Golf

Why Miguel Angel Jimenez Is the Most Interesting Man in Golf

Ben AlberstadtFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2014

Why Miguel Angel Jimenez Is the Most Interesting Man in Golf

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    In labeling Miguel Angel Jimenez the “Most Interesting Golfer in the World,” the gray-bearded elephant in the room is, of course, Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World.”

    As Francis Pruett of Barman Guide writes, agency Euro RSCG Worldwide conceived of the beer company’s character as “a man rich in stories and experiences, much the way the audience hopes to be in the future.”

    Jimenez, for his part, is a man rich in stories and experiences. He’s also rich in something else: money. His most recent win (his 21st on the European Tour) at the Spanish Open grossed him $341,500. He’s made more than $30 million on the European Tour and an additional $3.9 million on the PGA Tour.

    While he is pulling in various currencies hand over fist, the Malaga native takes time to savor the finer things in life. He reportedly smokes five cigars a day. He’s fueled by espresso and unwinds with fine red wine or aged whiskey. As the Spaniard told Cigar Aficionado, Golf is a beautiful game and it has given me a beautiful life.”

    Here are a few of the many interesting elements of that beautiful life.

The Ponytail

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Jimenez is the owner of the best ponytail in golfnot that he has a lot of competition. The orange-brown curling majesty of the thing dares the rubber band charged with containing it to do its job properly. 

    And when he lets the wild locks loose? Well, let's just be grateful he doesn't do the aforementioned often, as the splendor is as blindingly brilliant as looking at the face of the sun. 

    If you don't feel the ponytail is essential to the Jimenez brand, consider this photo of the golfer sporting a "Spafro" (Spanish afro).  

The Demeanor

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Much has been said about the singular joie de vivre the man from Malaga radiates.

    Here's what his agent, Chubby Chandler, had to say about the golfer in an interview with Cigar Aficionado: "He lives his life and plays the game the way he wants to. He never rushes anything, he savors everything. He just inhales life, and he exudes it. I’ve never known someone more comfortable in his own skin than Miguel."

     

The Aviators

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Ahh, the aviators. Behind their mirrored lenses is concealed golf's most interesting man. Instead of opting for the sporty monstrosities and futuristic silliness many on the PGA Tour are paid to endorse and wear, Jimenez is his own man in the eyewear department. 

    The aviators (in addition to looking entirely badass) suggest that Jimenez prefers classic style, indicating that he is a sporting gentleman and not a slave to what's fashionable in his sport. 

The Lacoste Polos

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    Kin Cheung/Associated Press

    Jimenez also prefers a traditional-style polo shirt. And what's more traditional (and stylish) than the original polo shirt?

    Indeed, Rene Lacoste's "La Chemise Lacoste" produced the the first polo shirt based on the garment he wore during his tennis career. In doing so, he set the standard for excellence in polo shirts, and today's design appears relatively unchanged from the traditional garment's design. 

    Timeless quality with a European pedigree defines the Lacoste brand, so it's not surprising Jimenez has been sporting the crocodile for much of his professional career rather than acquiescing to the terrible shifts in golf apparelfrom the oversized tents of the '90s and early 2000s to the apparent bike-racing shirts of today. 

The Nebuloni Shoes

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    Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

    Ever look at Jimenez's shoes? You won't find the sneakers with golf spikes that are popular on tour today. Instead, Jimenez wears bespoke masterpieces made by Milanese shoemaker Gigi Nebuloni.

    As the golfer told Cigar Aficionado, "I always liked very good shoes. I have been with them [Nebuloni] 11 years now. You take them from the box and they feel so good right away. I don’t like tennis shoes, rubber shoes. I always liked proper shoes, leather shoes."

The Wine and Cigars

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    Peter Dejong/Associated Press

    For every one of his more than 25 professional victories, Jimenez has seemed to have a glass of wine in one hand and a cigar in the other. 

    Not surprisingly, the Spaniard has a taste for cigars from that one island known for its prowess in producing the finest stogies on the planet.

    As he told Cigar Aficionado, "I love Cuban cigars. They have that spiciness and sweetness that are missing from some others. One day...I smoked nine cigars and I feel nothing in my throat. That is good cigars, no?"

    This isn't to glamorize smoking, the use of tobacco or drinking, but the cigars and the vino are an essential part of the Jimenez myth. 

     

The Stretching Routine

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    What can really be said about Jimenez's pre-round stretching? Certainly, it must be effective in loosening up his 50-year-old joints. Why else would be be so dedicated to performing such a routine in public?

    Beyond this, parts of it are like something you'd expect to see happening around a stationary pole rather than a stationary golf club.

    Watch the video for a most interesting tutorial. 

The Eternal Quotability

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    One imagines Jimenez is most profound in his native Spanish. However, he delivers pearls of brilliance that impart his distinct view of life in nearly every interview he conducts in English. 

    Here are two of his many magnificent quotes, as told to Cigar Aficionado and as quoted by BBC Sport, respectively:

    • "I'm like the good wines. Getting better with age."
    • “It is relaxing to enjoy a good wine, a cigar, good food, a whisky. You have to take the time to enjoy them. You cannot enjoy them if you rush them, no? You cannot enjoy life if you rush.”

Footing the Bill for the Andalucian Open

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Obscured in all the fawning over the Jimenez variety of cool is the fact that he is, by all reports, a great guy.

    For instance, when the Andalucian Open has struggled to drum up sponsorship dollars in recent years, the native Spaniard has gone into his own pocket to contribute to the tournament's prize (which is crucial to any event maintaining its level of prestige and the field it draws).  

    As an AP Story from 2012, per ESPN.com, reported:

    He [Jimenez] has reportedly given $560,000 in the past three years to operate the Andalucian Open.

    'It is very important for me that this tournament goes forward,' Jimenez said. 'With the way the economy is at present, it is difficult to stage any big sporting event because it is not easy to find sponsorship money.

    'I don't want to give up and want there to be a tournament in this region of Spain.'

    Let's not let the following be obscured by a haze of Cuban cigar smoke: The Most Interesting Man in Golf is also a gentleman of golf in the truest sense of the term.

    Stay thirsty, Mr. Jimenez.

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