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The Most Popular Nicknames of Professional Golfers

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

In the world of professional golf a Tiger seeks to overcome the Golden Bear; the King no longer competes, but instead designs golf courses and plays in a few charity golf tournaments, while the Shark and the Walrus have slowed down and now sometimes ‘battle’ on the Champions Tour. What am I talking about? These are all some of the most popular nicknames of professional golfers; the ‘Tiger’ is Tiger Woods, the ‘Golden Bear’ is Jack Nicholas, the ‘King’ is Arnold Palmer, the Shark is Greg Norman and the Walrus is Craig Stadler. Ask any golf fan and they will know all these great players by their popular nicknames.

Here is a list of some of the most popular professional golfers and their nicknames, if you’re an avid golf fan, you probably know a few more.

Big Easy: Ernie Els is a South African professional golfer who has been one of the top professional players in the world since the mid 1990s. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands 1.91 metres [6 feet, 3 inches]) along with his fluid, seemingly effortless golf swing.

Boom Boom: Fred Couples is an American professional golfer who competes on the PGA and Champions Tours. He developed his signature loose, rhythmic swing in school, in order to gain enough distance to keep up with the older kids. Couples has been given the nickname "Boom Boom" because of his long golf drives.

Boss of the Moss: Loren Roberts is an American professional golfer, His best finish in a major was at the 1994 U.S. Open where he played in an 18-hole playoff with Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie. Montgomerie was eliminated, while an additional pair of sudden-death holes gave Els the title. He got the nickname ‘Boss of the Moss’ after rolling in putts from almost every angle and distance at the U.S. Open to shoot a third round of 64. While chatting with reporters, a fellow PGA player passed-by and said “He’s the Boss of the Moss!” One of the reporters used it in an article and Roberts had a nickname.

Fuzzy: Frank Urban Zoeller is an American professional golfer and one of three golfers to win The Masters in his first appearance at the event. Zoeller also won the 1984 U.S. Open, earning him the 1985 Bob Jones Award. He got his nickname because of his initials F.U.Z. and he has a worldwide legion of fans knows as "Fuzzy Fans."

Golden Bear: Jack Nicklaus is an American professional golfer who won 18 career major championships on the PGA Tour and is regarded as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time. There are varying reports about how Jack Nicklaus got his nickname. Some say he got it because of the high school he attended, Arlington High, where their athletic teams are known as the Golden Bears. Others say he got his nickname because of his ‘stocky build and golden blond hair.’ Another theory is that a writer began referring to Nicklaus as the Golden Bear after his agent described him as ‘large, strong, and blond.’

Goose: Retief Goosen is a South African professional golfer, nicknamed Goose because of his last name.

The King: Arnold Palmer is an American golfer who is regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time. Nicknamed The King because of his achievements, he was also one of golf’s most popular celebrities, known for making golf popular around the world. He has a loyal fan base known as ‘Arnie’s Army.’ This title was coined at the 1958 Masters tournament, after a group of soldiers were seen holding up homemade signs supporting him.  Arnold Palmer also has a beverage named after him

Lefty: Phil Mickelson is an American professional golfer who got the nickname of ‘Lefty’ because he plays golf as a left-handed player, although he is right-handed.

Shark (Great White Shark): Greg Norman is an Australian professional golfer who got the nickname of ‘Shark’ because of his aggressiveness on the course which parallels that of the sharks that inhabit the Australian waters.

Spider: Camilo Villegas is a Colombian professional golfer whose habit of crouching down on the floor in a pose similar a spider crawling up a wall left him with the nickname of ‘Spider.’ He says he does that to get as close to the ground as he can in order to survey the lay of the green. When asked about the unusual way he reads the greens, Villegas said; "I was struggling last year with my putting and figured I had to do something about it. And maybe reading the greens better was going to help me. So middle of the round I went straight down there, tried to get real close to the ground. I Liked it, felt good, and kept doing it ever since.”

The Black Knight: Gary Player is a South African professional golfer nicknamed ‘The Black Knight’ because of his all-black playing ensembles.

The Hawk: Ben Hogan was an American golfer who is considered one of the greatest golfers in the history of golf. Hogan was nicknamed ‘The Hawk’ due to his ability to survey a golf course, break it down, than execute a precision attack. Some also referred to him as ‘Bantam Ben.’

The Lion: John Daly is an American professional golfer who was given the nickname of ‘The Lion’ by high school friends, he is also known as ‘Long John’ (because of his golf driving distance), and ‘Wild Thing’ (because of his antics off the course).

Tiger: Eldrick Tont Woods is an American golfer who is one of the greatest golfers of our time. He has won 95 tournaments, 71 of those on the PGA Tour. In 2001, he became the first golfer to hold all four professional major tournament championships at the same time. He leads in career victories among active PGA players, and is currently the leader on the PGA career money list. He was given the nickname of ‘Tiger’ when he was a young boy, by his father.

Walrus: Craig Stadler is an American professional golfer who was given the nickname of ‘Walrus’ because of his bushy, droopy mustache and excess weight (‘blubber’).

There you have it, these are some of the most popular nicknames of professional golfers.

For more fun and interesting information on golf, see the articles:

Golf ~ A Four Letter Word
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
The Top Five Female Golfers of All Time

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