Nicknames Of The Game

By Cliff Schrock Photos by AP Photo
August 23, 2010

Gene Sarazen (aka The Squire) at the 1932 British Open.

As we saw at the British Open in July, there are cute nicknames being coined for tour players these days -- Louis Oosthuizen, aka Shrek -- but they're short of being classic or timeless, like a Golden Bear. The great nicknames we've grown accustomed to from golf's past have been memorable and longstanding, derived by both player and caddie alike. Nicknames go beyond turning left-hander Phil Mickelson into Lefty or using the truncated form of a proper name, such as Robert Tyre Jones to Bobby. By and large, getting a nickname is a sign of endearment and can indicate a number of things: you're well-liked, you've "made it," and you have a place in golf history as a memorable figure, especially if mention of the nickname immediately brings the real name and face of the person to mind. The best monikers are inspired by a physical, attitudinal or behavioral trait; sometimes you grow into one, like Tiger; sometimes it's insulting, such as Porky; and sometimes you get someone else's name, such as Chi Chi Rodriguez, who stopped using Juan for the name of Chi Chi Flores, a favorite baseball player.

The editors of Golf Digest ranked their top-10 all-time nicknames, plus honorable mentions, which is followed by an expanded list of nicknames created over the last several decades.

Top 10

The Golden Bear: Jack Nicklaus

The Walrus: Craig Stadler

Boss of the Moss: Loren Roberts

Little Poison: Paul Runyan

The Big Easy: Ernie Els

Big Momma: Joanne Carner

Great White Shark: Greg Norman

Mr. X: Miller Barber

Champagne Tony: Tony Lema

The King: Arnold Palmer

Honorable Mention

The Squire: Gene Sarazen

The Hawk: Ben Hogan

The Silver Scot: Tommy Armour

Lord Byron: Byron Nelson

The Gilroy Cowboy: George Archer

Two Chip: T.C. Chen

Thunder: Tommy Bolt

Boom Boom: Fred Couples


Photo: Getty Images

Master list of Golfer Nicknames

Brian Allin: Bud; Buddy

George Archer: The Gilroy Cowboy

Tommy Armour: The Silver Scot

Woody Austin: Aquaman

Paul Azinger: Zinger

Aaron Baddeley: Badds; Dresses

Fred Baird: Butch

Michael Jancey Baird: Briny

Severiano Ballesteros: Seve

Carl Jerome Barber: Jerry

Miller Barber: Mr. X; Precious

Jim Barnes: Long Jim

Dave Barr: Hands

Charles Henry Beck: Chip

Rich Beem: Beemer

Al Besselink: Bessie

Tommy Bolt: Thunder Bolt; Tempestuous Tommy; Terrible-Tempered Tommy

Julius Boros: Moose; Julie; Jay; Old Man River; The Bull

Gay Brewer: Hound Dog

Mark Brooks: Brooksiev

Brad Bryant: Dr. Dirt

Johnny Bulla: Boo Boo

George Burns III: The Shah

Angel Cabrera: The Duck

George Cadle: Cuddles

Mark Calcavecchia: Calc

Rex Caldwell: Sexy Rexy


JoAnne Gunderson Carner: The Great Gundy; Big Momma

Billy Casper: Buffalo Bill

Greg Chalmers: Snake

T.C. Chen: Two Chip

K.J. Choi: Tank

Bobby Clampett: Harpo

Jim Colbert: Discipline

John Cook: Cookie

Harry Cooper: Light Horse

Henry Cotton: The Maestro

Fred Couples: Boom Boom

Bruce Crampton: The Iron Man

Paula Creamer: The Pink Panther

Ben Crenshaw: Gentle Ben

Bobby Cruickshank: Wee Bobby

Rod Curl: Indian


Photo: Getty Images

John Daly: Wild Thing

Glen Day: All Day

Jimmy Demaret: Sunny Jim; The Singing Texan; Wardrobe; Crooner

Jim Dent: Big Boy

Gardner Dickinson: Chicken Hawk

Andy Dillard: Bib

Mike Donald: Stats; Stat-Man

Dave Eichelberger: Berger

Steve Elkington: Elk

Ernie Els: The Big Easy

Bob Estes: Robo-Pro

Charles Evans: Chick

Nick Faldo: Sir Nick

Brad Faxon: Fax; Bradley

Keith Fergus: Fergie

Vicente Fernandez: Chino

Dow Finsterwald: Finstie

Ed Fiori: The Grip

Raymond Floyd: Pretty Boy; Raymondo; Tempo Raymondo

David Frost: Frosty

Ed Furgol: Wingy


Little Man; Bantam Ben; Blue Blades)

Photo: Getty Images

Jim Furyk: T-4; The Grinder

Sergio Garcia: El Nino

Frank Webb Gardner Jr.: Buddy

Al Geiberger: Skippy; Mr. 59

C.L. Gilbert Jr.: Gibby

Bob Gilder: Glider

Marvin Giles III: Vinnie

Wayne Grady: Mate; Grades

Hubert Green: The Doberman

Jay Haas: Jaybird

Walter Hagen: The Haig; Sir Walter

Gary Hallberg: Berger

Dan Halldorson: Labatt's

Melvin Harbert: Chick

Paul Harney: Boston Blackie

Ernie Joe Harrison: E.J.; Dutch

Dudley Hart: Mini Volcano

Morris Hatalsky: Morris the Cat, Mo-Cat

Lionel Hebert: Lionel from Montreal

George Henry: Bunky

Tim Herron: Lumpy

Bryant Hiskey: Babe

Ben Hogan: The Hawk; Wee Ice Mon; Little Man; Bantam Ben; Blue Blades

Joe Inman: Oh, No, Joe

Ryo Ishikawa: Hanikami Oji (Bashful Prince)

Tony Jacklin: Jacko

Peter Jacobsen: Jake

Barry Jaeckel: Hollywood

Don January: Slim; Tex; Old Bones

Miguel Angel Jimenez: The Mechanic

Robert Tyre Jones: Bobby; Emperor

Anthony Kim: A.K.


Photo: Getty Images

Tom Kite: Mr. Consistency

Harold Kneece: Catfish

Robert Landers: The Farmer

Bernhard Langer: Fritzie; The Red Baron

Tony Lema: Champagne Tony

Wayne Levi: Wayne the Drain

Bruce Lietzke: Basset Hound; Leaky

Gene Littler: The Machine

Arthur D'Arcy Locke: Bobby; Muffin

Davis Love III: 3-D; Trip

Liang Huan Lu: Mr. Lu

Alexander Walter Barr Lyle: Sandy

Hunter Mahan: H

Roger Maltbie: Rogo

Lloyd Mangrum: Mr. Icicle

Don Massengale: Bugs Bunny

Gary McCord: Magic

Jack McGowan: Dead Man

Pat McGowan: McGoo

Benson Rayfield McLendon Jr.: B.R.; Mac

Robert Lynn McRoy Jr.: Spike

Harold McSpaden: Jug

William Mehlhorn: Wild Bill

Steve Melnyk: Fluffy; Deity

Phil Mickelson: The Thrill; Lefty

Cary Middlecoff: Doc; Cavity

Larry Mize: Kindness

Colin Montgomerie: Monty

Orville Moody: Sarge

Gil Morgan: Doc

Thomas Morris Sr.: Old Tom

Thomas Morris Jr.: Young Tom; Tommie

Bob Murphy: Murph

Byron Nelson: Lord Byron

Jack Nicklaus: The Golden Bear

Mike Nicolette: Clouseau

Greg Norman: Great White Shark

Tim Norris: Pac-Man

Andy North: Andy South

Christy O'Connor Sr.: Wristy Christy

Jose Maria Olazabal: Chemma

Ed Oliver: Porky

Peter Oosterhuis: Oyster House; Oosty

Louis Oosthuizen: Shrek

Masashi Ozaki: Jumbo

Naomichi Ozaki: Joe

Tateo Ozaki: Jet

Arnold Palmer: The King; Arnie; Bull

Steve Pate: The Volcano

Corey Pavin: The Bulldog

Henry Picard: The Hershey Hurricane

Gary Player: The Black Knight; Finest; Laddie

Dan Pohl: Pohl Cat

Dana Quigley: Iron Man

Edward Ray: Ted

William Chesney Reavie: Chez

Victor Regalado: Pancho

Mike Reid: Radar

Jack Renner: The Prince; Prince Valiant

Robert Riegel: Skee

Larry Rinker: Rink

Loren Roberts: Boss of the Moss

Juan Rodriguez: Chi Chi

Barbara Romack: L'il Tiger

Andres Romero: Pigu

Eduardo Romero: The Big Cat

Bob Rosburg: Rossie

Mason Rudolph: Spy

Paul Runyan: Little Poison

Doug Sanders: Peacock of the Fairways

Gene Sarazen: The Squire

Gene Sauers: Gino

Charles Sifford: Charley; Little Horse

Jim Simons: The Chipper

Scott Simpson: Disco

Vijay Singh: The Big Fijian

Jeff Sluman: Slu

Horton Smith: The Joplin Ghost

Mike Smith: Smitty

Sam Snead: Slammin' Sammy; The Slammer; Nude Knob

Ed Sneed: Answer Man

Mike Souchak: Sooch; Smokey the Bear

Craig Stadler: The Walrus

Payne Stewart: Knickers; Avis

Curtis Strange: Curtis Weird

Ron Streck: Streaker

Mae Louise Suggs: Miss Sluggs

John Henry Taylor: J.H.

Alvin Clarence Thomas: Titanic Thompson

Hugh Thompson: Rocky

Peter Thomson: Five Times

Bob Toski: Mighty Mite; Mouse

Walter Travis: Old Man

Lee Trevino: The Merry Mex; Super Mex

Bob Tway: Brillo

Howard Twitty: Tweety-bird

Brett Upper: Downer

Ken Venturi: Silks

Jerry Lanston Wadkins: Lanny

James Joseph Waldorf Jr.: Duffy

Gerry Watson Jr.: Bubba

Tom Watson: Huck

Thomas Brent Weekley: Boo

Tom Weiskopf: The Towering Inferno

Mark Wiebe: Weebs

Francis Winninger: Bo

Willie Wood: Wee Willie

Eldrick Woods: Tiger

Ian Woosnam: Woosie

Lew Worsham: The Chin; Jaw

Robert Wrenn: Eskimo Pie

Mary Kathryn Wright: Mickey

Mildred Didrikson Zaharias: The Babe

Kermit Zarley: The Pro from the Moon

Frank Urban Zoeller: Fuzzy