What’s in a name?

Inside Golf - - 19th Hole - Larry Can­ning ed@in­sid­e­golf.com.au

IT seems to me if you in­tend to be a great sports­man, specif­i­cally a golf­ing leg­end, you need to have a name that says “great­ness.”

Jack Nick­laus. Now that’s a name! The Golden Bear! Big, strong, long. The great­est golfer ever with the best name ever! I guess we’ve all seen past his voice, which sounds like a small bird plead­ing with its mum to re­gur­gi­tate his meal of worms. But all the same, “Jack Nick­laus” screams of folk­lore!

Arnold Palmer. An­other rip­per of a name. The King. His fans adored him. He was an ex­cit­ing, at­tack­ing player who went at the ball like it was try­ing to defy him. “There you go, ball… that’ll teach you”. Arnold turned golf from a pleas­ant out­ing with a doc­tor and a judge and the lo­cal head­mas­ter who wore plaid trousers, into a riv­et­ing glad­i­a­to­rial spec­ta­cle.

Greg Nor­man. The Great White Shark. Noone could hit the ball fur­ther or harder and straighter. They say a great white can smell blood from a kilo­me­tre away and hone in on its prey, strik­ing it with ex­tra­or­di­nary force and pre­ci­sion. (I just scared the $#%& out of my­self ).

Seve Balles­teros. The Mata­dor. Seve took the ro­botic “fair­ways and greens” play of the stereo­typ­i­cal US pro­fes­sional and drove it to the near­est carpark. His huge le­gions of fans were al­ways treated to some­thing ma­jes­tic dur­ing the course of a round and they could see it hap­pen up close and per­sonal. Mainly be­cause he played most of his golf from in­side the gallery. Watch­ing Seve play was like be­ing in a Zorro movie with him hang­ing off chan­de­liers, swip­ing his sword at the bad guys while res­cu­ing the dam­sel with his other hand.

In the mod­ern era, Tiger Woods stands out like a pole dancer in a monastery; he has bro­ken more rules than Chop­per Read and Justin Bieber com­bined. He spits on greens, swears, throws clubs and has had re­la­tions with ev­ery blond fe­male un­der the age of 35 who has resided in the USA since 1997. Hav­ing said all that, Tiger-Trouser-Trout is/was the great­est striker of a golf ball I’ve ever seen. He is also the tough­est com­peti­tor out there and will do what­ever it takes to beat the living day­lights out of you. And what about his name? No, not Woods…. TIGER!

Tak­ing up most of the front pages th­ese days is an­other su­perbly named in­di­vid­ual called Rory! When you whack the sur­name of “McIl­roy” on the end he be­comes the ul­ti­mate Ir­ish light mid­dleweight Cham­pion. “In the red cor­ner, wear­ing the sham­rock shorts and drink­ing a pint of Guin­ness...” etc. His free­wheel­ing swing, which some­how con­verts into dis­tances only a physi­cist could ex­plain, and his won­der­ful down-to earth “the beers are on me” dis­po­si­tion makes him one of the most sought-af­ter best mates on the tour.

Now we come to golf’s new­est su­per­star… Jor­dan Spi­eth. Umhmm.

Per­haps we should split the two words up, shall we? Jor­dan – mean­ing “one who de­scends”. Ok then. Let’s look at Spi­eth. The clos­est I could get to this be­ing as­so­ci­ated with a Bear, Tiger or Great White Shark was a weird look­ing an­i­mal, which re­sides in the forests of the Ama­zon called a Sloth. It has three toes, is the slow­est mov­ing mam­mal on Earth and looks like the re­sult of a ro­man­tic, moon­lit in­ter­lude with an Orang­utan and Pa­trick Reed.

Don’t get me wrong! Jor­dan is pos­si­bly the finest young bloke I’ve ever, nearly met. ( There were 35 other golf journos sit­ting next to me at the time) His game isn’t nec­es­sar­ily bril­liant in any one part, ex­cept maybe for putting and his style of play seems to be best de­scribed as …re­ally ex­cel­lent.

He doesn’t have bleached white hair, smash his nut in­ex­pli­ca­ble dis­tances, or sleep with most of the North­ern Hemi­sphere, but this 21 year-old kid is hurtling at great speed to­wards great­ness!

We owe it to Jor­dan Spi­eth to come up with a nick­name wor­thy of such great­ness; prefer­ably, some­thing bet­ter than a slow mov­ing, weird look­ing mam­mal who tells gal­leries to Shsssh.

Come on read­ers, let’s put our heads to­gether and give the kid a cracker of a moniker.

As al­ways, our Edi­tor, Richard, is sit­ting by the com­puter wait­ing for you to re­spond to ev­ery­thing I write in IN­SIDE GOLF. He loves noth­ing more than to re­ceive feed­back. Par­tic­u­larly when it doesn’t re­quire any legal ac­tion.

Edi­tor’s note: On that note, as you send in your cre­ative monikers for Jor­dan Spi­eth, why don’t you also in­clude a great nick­name for In­side Golf’s one and only Larry Can­ning. The name “Can­ning” has a plethora of op­por­tu­ni­ties – from creamed corn, to lentil soup, to pre­served peach? C’mon, have some fun with it! Send your nick­names to ed@in­sid­e­golf.com.au

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.