enjoying a good cigar while teeing off at Harding Park's 14th hole during a Presidents Cup practice round.

In an interview with, Jordan was asked how many cigars he planned to smoke during this week's tournament. "Well," Jordan replied, "that depends, because I heard this is a public place, so they limit what you can smoke. I'm not even supposed to be smoking, but this was a practice round and no one said anything." If he is permitted to smoke, Jordan said, "I would say (it's) a three-cigar round. I would try to keep it at a minimum of three."

And what is the city's response? "You mean about Spare the Air Jordan?" said Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

"I've already sent off an e-mail to the PGA Tour director," Ginsburg said. "It was sort of a gentle nudge reminding them that smoking is illegal and that we would appreciate their support."

Initially, public golf courses were exempt from the city's many smoking bans. However, in 2006, after much debate, the Board of Supervisors narrowly voted to apply the same rules to golf courses as other parks - including the possibility of a $100 fine for violators. "But don't expect me to ask him for it," said city attorney's spokesman Matt Dorsey.

Reference: Michael Jordan caught smoking, Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/7/2009.

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