Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The 25 Coolest Golfer of All-Time
GQ recently came out with an issue of the 25 coolest athletes of all-time. It brought up a good point ... what about just golfers? Normally "golfers" and "cool" aren't in the same breath, but what if for a second we focused on just the cool ones? Here goes ...
1.) Arnold Palmer -- He made the GQ list, and he's making this one as well. The King is so cool, he made a drink combining lemonade and iced tea as popular as Diet Coke to golfers. That's impressive. I also once heard a story about Palmer at Augusta National that I can't repeat, but moved him quickly up this list.
2.) Fred Couples -- The guy made tennis shoes on the golf course without socks cool. Need I say more? Also, he might be the only man alive that both a mother and a daughter want to sleep with. True story.
3.) Ben Hogan -- The guy is so cool, he nearly ended his career early because he was saving his wife during a car accident with a Greyhound bus. The wreck nearly ended his life, but didn't end his career. He went on to claim nine majors over his career, and always did it with style.
4.) Tommy Armour III -- He is infamously cool, like one of those old actors back before the Internet that spent eight nights a week drinking expensive cocktails with pretty women and seven mornings a week making birdies. He has more friends in Hollywood than most executives, and still has charm at age 51.
5.) Miguel Angel Jimenez -- I will never put a man out of the top five that smokes cigars on the golf course, during some of the biggest events in the world. Miguel drives fast cars, drinks wine after rounds, and seems to enjoy life more than 99.999 percent of all living people. Also, the haircut doesn't hurt.
6.) Walter Hagen -- He had style, he had pizzazz, and he took golf to a whole other level. Gene Sarazen once said of Hagen, "All the professionals ... should say a silent thanks to Walter Hagen each time they stretch a check between their fingers. It was Walter who made professional golf what it is."
7. ) Dustin Johnson -- The guy just walks around with swag for days, and that translates into cool. How cool is DJ? After he lost his chance at a major championship because of a weird rules violation, he took a shower, and then answered the questions like he'd just lost an auction for a new umbrella holder.
8.) Lee Trevino -- Comedy can be cool if you play it the right way, and Trevino did just that. This is a man that used to play money games without any money in his pockets, and once tossed a rubber snake at THE Jack Nicklaus before a U.S. Open playoff. Now that's a cool move.
9.) Retief Goosen -- His demeanor is so cool, he got sponsored by Grey Goose and it didn't even seem goofy. Retief missed a short putt to win his first U.S. Open, took about two seconds to put himself back together, and then went out and won the damn thing the next day in a playoff.
10.) Greg Norman -- Sure, he choked at times during major championships, but the hair, the look, the accent and the business sense made Norman one of the few golfers to transition over to celebrity status in the '90s.
11.) Darren Clarke -- A timeless character that doesn't seem to have an enemy in the golf world, Clarke seems to play the game like most of us wish we could. He doesn't get bothered, doesn't get mad, and obviously can handle any situation. Also, he smokes cigars. Bonus points.
12.) Chi Chi Rodriguez -- Not only did he have the swagger and that sword thing, but the story goes, Chi Chi could hit two balls on the range, one with a hook and one with a slice, and every thousand ballls or so they'd collide in midair. Got my vote.
13.) Will MacKenzie -- He has that surfer/skateboarder/gnarly, bro mentality that not many golfers can pull off. Seems like the type of dude that could wear some ridiculous hat to the bar with you, and would be the only person in that place that could pull it off.
14.) Jack Nicklaus -- He won 18 majors. That's pretty cool. Also, won the last of his majors with these pants on.
15.) Ernie Els -- He's The Big Easy. He's won two U.S. Opens and a British. He owns his own winery. His golf swing looks like he's trying to replace a butterfly to another branch. Seems cool enough for me.
16.) Rickie Fowler -- While I hear he can be rather boring in person, the demeanor he carries on the golf course defines cool. He has that look, he has the golf game, and he has the style.
17.) Adam Scott -- Guy exudes class, has model looks, and enjoys surfing.
18.) Seve Ballesteros -- He was one of those guys that had the flowing hair, the look, the creativity on the golf course, and the jokes after. He always seemed like the coolest guy at a golf tournament when he played, and always brought the goods, no matter the lie.
19.) Geoff Ogilvy -- Never seems to get bothered on the golf course, has a golf swing that is so smooth it hurts, and has a simple style that fits him well. Also, if you haven't noticed, Australians tend to be cooler than most people.
20.) Gary Player -- Always had an untouchableness about him that seemed unique and interesting. Player wore the black, did a million push-ups a day, and is probably still stronger than all of us and he's 75.
21.) Jimmy Demaret -- This is from his Wikipedia page, in case you were wondering why he's on the list; "Demaret was known for his flamboyant personality, which he enhanced by wearing bright-colored clothing during tournaments; he had his clothes specially made, and became a fan favorite. Demaret had a very good baritone voice and talent as a comedian; he frequently entertained at nightclubs at Tour stops." Nice.
22.) Ben Crenshaw -- He had style, he won tournaments, and he made one of the most famous, and gutsy, speeches in the history of the game at Brookline in 1999 when he told the world the Americans were about to shock people that Sunday. They did, and his confidence will forever be remembered.
23.) Alvaro Quiros -- Have you seen the guy? Exactly.
24.) Payne Stewart -- He had incredible style, was a guy people seemed to enjoy having around, and, for goodness sakes, the guy wore knickers!
25.) Tiger Woods -- What, I'm not going to include him? He'd be a lot higher if he didn't do the Sunday red thing, but up until a year ago, Tiger was in the top-five.