Their birthnames are Eldrick Tont Woods and Gerry Lester Watson, but they are better known as “Tiger” and “Bubba”. Then there is another American, Mark O’Meara, who was rumoured to be called “Mark It Nearer” by Swede Jarmo Sandelin in 1997 after being accused of improperly marking his ball.
There are also a few golfers on the Sunshine Tour with nicknames, one of them being Titch Moore, who played in the Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung at his home course at St Francis Links.
His name is actually Trevor but he earned the moniker “Titch” at primary school and it stuck, which is ironic for a player who could hardly be described as diminutive.
“I’ve been called Titch since I was small,” said Moore. “My dad’s name is also Trevor and sometimes that would cause confusion. Because I was such a small guy, people started calling me Titch and although I eventually shot up and grew sideways, the name stayed with me.”
Although he is a regular on the Sunshine Tour, Jaco Ahlers did not compete after cracking an invitation to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
An outspoken individual who is never afraid to voice an opinion, Ahlers’ nickname on Tour is Ken.
“Ken alles is Afrikaans for ‘know everything’ and that’s how Jaco got his nickname,” explained Moore.
Many players go by a diminutive of their name, like Andre Cruse, who is called “Crusey” by his mates.
And then there is Lyle Rowe, who is dubbed “Sloth” because of his slovenly appearance. Moore’s travelling buddy on Tour is Abraham Jacques Coetsee, but he is known as Wallie. Moore says the Titch nickname has often caused confusion.
“There have been times when the list of entries for a tournament is released and my mates ask me why I’m not there. I am, but under the name Trevor Richard Moore. Lots of the guys have no idea those are my real names,” he said with a chuckle.