When it comes to tour pro golfers with animal nicknames, it’s a right old menagerie out on the world's fairways. Try these ten for starters…
The Golden Bear
18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus much preferred this to “Ohio Fats” – the nickname Arnold Palmer fans gave him in his more portly early days because of the threat he posed to their hero.
The Great White Shark
Greg Norman’s blond hair and aggressive golf made this the perfect nickname, but it sometimes came back to haunt him rather cruelly with “toothless” jibes from the media when things went wrong in Majors.
It would be hard to believe that any golfer has ever looked more like his mammalian counterpart than Craig Stadler? Thus far, tour pro son Kevin, has failed to take on a similarly walrus-like appearance.
One of the original golfers with animal nicknames, Ben Hogan was known as The Hawk for his uncanny ability to survey a course and then execute a precision attack.
A commentator’s dream. When Retief is playing well it’s a surefire bet that it won’t be long before “The Goose is really cooking today” issues forth from the lips of someone in the booth.
Genial Argentinean Eduardo Romero was apparently once asked by a US interviewer, unfamiliar with the Spanish for cat, just why he was called “the cake”. Christened El Gato as he apparently stalked around like big cat checking out his shots.
Mighty-hitting double Major winner Angel Cabrera says his Spanish “duck” nickname comes from his father, also called “pato”. Others say it is down to his unusual waddling gait…
Working out how sweet-swinging Aussie Steve Elkington got this moosey moniker is hardly rocket science.
Left-handed Aussie Greg Chalmers’ tour nickname. Think about it – snake, Chalmers…
Anyone who watched the unrelentingly tenacious Corey Pavin at his best in the 1990s will understand exactly how this one came about.
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Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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