The Five Best Personal Brands in Golf

Let’s face it, when the average person thinks of golf, they probably think of Tiger Woods.

OR, they think of a bunch of pretentious old white dudes with zero personality.

That’s the reputation golf has had for years, and while some might try to change this, that’s probably the reputation that it will have for awhile.

I was talking with my friend Dan during a round a couple weeks ago about how the golf industry in general is in need of an overhaul.  Stats have shown participation in the sport is contracting, and during a time when everything is more connected and accessible, we should see numbers skyrocketing.

That being said, in order to stand out as a golfer, you need to mix it up and do something different.  You don’t want to be just one more pretentious white dude.

That being said, there are a few people out there doing golf on their terms, and having a ton of success with it.

Today we’re going to look at the five best personal brands in golf.  We’re not talking about the best players necessarily, but the people who have made an impact in ways that transcend off the golf course.  People who are recongized by those outside of the golf world, and are doing things the right way in an age of connectedness and social media.

#5: Rory McIlroy

rory mcilroy

For the past year, Rory has been one of the most talked about golfers on tour. He’s young, likes to have fun, and many believe he’s the future of golf.

I mean how can you not like a guy who locks himself out of his room during a tournament and is cool enough to tweet about it.

He goes into the most tradition rich place in the sport, and still has a good time and doesn’t hide from the spotlight with his tennis star girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki.

Oh, and there’s also that GIANT Nike contract he just signed.

Rory is young, and is exactly what the sport of golf needs more of.

#4: Ricky Fowler

ricky fowler

Ricky may not be the best player on tour, but he’s someone that whether you know it or not, you’d recognize. Bright colors, flat-brimmed hats, he’s made a name for himself in a way that has the potential to reach mass appeal.

Then you throw in things like the Golf Boys Videos, and you can see that he isn’t afraid to show a little personality in an industry where everything is relatively sterile.

Ricky’s stock is only going to go up as he continues to make a name for himself and experience a few more years on tour.

In addition to that Golf Boys video, we came across this Red Bull video of “urban golfing” that further proves the point that Ricky’s brand rockin’ his personal brand:

#3: Bubba Watson

bubba watson

Winning the 2012 Masters with one of the greatest golf shots of all time, put Bubba on the map.  But he’s long done things his way and established himself as one of the most unique players in the game.

He never took any formal lessons, has a hot pink driver, and cried after his big win.

He’s made a name for himself with his big drives, but it’s his unique personality that people coming back and cheering for him.

He’s another member of that boy band with Ricky above, but he does have one thing Ricky doesn’t:

#2: Jack Nicklaus

There are few people out there who haven’t heard of Jack Nicklaus – even non-golfers. Jack Nicklaus

His signature Golden Bear emblem can be found at courses across the world, and he’s done an incredible job of taking his golfing prowess and expanding it into other avenues.

You can pick up Jack Nicklaus Golf Clubs at Costco. In the decade before Tiger Woods became the world’s most famous golf video game, Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear series had the distinction of being the best golf game on the market.

His design firm has become one of the most notable in the world – and it was him that designed my first of the top 100 public golf courses – Pronghorn outside of Bend, Oregon.

It’s safe to say Jack’s brand isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

#1: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Did you really think it was going to be anyone else?

Tiger Woods changed the face of golf as we know it. As of now he’s back to #1 in the world, even if it’s been awhile since he’s won a major.

His TW line for Nike is one of the best selling in the history of the company. His EA Sports Tiger Woods video games are the best selling golf games of all time.

He was the first athlete to be declared a billionaire and he’s inspired countless people to pick up the game of golf.

Whether you love him or hate him, you’ve absolutely heard of him, and there’s no denying he’s one of the greatest athletes (and brands) of all time.

So, who did you I miss? Any personal golf brands you think should be on the list? 

Photo Credits: Edbalaun, Internetsense, gotobermuda, memofloreschasemcalpine,

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