The Loop

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady: Who has had the better (golf) career?

January 23, 2016

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will play each other for the 17th (and final?) time this Sunday, as the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. What's on the line? Merely a trip to the Super Bowl and perhaps the title of greatest quarterback in NFL history. But on to more important matters . . . which signal caller has had the better golf career? We break it down.


Handicap Index

Peyton Manning: 4.0

Tom Brady: "8"

Edge: Manning. You can't argue with the numbers. Perhaps, Brady is much better than the "8" estimated by Golf Digest in 2015 based on what he played to at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, but there's no way of knowing for sure. Also, Manning gets extra credit for consistently maintaining an actual USGA Handicap Index.

Best golf TV appearances

Manning: BMW Championship, Nationwide commercial

Brady: "Entourage" (Season 6, Episode 5)

Edge: Brady. Manning displayed his usual comic touch in a commercial for the 2014 BMW Championship. And again on a newer commercial for Nationwide in which he hums "Hooked it just a little bit," a la his famous "Chicken parm you taste so good," line. But Brady was on the popular HBO show as himself -- and even got to show off his golf swing. It just doesn't get much cooler than that. (Warning: Explicit language. Not from Tom, of course.)

And Brady did make that trip to Augusta National to play with Rory McIlroy in 2015.


via Rory Mcilroy/Facebook

OK, this is about as close as their 2-2 record against each other in the playoffs. Let's move on. . .

Best golf story

Manning: Shooting 77 at Augusta National

Brady: Beating two former U.S. Presidents

Edge: Brady. This was close, but we'll give Tom the edge based on the story Jim Nantz told in which he and Tom teamed up to take down Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in a six-hole match. Five up. Of course, breaking 80 at Augusta National isn't too shabby, either. Then there was that time Manning and Brady (gasp!) teamed up to win a match at Pebble Beach. Aww, how sweet!


We'll call it a draw. Manning, who also boasts two holes-in-one, seems to have the edge when it comes to playing, but Brady's "Entourage," appearance and presidential conquest evens things out. Nantz, who will call Sunday's big game for CBS, said "it was like a mask came over his face" in describing how Brady rose to the challenge that day. If the Patriots are to pull off the win in Denver (The two QBs are 4-0 combined versus each other at home in the playoffs), they'll probably need similar heroics from their leader.