John Daly and The Top 25 Characters In Golf

John BurkeContributor IFebruary 3, 2011

John Daly and The Top 25 Characters In Golf

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    HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 14:  John Daly hits a shot during the first round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club on January 14, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Some say golf is a sport for the boring.

    Those who say that clearly have not followed the game very closely.

    From temper tantrums to multiple behavioral suspensions, golf has seen a wide variety of characters over time.

    Just watch golf one time and you will see not everyone out here fits into the stereotypical view of a golfer.

    Here are the 25 most eccentric men who have ever walked the fairways.

John Daly

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 02:  John Daly of the USA smokes a cigarette during day one of the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club on December 2, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
    Matt King/Getty Images

    Where to begin for John Daly?

    For starters, he has been fined so many times, most people have lost count.

    When a news reporter recently made his behavior report public, Daly posted the reporter's phone number on Twitter.

    And for his greatest moment?

    How about having former NFL Coach Jon Gruden caddy for him during a tournament?

    Now try to tell me golf is boring.

Tommy Bolt

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    Tommy's temper is a thing of legend.

    He was known to the public as "Terrible Tempered Tommy."

    One of the greatest stories involving Tommy occurred during one very frustrating round.

    After asking for club suggestion, his caddy handed him a 2-iron. For the lie Tommy had, a 2-iron was far too much club.

    Tommy was perplexed. Then he looked into his bag and noticed it was the only club he had left.

Boo Weekley

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Boo Weekley of the USA team clowns around as he walks off the first tee during the singles matches on the final day of the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club on September 21, 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by David
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    Uh, yeah. 

    That's Boo Weekley.

    The one riding his driver like it is a horse.

    But it was during the Ryder Cup and if that is what helps him get fired up about pounding the snot out of Europe, it is good enough for me.

Ian Poulter

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    HONG KONG - NOVEMBER 19:  Ian Poulter of England  lines up a putt on the 18th green during day two of the UBS Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on November 19, 2010 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    When people first hear the name Ian Poulter, they think of a brash, cocky player.

    But look beyond the spiked hair, flamboyant clothes and sunglasses.

    Beneath it all you will find a funny, caring person.

    Shortly after dropping a coin on his ball marker causing Poulter to lose a chance at a tournament victory, Poulter encountered Tiger Woods.

    Woods asked him, "Don't you know how to mark your ball?"

    Ian quipped, "Settle down, No. 2."

    I don't care what you think of Poulter, that is just funny.

Ben Hogan

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    One of the best golfers in history. Ben Hogan was also one of golf's greatest characters.

    For Hogan, chit chat was not something he did while golfing.

    The most he ever said to a playing partner was, "Who's away?"

    On top of that, Hogan could spend hour upon hour at the range.

    When he was asked how he learned to play so well, Hogan simply replied, "I dug it out of the ground." 

Moe Norman

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    You may be thinking to yourself, who the heck is Moe Norman?

    Well, he was a golf genius, according to many golf greats. Norman was also one of the best, if not the best, ball strikers they had ever seen.

    His best story may have happened when Norman was playing with Sam Snead.

    Both golfers were 250 yards away from clearing a stream.

    Snead laid up, expecting Norman to do the same.

    Norman prepared to go for it.

    "You need to lay up, Moe," Snead said. 

    Norman replied, "I am aiming for the bridge." 

    Snead watched as Norman hit a perfect shot across the bridge and safely across to the other side. 

    Often showing up to tournaments wearing strange outfits and playing extremely fast, Norman never won on the PGA Tour.

Anthony Kim

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    PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 06:  A closeup view of Anthony Kim's belt buckle during the third round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort And Spa on March 6, 2010 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Anyone who wears a belt buckle like that has got to be quite the character.

    Is he cocky? A little bit.

    Does he have the game to back it up? He did before his thumb surgery, so let's look to see how he comes back from that injury.

    All I know is he makes the game of golf a whole lot more interesting. 

Tiger Woods

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    LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 30:  Tiger Woods tees off the 7th hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at the Torrey Pines South Course on January 30, 2011 in La Jolla, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    We all thought we knew him

    Turns out we were wrong.

    When his life fell apart, so did our view of him.

    And he makes the list as the most mysterious character in all of golf.

Charley Hoffman

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    KAPALUA, HI - JANUARY 06:  Charley Hoffman hits a shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation course on January 6, 2011 in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The long blond hair.

    The green golf glove.

    The matching green golf shoes.

    Is there anything about Charley that screams golfer?

    You're thinking to yourself, no, not really.

    That is why he made the list.

Phil Mickelson

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Phil Mickelson smiles while on the practice range prior to playing his first round of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty I
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Not many players can have a smile on their face at all times.

    Phil is one of the exceptions. 

    Always willing to give the fans a quick wave or an autograph, Phil is one of the nicest guys on tour.

    And his game?

    He has adopted a no-guts, no-glory view of golf.

    Just remember back to Winged Foot in 2006. 

    Or the 2010 Masters. 

    C'mon. That shot of the pine straw to set up that eagle try. That is just unreal. 

Bubba Watson

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    LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 29:  Bubba Watson tees off the 18th hole during Round 3 of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on January 29, 2011 in La Jolla, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Bubba Watson is the most exciting thing in golf right now.

    He does not hit the ball straight. Why?

    Bubba cannot imagine a straight shot. It is more fun for him to hit crazy hooks or fades. 

    Add that to his pink shafted driver and you have a pretty cool guy.

Walter Hagen

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    Walter Hagen is the one man who made the PGA Tour what it is today.

    Every time today's players cash a check for hundreds or thousands of dollars, they should thank Hagen.

    Hagen was a fan of living well and spending lavishly.

    Hagen often said, "I never wanted to be a millionaire. I just wanted to live like one."

    And live like one he did.

    Often staying at the finest hotels, Hagen also hired limousines to take him to tournaments. 

Fred Couples

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    AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Fred Couples during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for Golf Week)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Ask any golf fan who they love the most.

    Go ahead, ask.

    I bet many will tell you that they love Freddie Couples.

    Freddie transcends generations. He is one of the few golfers me and my father can both say we love to watch play.

    Freddie makes old-school cool again.

    Plus, not many golfers would have the courage to wear spikeless golf shoes to Augusta for the Masters.

    After all, The Masters is a "tradition unlike any other." 

Rory Sabbatini

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    HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 15:  Rory Sabbatini of South Africa hits a shot during the second round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club on January 15, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    In a poll by Sports Illustrated, Sabbatini was voted the least popular playing partner by 25 percent of his peers.

    Sabbatini says he is not sure why he is not liked by his fellow professionals and insists he is just misunderstood.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he once finished playing a hole before his playing partner had reached the green.

Jimmy Demaret

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    Jimmy Demaret (right) with fellow golfer Lloyd Mangrum
    Jimmy Demaret (right) with fellow golfer Lloyd Mangrum

    Ben Hogan called him "the most underrated golfer in history." 

    And I would have to agree. 

    The first man to win The Masters three times, Demaret had quite the game.

    He would often finish rounds with a good laugh and a cold drink. 

    "Get out and live," Demaret was fond of saying, "You're dead for an awful long time."

Lee Trevino

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 30: Lee Trevino prepares to tee off during the second round of the AT&T Championship at Oak Hills Country Club on October 30, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
    Darren Carroll/Getty Images

    Lee Trevino has lived an adventurous life. 

    First serving in the Marine Corps before becoming a professional golfer, Trevino has seen it all.

    That includes being struck by lightning. And although he was nearly killed, he recovered well enough to play some pretty good golf after the accident. 

    Also a very imaginative ball striker, Trevino loved to tell people, "You can talk to a fade, but a hook won't listen."

Seve Ballesteros

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    Seve was a good-looking, risk-taking player. 

    Always making the game more interesting, Seve was a fiery and charismatic golfer to watch play.

    You can credit him with taking the European Tour to a previously unreached level. And also credit Seve for allowing the European Ryder Cup Team to flourish.

Arnold Palmer

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    ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 13:  Arnold Palmer of the USA stands on the balcony before the past champions dinner before the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 13, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Im
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Palmer's impact on the game was amazing.

    His play in the early days of golf saw the popularity of the sport increase dramatically and television coverage sky-rocket.

    Always being followed by his legion of fans, known lovingly as "Arnie's Army," Palmer was always willing to give a wave or a smile. 

Gary Player

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    Player is known as the first truly "international" player.

    A global ambassador for the game, Player is believed to have flown over 15 million miles for the sake of the game. 

    Player would tell anyone who listened that he has "studied golf for almost 50 years now and know a hell of a lot about nothing."

Chi Chi Rodriguez

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    UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11:  Chi Chi Rodriguez during the final round of the Allianz Championship held at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Florida on February 11, 2007.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Beloved by the fans for his showmanship, Chi Chi grew up playing the game with a tree branch. 

    Chi Chi was famous for his "sword dance." After making a birdie, he would wave his putter around like a sword.

    Chi Chi would also drop his hat on top of the hole after making a birdie to keep the ball from escaping.

Ryo Ishikawa

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    CHASKA, MN - AUGUST 15:  The golf bag of Ryo Ishikawa of Japan is seen on the tenth hole during the third round of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club on August 15, 2009 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Ryo Ishikawa is a young talent with a lot of game.

    He also likes to standout from the pack.

    First, Ryo dresses uniquely. Sometimes he pulls his looks off and sometimes he does not, but he always is an individual.

    Then, you see Ryo's bag and head cover. And you notice he has a head cover of himself.

    Not many guys would have the audacity to do that, but Ryo does. 

    That is reason enough for him to make this list.  

Rory McIlroy

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    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks to the media during a press conference prior to the start of the Dubai World Championship on the Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 24, 2010 in Dubai, United A
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    Golfers are supposed to have short hair, right?

    If they are, Rory McIlroy never got the memo.

    When he first came on the scene, everyone noticed his long, shaggy hair.

    But he would not cut it because it thought it brought him good luck.

Julius Boros

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    Julius Boros makes the list because he was not loud and out there.

    Instead, he was a great golfer who let his game do the talking.

    He was a quiet man, with a quiet graceful swing that impressed everyone. 

    Boros was also known for never taking a practice swing, which is something so rare and unheard of on Tour it makes him stand out. 

Jack Nicklaus

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    Jack Nicklaus remains the best golfer in history.

    Argue that all you want, but the numbers do not lie.

    Today, he may be better known for his golf course design company. 

    But during his playing days when he won 18 majors, Nicklaus was a class act. 

    He won a lot, but he always won with class and sportsmanship.

Nick Faldo

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    KAPALUA, HI - JANUARY 05:  Sir Nick Faldo of England waits to play a shot during the pro-am round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation course on January 5, 2011 in Kapalua, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Today, Nick Faldo is known as a charismatic announcer.

    During his playing days, however, Faldo was a cold, intimidating competitor.

    Faldo walked a lonely road when he was a player.

    In the process, he cost himself many friendships and three marriages. 


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