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How the World's Best Golfers Got Their Nicknames

By: | Fri 07 May 2021 | Comments


Seve, Rory, Jack, Phil, - with the greatest sportsmen in their field you only need to hear a Christian name. Even Tiger, albeit that's technically a nickname. Others have nicknames - often they are not known to the wider public. Here we look at some of the game’s leading players and explain their monikers.

John Daly - Wild Thing

John Daly

This originally referred to the prodigious distances the American hit the ball but could have just as easily have been used to describe his ultimately chaotic lifestyle - multiple acrimonious marriages and divorces, alcoholism, an addiction to chocolate, the fights and far more. Oh, and he prefers to live in a huge mobile home (the 'Dalymobile') rather than a hotel room.

Phil Mickelson - Lefty

Phil Mickelson

The greatest left-hander the game has ever seen. But here is the thing - in everything else he does, Mickelson is right-handed.

Bryson DeChambeau - the Mad Scientist

Have you heard him talk? Have you listened to his theories on food, exercise and diet?

Jack Nicklaus - Ohio Fats and The Golden Bear

When Nicklaus first emerged on the scene he was an overweight kid from Ohio who was cruelly named ‘Ohio Fats’ by Arnold Palmer’s adoring fans. He was later christened The Golden Bear by an Australian sportswriter named Don Lawrence. This was based on his appearance. Nicklaus liked the name when he saw it in a newspaper headline at the airport and when it came time to choose his personal logo, the decision was simple. 

Jesper Parnevik - The Spaceman

The Swede was certainly different and was nicknamed ’The Spaceman’ by his fellow professionals on account of his eccentric lifestyle and his claim that he ate volcanic dust.

Hal Sutton - Halimoney

No prizes for guessing that this came from the fact that the 2004 Ryder Cup captain has three former wives.

Paul Lawrie - Chippie

Paul Lawrie

No, this has nothing to do with the 1999 Open champion’s diet. It is all down to his fabulous short game, developed as a child by chipping balls into a small gravel circle in which stood the rotating clothes line on which his mother hung the washing.

Fred Couples - Boom Boom

Fred Couples

This was a reference to his power from the tee and uncomplicated approach to the game.

Craig Stadler - The Walrus

Craig Stadler

If you have ever seen a walrus you will know how Stadler picked up this particular moniker. He was, erm, overweight, bad-tempered and looked like a human walrus.

Kevin Stadler - The Smallrus

Like father, like son!

Tom Weiskopf - Towering Inferno

Has there ever been an angrier golfer? Even Weiskopf has admitted that his inability to keep a lid on his emotions cost him many titles. Al Barkow once wrote of him: “He boiled at high-bubble when things did not go well. It’s not that he threw clubs much or blurted the f-word a la Tiger Woods. He just steamed, the internal anguish rushing the colour red up into his face like the mercury in a thermometer and overcooking his game.”

Arnold Palmer - The King

Palmer is the man generally credited with changing the face of tournament golf. He had a huge army fans and to each and every one of them, Arnie was The King. 

Miguel Angel Jimenez - The Mechanic

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Jimenez loves cars, and worked in a garage for a time, but he also has a precise, mechanical approach on the course, which is why this nickname works both ways.


Related Content

10 of the Best Nicknames in Golf


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