Living Colour: the characters of Golf

Published 28/07/2008 17:50:29

Golf has gotten by just fine over the years with a stuffy, conservative image, it's a game of the middle classes and will probably forever remain so. Few professional golfers do anything more than play their game and fit in. But where are the characters? The anti-heroes? We take a look at the top plays who've added colour in a sometimes grey game.


John Daly


We could write an article on John Daly quotes alone (in fact we nearly did ). The thing we like about John Daly is his uncompromising attitude, inherent talent and inbuilt ability to self destruct at any moment. Yes, golf's answer to a car crash, big hitting, big drinking John Daly.


But it's not all cheap headlines and cheap hookers for Daly, an immensely talented golfer, Daly had won two majors by the time he was 30, a feat only achieved by a select band of golfers. Fans also love to watch someone let rip, and few did it better than Daly, he claimed the longest drive prize 11 times on the PGA tour.


Why we love Daly: "I believe nicotine plus caffeine equals protein."


tiger woods throwing club Tiger Woods


Sure, a strange pick on the face of it. I mean, Tiger practically is the sport to a lot of people, and certainly does a good job of being ambassador. But let's get even more obvious, Woods is a black man in a sport that has been labelled a "bastion of social conservatism" by some. There's even accusations of racism from a small number in Woods' first golf club in California. Woods the player, brand and person transcend such matters.


Issues of colour aside, Woods seems to be superhuman and getting stronger every year. So confident in his ability, he's rebuilt his swing twice in his professional career and came back to win major honours both times. Then there was his recent US Open victory, practically on one leg, a better display of sporting courage and fortitude you will not see.


Why we love Tiger: "Green and black go well together, don't they?"


Nick Faldo


Hey, anyone who has a go at Colin Montgomerie is ok in our book. Faldo is a mischievous character, his coverage on the BBC is often worth watching if only to see who his next target will be. The important thing here is Faldo had the talent to back up a brash personality.


HIs fellow professionals don't care for him much either "The only time Nick Faldo opens his mouth is to change feet." said David Feherty. Hell, he even had a spat with Our Lord Tiger .


Why we love quite like Nick: "And I’m entitled to my opinion,” he said. “I’ll be right sometimes, and I’ll be wrong sometimes. As long as it’s entertaining and the check hits my bank account once a month, that’s fine by me."


ian poulter terrible hair

Ian Poulter


Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Look up "try hard" in any (English) dictionary and you're sure to find Poutler, probably wearing a pink cardigan or some such. Yes we admire the sentiment, yes you are an individual and a very special flower Ian, but you just don't cut it for us.


We don't dislike Poulter, I'm glad he finished well at the Open and I suppose the whole point we're getting at is to spice up the game and inject some character. "Crazy" hair and terrible clothes do not charisma make.


Why we love Ian: Err, well we don't really. Sorry.


Ben Hogan


One of the best ball strikers of all time, Hogan was a tough competitor who won 9 major titles in all. Hogan's legend was enhanced by surviving a car crash in 1949 which could easily have rendered him immobile. Hogan flourished in the face of adversity, going on to win six more majors. Hogan was in pain throughout the years after the accident, but seldom let it show to onlookers.


Why we love Ben: "I play golf with friends sometimes, but there are never friendly games."


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