Ranking the 10 Most Outrageous Characters in Golf History

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

Ranking the 10 Most Outrageous Characters in Golf History

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    Golf is about rules. Golfers follow a code of behavior on and around the course known as etiquette.

    Golfers are expected to carry themselves in a sportsmanlike and dignified way and behave with a certain amount of decorum. However, sometimes they don't always do the expected.

    At times, their behavior can be colorful and even outrageous. Here's a look at 10 of the most outrageous golfers in the sport's history.

10. Doug Sanders

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    Older golf fans will remember Doug Sanders and the colorful garb he sported on the PGA tour during a career that started in the 1950s and ended in the '70's.

    Sanders won 20 tournaments in his career, but it was his nickname that stands out most. Sanders would wear the most outrageous color combinations ever seen on the tour and he became known as the "Peaccok of the Fairways," a nickname he later adopted for his own use.

    In author Dan Jenkins' superb golf novel Dead Solid Perfect, the main character seemed to have many of Sanders' personality traits.

9. Craig Stadler

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    The large majority of golfers tend to have a very well put together look. Some, like Adam Scott, look like they have come right out of the pages of GQ Magazine.

    However, nobody would ever mistake Craig Stadler for a GQ model. He looked somewhat like a walrus, which turned out to become his famous nickname.

    Stadler, portly and bushy in appearance, had one of the sweetest and most effective golf swings ever. His emotions always showed on his expressive face, and he was at his best when he won the 1982 Masters.

    Ironically, Stadler has developed into something of a clothes horse and has his own line of golf apparel called Walrus Wear.


8. Bubba Watson

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    Bubba Watson is one of the most striking players on the current PGA Tour. It's hard to take your eyes off this tall left-handed power hitter who can hammer the ball as far as anyone on the golf tour.

    Watson is a completely self-made golfer who claims never to have taken a lesson in the game. He formed the Golf Boys along with Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan, and that foursome is known for their golf parodies and outrageous costumes.

7. Jumbo Ozaki

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    Jumbo Ozaki never had the same type of larger-than-life presence on the American tour that he did in Japan.

    Known as the Japanese Arnold Palmer, Ozaki became known for his flashy clothes and his preening strut around the golf course. Ozaki would often let a cigarette dangle out of the corner of his mouth and Golf.com said he had the menacing smile of a gangster.

    He became an icon in Japan, and golfers there attempted to emulate his style, demeanor and his superb golf game.

6. Lee Trevino

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    Lee Trevino became known as one of the game's great personalities and performers. He was an unknown until he won the 1968 U.S. Open, which happened to be his first tour victory.

    Trevino would win 29 times on the tour, including six majors. However, he would also become known for his outrageous one-liners that often gave a glimpse into his personality.

    "Pressure is playing for $10 when you don't have a dime in your pocket," Trevino told an interviewer after making a clutch shot.

5. Jimmy Demaret

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    Jimmy Demaret was a solid golfer from the 1930s through the 1950s, but it was personality that made him stand out above the crowd.

    He radiated charisma and he was often associated with the top Hollywood stars of his day. He regularly made celebrities like Bing Crosby and Phil Harris crack up with his jokes and one-liners. He was also known to pick up a microphone and sing with big bands.

    Demaret could always handle his business on the golf course as he became the first three-time winner of the Masters.

4. Seve Ballesteros

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    Seve Ballesteros emerged from Spain and became one of the game's greatest players. He did it with a sense of style and charisma that have rarely been seen.

    If Ian Fleming had written about a golfer and not a spy/double agent in James Bond, Golf.com surmised that the charming Ballesteros would have been the model. He was absolutely fearless on the golf course and always kept his cool, now matter how pressure-filled the situation.

3. Walter Hagen

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    Walter Hagen was one of the game's greatest players and he made his mark in the 1920s.

    The Haig would often show up to events after a night of partying to excess and with little sleep. Still, he would dominate with one of the best swings the game has ever seen. He would show up at events with a "blonde on one arm and a clingy brunette on the other," according to Golf.com.

    Few golfers ever enjoyed themselves like Hagen.

2. Chi Chi Rodriguez

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    Chi Chi Rodriguez played the role of the comedian as he competed in the 1960s and '70s. He was quick with his smile and his jokes, but it was very tough for a Hispanic golfer to have attention paid to him in that era.

    Rodriguez was known for his antics such as throwing his hat over the hole or pretending his putter was a sword after making a birdie putt.

    However, when it came down to it, he was a tough competitor who could play the game against the best in the business and not back down.

1. John Daly

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    Big John Daly may well be the most outrageous golfer ever. He has always had the ability to hit the ball an explosive distance, and there were even moments he could find the short game to make it all pay off.

    For the most part, however, Daly was overcome by his excesses. He abused alcohol, drugs and gambling. And, his golf career has been regularly stuck in the mud. However, he has always been a fan favorite. You never know what you will get from Daly, as he might shoot a 65 or he might blow up and shoot 80.

    He may walk off the course in disgust, or he may put together a scintillating round.

    He is perhaps the game's most colorful player in the its history.