18 Holes With Tiger Woods

A peek into the life and game of the world’s most high-profile athlete.

ProFilesAfter this year’s British Open everyone has decided that Tiger is back. I wonder if he ever left. He had a sub-Tiger 2004 because of a swing change, but he’s still the same guy, with a grind-it-out attitude, and never-say-die approach to winning.

Tiger Woods looms large every time he tees it up. I’m taking a closer look at his life and his game this week.

John Daly

One of the PGA Tour’s most colorful characters, John Daly is a people’s champion.

John DalyWhile John Daly has lived one of the most turbulent lives on the PGA Tour in recent years, he has walked away from wreck after self-inflicted wreck looking pretty good. While others whose lives are pristine by comparison try to maintain a “positive image,” Daly, who has wallowed in the mud, has come out looking pretty clean. Probably the biggest reason so many folks love Daly is that his life has been an open book. Daly’s best PR tool has been his honesty. What you see is what you get.

John has lived life with the accelerator pressed all the way to the floor. Born on April 28, 1966 in Carmichael, California John grew up in Arkansas. The resulting “good old boy” persona he is known for has helped him win the hearts of many.

Fred Couples

Couples continues to find a measure of success on the Tour while dealing with injury and a deep field.

Fred Couples DriverFred Couples has become a familiar face to golf fans since he turned pro in 1980. Born in Seattle, Washington, Couples got his PGA Tour start in 1981. He is a favorite for many who live in the Pacific Northwest. Nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his length off the tee, Freddy has a total of 15 PGA victories to date. You might recognize him from a certain Bridgestone commercial. All together now, “Boom, boom, boom, boom.”

As a testimony to Couples’ staying power, he is 27th on this year’s money list at $1,459,046. He broke in to the top 20 again after his excellent finish at the British Open last week and is currently ranked 17th in the world. He finished 12th on the money list in 2004 after starting in just 16 tournaments due to back trouble. His back limited both his tournament schedule and his ability to practice for much of last year.

Fred Couples is Mr. Cool on and off the course. Not much seems to rattle him, unless you are talking about his lack of wins of late.

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus dominated golf for three decades and is golf’s most decorated champion.

Nicklaus 1972“The Golden Bear” doesn’t need much of an introduction to anyone familiar with the game of golf. Many have considered him the greatest to have ever played the game. He is very simply, the most decorated golfer of all time. After joining the professional ranks in 1962 he amassed an impressive 73 PGA titles, including 18 major championships. If it weren’t for a certain player named Woods we could only dream of someone with such dominance in our era.

Jack began his career with a lofty goal and a worthy opponent. “Jones is the greatest golfer who ever lived and probably ever will live,” said Nicklaus in 1960. “That’s my goal. Bobby Jones. It’s the only goal.” And that is what he became, a Bobby Jones. The greatest of his era.

David Toms

Southern Boy David Toms’ unassuming nature doesn’t mean that he hasn’t made a place for himself in golf.

david tomsI’ve never been to Louisiana, but I can picture some of the folks who live there sitting on the front porch sipping lemonade on a hot summer day. David Toms fits that image well. David Toms is a low-profile man with a high-profile game. Low-profile comes naturally to a guy who grew up, not in New York, Seattle, or Beverly Hills, but in Shreveport, Louisiana. The pace there is a bit slower than in almost any part of the country and that is the way Toms seems to like it.

Jim Furyk, Unorthodox But Effective

Jim Furyk is one of the PGA Tour’s most consistent players. He is the first featured in a new column called “ProFiles.”

James Taylor and Jim FurykThis column marks the beginning of a weekly feature called “ProFiles.” Our aim is to highlight high profile people associated with golf’s biggest stage. You can expect to see current PGA players, past greats, architects and influential people in the game featured one at a time every week. I’m looking foreword to looking at colorful characters in golf each week with you.

Jim Furyk is the player I’ve chosen for this first installment of “ProFiles.” I’m impressed with the kind of golf that Furyk has been playing this year even though we could safely say he has not found the kind of results that he might have became accustomed to through the middle of his career… yet. Jim Furyk is a bit of an anomaly on Tour as he has such a strange looking swing. In a day and age where many swing coaches are saying many of the same things about swing plane and technique Jim does not fit their profile. David Feherty once said he thought Furyk’s swing looked like “an octopus falling out of a tree.” Well, this octopus is a classy guy in my book.