A run down of those golfers who make you turn on the TV through either their genius, unpredictability or charisma
John Daly is a figure people can relate to. Or like to think that they can. He is overweight, drinks too much, gambles too much, has had a string of blonde wives and, like the hacker at the driving range, seems more interested in how far he can hit the ball than in the subtleties of shot-making.
In 1997 he became the first PGA Tour player to have a driving average of more than 300 yards over a full season.
In the US Open of 2000 he shot 14 on a par five, hitting three balls into the sea and another into someone’s back garden. In the Bay Hill Invitational two years earlier he had made 18 on a par five.
And in amongst it all he has won two Majors.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez
The Spaniard has a refreshingly relaxed attitude to life. He enjoys his success, sometimes celebrating a fine shot with a little dance, or a mime whereby he pretends his club is a sword being returned to its scabbard.
He may not look like a professional athlete, as this portly bon viveur puffs on another cigar as he walks around the course, but he takes his fitness seriously. His warm-up routine is worth watching on its own.
He is the oldest man to have won on the European Tour, having won the Open de Espana of 2014 when he was 50 years and 133 days old. He has three times broken the record for being the oldest winner on the European Tour, having also won in Hong Kong when he was 49 and 337 days and 48 and 318 days.
When asked what was the secret of his longevity as a competitor, he replied: “Good food, good wine, good cigars and some exercise.”
Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnson
Where’s The Beef? was a marketing slogan fast food chain Wendy’s. Since then it has become a phrase to question the substance of something.
It is also becoming a question for spectators at golf tournaments, for Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston is developing a cult following.
The Londoner, son of a bus driver and school dinner lady, is recognisable by his distinctive facial hair and crowds have taken to him for his seemingly every-present smile and willingness to engage with them and sign autographs.
“The more I’ve just had fun and be me, the better I’ve played,” he explains.
Sometimes Phil seems to be taking the Mick with his outrageous chips from around the green. No lie seems too tricky, no approach too hard, no pin inaccessible. Not when you can flip the ball deliberately backwards, or make it loop the loop in the air.
Okay the last one might be an exaggeration, but the first certainly isn’t.
Ian Poulter comes alive in Ryder Cup, a fist-pumping, crowd-engaging volcano of passionate determination.
Poulter is only an average golfer at the top level but his Ryder Cup record is superb — 12 wins and two half points from the 18 matches he has played.
He is a perfect example of what can be achieved by sheer willpower. He was a 4-handicap golfer when he turned pro.
Away from the Ryder Cup, he adds colour to many tournaments as, like John Daly, he is one of those to favour flamboyant golf outfits.