5. Chi Chi Rodriguez
I don’t exaggerate, I just remember big.
- You think you’ve done some hard work in your time? Chi Chi was busting his ass in the blistering Puerto Rican sun as a labourer on a sugar plantation at 6 years old!
- His family was extremely poor. Bloke didn’t own a toothbrush till he was 12 years old.
- Without the money for a club or two he forged his first club from a guava tree and made a ball from a crushed soda can. He could pump that piece of metal 100 yards…
- Chi Chi served in the US military. Nuff said.
- Chi Chi didn’t conform to the norms of the Tour. Celebrating birdies by placing his hat over the hole and with his trademark sword fighting dance he was nicknamed the 4 stroke penalty by other pros cause he was so distracting.
4. Arnold Palmer
I have a tip that will take five strokes off anyone’s golf game. It’s called an eraser.
- Arnie was before his time. When golf was pretty much exclusively played by upper class douchebags, he brought the game to the people. His larrikin personality and risk and reward approach to the game helped make golf as popular as it is today.
- Bloke could smash 48 oysters in one sitting. Fair effort…
- Arnie was a Big Dog business man. Trump ain’t got squat on Arnie. He’s second only to Michael Jordan in the highest paid retired athlete stakes.
- Did you know Arnie proposed to his first wife after knowing her for 3 days! Bloke had plums to lock it in knowing her for less time than a golf tournament!
- Arnie was always interested in aviation and this coupled with a fear of flying in early airliners led him to get his pilots licence. If you want something done right, do it yourself! Since then he has owned 10 planes and racked up 18,000 hours in the pilots seat.
3. Lee Elder
Until Lee Elder, the only blacks at the Masters were caddies or waiters. To ask a black man what he feels about the traditions of the Masters is like asking him how he feels about his forefathers who were slaves.
– Calvin Peete
- The youngest of 10 siblings, he lost both his parents by the age of nine
- Elder was the first African American to play The Masters. During the Tournament he received so much hate mail and threats he had to rent two houses and have people with him at all times.
- During tournaments he would often have to change in the parking lot because blacks weren’t allowed in the clubhouse.
- Despite being constantly hassled by unruly fans at racist golf clubs he managed to win 4 times on the PGA Tour.
2. Ben Hogan
The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.
- Hogan had a rough childhood. His father passed when he was 9 and the family had little money so he took a job selling newspapers at the local train station.
- In his early years as a pro he battled a serious snap hook (can relate!). He didn’t win in his first 10 years as a pro #battler
- He went on to win 64 titles on the PGA Tour (4th all time) including 9 majors.
- Hogan pretty much invented practicing. Widely acknowledged as the best ball striker of all time.
- He and his wife Valerie survived a serious car crash with a Greyhound Bus. In a selfless act Hogan threw himself across Valerie to protect her and he would have been killed had he not because the steering column impaled the driver’s seat.
1. John Daly
I believe nicotine plus caffeine equals protein.
- Daly was the first player to average over 300 yards for a whole season
- He has admitted to blowing around 60 Million gambling over his career
- Had a close relationship with Jack Daniels. Daly has said he played his best golf drunk
- Has his own drink (alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer)
- Just Grip it and Rip it!
- As likely to make a 12 as a birdie
- The bloke’s a rockstar! Released an album “My life” with classic tracks such as “I’m Drunk, Damn Broke” and “Long Ball Rebel”
- Golf’s ultimate underdog who has helped bring the game back to the people.