5 Top Sportsmen Who Are Also First-Class Golfers

5 Top Sportsmen Who Are Also First-Class Golfers

Apr 27, 2020 

Ivan Lendl (Handicap 0)

I have no doubt in my mind that if Lendl had chosen Golf as his first choice of sport, he would have reached the top, and probably won a major or two. Lendl was the terminator of the tennis tour, totally dominating the sport from the mid-80s to early 90s. Not only did he win 8 grand slams, 94 singles titles but retained the number one spot for 270 weeks.

For most sports legends this would have been enough. Lendl had to retire from the tennis tour due to chronic back pain from a torn disk at 34.

After having back surgery in the mid-90s Lendl decided he wanted to compete in what he considers his first love, golf.

Lendl was driven to compete; his tennis legacy was firmly cemented into sports history. Now he put all his energy into becoming a professional golfer.

His attempt at becoming a professional golfer after such an illustrious tennis career, has become the stuff of folklore in the professional sports community.

Lendl would play up to 250 rounds a year to play a 0.0 handicap index. In the 90s he played several US open qualifiers, several qualifiers for European tours and three Nike tours. In 2008 he again competed in a US open qualifier, but unfortunately did not make it out of the qualifying stages.

Lendl will always be remembered for his tennis career. Imagine, if he could achieve a handicap of 0.0 in his late 30s, what might he have achieved had he started playing golf as a teenager?


Nate Roberts (Handicap 0)

Nate Roberts is a gold medallist freestyle skier; Roberts has also won 10 world cup victories between 2003-2007. Roberts if famous or should I say infamous for performing the first backflip in a freestyle skiing event (the backflip is not sanctioned by FIS as it’s considered far too dangerous). He performed the jump in 2005 in an exhibition just a week before winning the world championship in Finland.


What most people and many sports fans do not know is Roberts is an incredibly talented and accomplished golfer. In 2009 he was ranked 6th in the world in the celebrity golf rankings by Golf Digest.

He currently works at Park City Golf Club as a first assistant golf pro.

Pete Sampras (handicap 0.5)

When it comes to mental mindset, tennis and golf are remarkably similar. Playing at top level tennis requires a mindset and concentration level that is off the charts. Both Sampras and Lendl were very unemotional on the court, every bit of their focus and mental energy went into shutting out the outside world of distractions and focusing on beating their opponent from the inside out.

Being the best of the best requires you to have a winning mindset. If you look at what Sampras achieved on the court a large percentage of his victories are down to staying cool and calculated at pivotal points during a match. In tennis there are points to be won, but at certain moments some points are worth more than others. Staying calm and focused on match deciding moments is the key to becoming a champion.

Pete Sampras has proved if you have the right mindset and focus you can achieve success at any sport you put your mind to. Tennis requires rock steady focus and so does golf. Sampras was introduced to Golf at the age of 16 by the then junior Davis Cup coach Stan Smith. Perhaps it was the calmness and need of metal focus for playing golf that took Sampras to the number one position in the world of tennis for 286 weeks.

Sampras also achieved 12 Grand Slam titles in tennis plus many other tournament wins. On the tennis court Sampras was the ‘ice man’, never showing rage or emotion. Therefore, Sampras has the perfect temperament that is so suited to playing golf.

John Brodie

John Brodie was an NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49s from 1957 to 1973. In 1970 he was named the NFLs most valuable player. He had over 201 career games with 214 touch downs. 16 years in topflight NFL football is no mean feat!

Brodie's other passion was golf. He competed as a professional golfer on the PGA Senior Tour from 1985 to 1998.

He had 12 top ten finishes and one-win PGA Tour Champion 1991. He had a total golf career earnings of 735k on the pro tour!

Esteban Toledo

Toledo was a professional boxer for 4 years with 16 wins and 1 loss under his belt, until appendicitis put an end to his boxing dreams. After taking a job as a bartender at a country club, he took up playing golf on his days off. In his own words he said ‘’I just seemed to get really good at it”.

Born in 1962 into poverty in Mexico, no one could have imagined the tough boxing street kid would transfer his athletic skills to the gentile greens of the golf world.

Toledo turned professional in1986. His sole victory on the Nationwide Tour came about at the Lake Erie Charity Classic at Peek 'n Peak Resort in 2005. He won the 2000 Mexican Open and represented Mexico in the World Cup in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

In 2013, Toledo became the first Mexican to win the Champions Tour, winning the Insperity Championship in a playoff.

Toledo has since won three times on the Champions Tour at the 2013 Montreal Championship, 2015 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and 2016 Allianz Championship.

This blog is written by The Caddy

ivan lendi professional tennis player

Ivan Lendl (Handicap 0)

I have no doubt in my mind that if Lendl had chosen Golf as his first choice of sport, he would have reached the top, and probably won a major or two. Lendl was the terminator of the tennis tour, totally dominating the sport from the mid-80s to early 90s. Not only did he win 8 grand slams, 94 singles titles but retained the number one spot for 270 weeks.

For most sports legends this would have been enough. Lendl had to retire from the tennis tour due to chronic back pain from a torn disk at 34.

After having back surgery in the mid-90s Lendl decided he wanted to compete in what he considers his first love, golf.

Lendl was driven to compete; his tennis legacy was firmly cemented into sports history. Now he put all his energy into becoming a professional golfer.

His attempt at becoming a professional golfer after such an illustrious tennis career, has become the stuff of folklore in the professional sports community.

Lendl would play up to 250 rounds a year to play a 0.0 handicap index. In the 90s he played several US open qualifiers, several qualifiers for European tours and three Nike tours. In 2008 he again competed in a US open qualifier, but unfortunately did not make it out of the qualifying stages.

Lendl will always be remembered for his tennis career. Imagine, if he could achieve a handicap of 0.0 in his late 30s, what might he have achieved had he started playing golf as a teenager?

 

Nate Roberts (Handicap 0)

Nate Roberts is a gold medallist freestyle skier; Roberts has also won 10 world cup victories between 2003-2007. Roberts if famous or should I say infamous for performing the first backflip in a freestyle skiing event (the backflip is not sanctioned by FIS as it’s considered far too dangerous). He performed the jump in 2005 in an exhibition just a week before winning the world championship in Finland.


What most people and many sports fans do not know is Roberts is an incredibly talented and accomplished golfer. In 2009 he was ranked 6th in the world in the celebrity golf rankings by Golf Digest.

He currently works at Park City Golf Club as a first assistant golf pro.

pete sampras professional tennis player

Pete Sampras (handicap 0.5)

When it comes to mental mindset, tennis and golf are remarkably similar. Playing at top level tennis requires a mindset and concentration level that is off the charts. Both Sampras and Lendl were very unemotional on the court, every bit of their focus and mental energy went into shutting out the outside world of distractions and focusing on beating their opponent from the inside out.

Being the best of the best requires you to have a winning mindset. If you look at what Sampras achieved on the court a large percentage of his victories are down to staying cool and calculated at pivotal points during a match. In tennis there are points to be won, but at certain moments some points are worth more than others. Staying calm and focused on match deciding moments is the key to becoming a champion.

Pete Sampras has proved if you have the right mindset and focus you can achieve success at any sport you put your mind to. Tennis requires rock steady focus and so does golf. Sampras was introduced to Golf at the age of 16 by the then junior Davis Cup coach Stan Smith. Perhaps it was the calmness and need of metal focus for playing golf that took Sampras to the number one position in the world of tennis for 286 weeks.

Sampras also achieved 12 Grand Slam titles in tennis plus many other tournament wins. On the tennis court Sampras was the ‘ice man’, never showing rage or emotion. Therefore, Sampras has the perfect temperament that is so suited to playing golf.

john brodie american professional football player

John Brodie

John Brodie was an NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49s from 1957 to 1973. In 1970 he was named the NFLs most valuable player. He had over 201 career games with 214 touch downs. 16 years in topflight NFL football is no mean feat!

Brodie's other passion was golf. He competed as a professional golfer on the PGA Senior Tour from 1985 to 1998.

He had 12 top ten finishes and one-win PGA Tour Champion 1991. He had a total golf career earnings of 735k on the pro tour!

esteban toledo mexican professional golfer

Esteban Toledo

Toledo was a professional boxer for 4 years with 16 wins and 1 loss under his belt, until appendicitis put an end to his boxing dreams. After taking a job as a bartender at a country club, he took up playing golf on his days off. In his own words he said ‘’I just seemed to get really good at it”.

Born in 1962 into poverty in Mexico, no one could have imagined the tough boxing street kid would transfer his athletic skills to the gentile greens of the golf world.

Toledo turned professional in1986. His sole victory on the Nationwide Tour came about at the Lake Erie Charity Classic at Peek 'n Peak Resort in 2005. He won the 2000 Mexican Open and represented Mexico in the World Cup in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

In 2013, Toledo became the first Mexican to win the Champions Tour, winning the Insperity Championship in a playoff.

Toledo has since won three times on the Champions Tour at the 2013 Montreal Championship, 2015 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and 2016 Allianz Championship.

This blog is written by The Caddy

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