Then And Now...How Golf's Biggest Stars Have Changed

As we all know, golf is a stressful sport. We take a look at how a combination of time and the tension of the game at the highest level has affected it's most notable protagonists.

Then And Now...How Golf's Biggest Stars Have Changed

We take a look at how golf's biggest stars have changed over the years including Tiger Woods, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy

Then And Now...How Golf's Biggest Stars Have Changed

As we all know, golf is a stressful sport. We take a look at how golf's biggest stars have changed through a combination of time and the tension of competing at the highest level.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

When you’ve been in the media spotlight for 20+ years, the unrelenting passage of time will eventually be clear for all to see. But events in Tiger’s personal life and a worrying loss of form on the golf course, appear to have added pace to the process. Luckily for Woods, and golf fans, the 14-time major winner is back and looking good...can he surpass Jack?

Lee Westwood

Bright-eyed and with the world at his feet, when Lee Westwood arrived on Tour he was carrying a little extra weight. To look at him now is to see a remarkable physical transformation. Westy has notched an impressive 42 professional wins, ranks T8th on the European Tour's all-time list with 23 and reached the world #1 spot.

Rory McIlroy

Another incredible physical transformation. By choosing to dedicate himself to an intense off-course training program, Rory has added power and accuracy to his game whilst also showing the world that top level golfers are athletes. Nike’s main man is a far cry from the slightly chubby teenager who first stepped out on Tour in 2007.

Justin Rose

The Englishman first appeared on our screens in 1998 at Royal Birkdale, holing a wedge on the final hole to win the Silver Medal. Despite 21 straight missed cuts after turning pro, Rose has blossomed into one of the world's truly elite players. He has a US Open trophy, Olympic Gold Medal and 20 other professional titles in his trophy cabinet.

Henrik Stenson

The Swede has a great sense of humour and his dress sense is catching up after his early days on Tour. Stenson's career highlight came at Royal Troon in 2016 where he outlasted Phil Mickelson to win The Open.

Darren Clarke

The Northern Irishman and 2016 Ryder Cup captain has had a superb career, winning 21 times as a pro including the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's. He's also won four Ryder Cups as a player.

Continues below

Expand 14 Reasons They’re Lucky To Date A Golfer

Things You Didn’t Know About Brooks Koepka

14 Reasons They’re Lucky To Date A Golfer

Golfers have numerous characteristics that translate well into…

Expand Iconic Golf Equipment Of The Modern Era

Things You Didn’t Know About Brooks Koepka

Iconic Golf Equipment Of The Modern Era

We look at some pieces of pioneering golf…

Expand 10 Best Bunker Players Of All Time

10 Best Bunker Players Of All Time

10 Best Bunker Players Of All Time

Who is the best bunker player of all…

Colin Montgomerie

The eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner will go down as one of Europe's greatest ever golfers, having won 52 times as a pro despite never tasting major success. Monty is famously unbeaten in the Ryder Cup singles and has had a great time on the over-50s circuit, winning three Senior majors. He also captained Europe to Ryder Cup glory in 2012 at Celtic Manor.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Some people just get cooler with age. This is certainly the case with one of golf’s most charismatic performers. The unmistakable Miguel Angel Jimenez continues to perform at the highest level – usually wearing a pair of aviators, smoking a cigar and with his hair in a ponytail. Miguel, we salute you!

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth

Did you know that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were friends? Well they are, and they've won the career grand slam between them as well as a combined 18 PGA Tour titles. Neither of them have reached the age of 25 yet either!

Ian Poulter

Poults, or the Postman as he's also known, has been a hero for the European Ryder Cup side - famously inspiring his team to a miracle comeback at Medinah in 2014. Since turning pro in 1994 off a handicap of 4, the Englishman has won 16 times around the world including two World Golf Championships.

Phil Mickelson

Lefty is another of golf’s most enduring personalities. The 47 year-old has won a staggering 42 times since arriving on the PGA Tour in 1992, including five major wins. To place that in perspective, Rory McIlroy was just three when Mickelson picked up his PGA Tour card… Could Lefty get to 50 wins?

Sergio Garcia

Hard to believe but Sergio Garcia made his first cut on the European Tour over 20 years ago. The Spaniard is getting close to calling himself a veteran, and looks remarkably similar to the 19 year old who turned professional in 1999. He finally crossed the line in a major at the 2017 Masters to the delight of the golfing world. Vamos!

Rickie Fowler

Rickie, at the time of writing, is famed for being one of, if not, the greatest active golfer without a major championship. He's won The Players Championship along with seven other title and is without doubt one of the nicest guys in golf.

Ernie Els

The Big Easy is known for his effortless rhythm and beautiful swing. He's now approaching 50 after a career which has seen him win 71 times including four majors since turning pro way back in 1989.

Thomas Bjorn

As you can see, Denmark’s most successful ever golfer has changed somewhat over the years. The long-haired fresh faced version arrived on Tour in 1996 and captains his continent against the USA in Paris later this year.

Make sure you follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X