Jan 28th, 2019
Top 20 Daft Golf Trophies
A wooden baguette?? Really??!
Words: Gavin Newsham Photography: Getty Images
20: THE SEVE TROPHY
It will come as no surprise that the man who had a tattoo of himself on his arm commissioned a trophy of his own likeness for the competition that bears his name.
19: THE EVIAN MASTERS TROPHY
What, exactly, is it? A cocktail shaker? A Thermos flask? Answers on a postcard, please. With nobody in the known world having a clue what the cup was really meant to be, least of all the winners, the Evian Masters trophy was consigned to the scrap heap in 2004 and replaced by something that actually resembled a proper piece of silverware. Incidentally, the last time anybody saw the old trophy, Juli Inkster was grating some cheese on to her toast with it....
18: THE LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS TROPHY
The Laureus World Sports Awards are held annually to recognise the great, the good and the obscenely wealthy of the sporting pantheon. And how do they recognise them? By offloading a bunch of trophies that look like a gay couple that have come unstuck when caught using their Explanar swing training system for reasons other than those outlined in the instruction booklet.
17: THE FUNAI CLASSIC TROPHY
You’d never guess who sponsors this tour- nament, would you? As the premier Mickey Mouse event on the PGA Tour, the FUNAI at the Walt Disney World Resort is one of the better pay days on the circuit, but also one of the more embarrassing ones, too. Look at Lucas Glover’s “Get me out of here” face. On one hand, he’s just registered his maiden Tour win and pocketed more money than most of us will see in a lifetime, but on the other, he’s been given a trophy that looks like something the kids have unwrapped on Christmas Day. What’s more, he’s then got to suffer the shame of a photo shoot with a man dressed as a giant, unrealistic cartoon mouse. In a bow tie.
16: THE BELLSOUTH CLASSIC TROPHY
In his book The Modern Fundamentals Of Golf, Bobby Jones wrote that “good golf begins with a good grip”. What he didn’t say was that you’d also need things like legs, a body, a head, feet, arms, etc. Presumably, the words of Jones were at the fore- front of the mind of the designer behind the BellSouth Classic trophy, which, scarily, is just a pair of hands gripping a club. Addams Family anyone?
15: THE SCOTTISH OPEN TROPHY
Trophies should always be enormous, otherwise they run the risk of looking pathetic when the winner holds them aloft. Look at the Ashes urn – you can pick that up with your finger and thumb. The Ryder Cup? Maybe a finger more. The Scottish Open trophy, modelled here by Ernie Els, has no handles, no silver, no nothing. The result is a wooden trophy- cum-souvenir that resembles a GCSE woodwork project gone wrong.
14: THE BATTLE AT THE BRIDGES TROPHY
Enough of these golf “battles” please. When, after all, has a golf match ever come anywhere close to being a battle? Answer: never, and especially not when it’s sponsored by Lincoln Financial. Did that happen with the battles of yesteryear? Of course it didn’t. It wasn’t the Smythe’s Meat Products Battle Of Trafalgar, was it? Truth is, it’s just some players whacking balls around a course for a fistful of cash, with an element of competition thrown in to make it more appetising to television companies. If you’re lucky, the organisers will also throw in a trophy that you’ll do well to get rid of, like this tournament’s old, sub-Ray Harryhausen piece of tat.
13: THE QATAR MASTERS TROPHY
That’s a bugger of a lie, isn’t it? Modelled on John Daly’s mouth, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Mother Of Pearl trophy is one of the more unusual awards on the European Tour in that if anyone tries to snatch the pearl from the centre, the lid snaps shut in an instant, trapping the fingers in the process.
12: THE CISCO WORLD MATCHPLAY TROPHY
The remarkable thing about the World Matchplay was that it used to attract such a high quality field, despite the dubious quality of the trophy on offer. Look at it. Part Wimbledon Ladies Singles title, and part Pimp My Ride hub cap, it looked as though it had fallen off a Ford Transit on the southbound A3 and been found on the hard shoulder. By Colin Montgomerie.
11: THE RBS SHOT OF THE MONTH TROPHY
It may look like a tea tray (That’s because it is – Ed) but this is one of the most useful awards a professional golfer can receive.
Not only does it look shiny on the shelf, but it is especially handy for those times when you want to watch TV’s Pointless and eat your dinner at the same time, or for sliding down hills when it’s been snowing. What more you could ask for from a trophy?
10: THE HERITAGE CLASSIC TROPHY
Decent tournament and all that, but quite why the organisers insist on humiliating the winner is anyone’s guess? Not only do they make the champion suffer the indignity of wearing a tartan, plaid jacket so heinous that Timmy Mallett would run for cover, but the ‘trophy’ you receive is embedded in a wooden cabinet, which means you can’t even fill the thing with bubbly and drink so much that you can begin to forget that you’re wearing that jacket in full glare of the world’s sports media...
9: THE TARGET WORLD CHALLENGE TROPHY
You’d think that if you hosted your own charity golf tournament you’d have some kind of say in what trophy the winner gets. But in the case of Tiger’s Target World Challenge, somebody somewhere saw fit to commission a bit of tat that looks as if it’s been bought in six easy installments from the pages of a Sunday newspaper magazine. Matters were then compounded when Woods went and won the thing in 2004 and had to stand there with his trophy with a little Tiger sitting proudly on the top. Let’s pray Kris Cox never gets his own event...
8: THE 84 LUMBER CLASSIC TROPHY
If ever there was a trophy destined for eBay, the big wooden bird awarded to the winner of the 84 Lumber Classic must be right up there with the very worst of them. To the untrained eye, it looks like a sparrow that’s hurt its wing, been taken in by John Daly and then nursed back to health on a diet of Big Macs, large fries and Supersized Cokes, while to the trained eye, it looks like, well, pretty much the same thing really.
7: THE EUROPEAN SENIOR MASTERS TROPHY
In ice hockey they have trophies so gargantuan that grown men at the peak of their physical fitness are unable to lift them off the ground. In the rickety world of Seniors Golf, where hip replacements and osteoporosis are all the rage, however, they have to be extra careful just in case the weight of the cup makes the winner’s lumbago flare up again. That’s why the winners of the European Senior Masters receive a trophy so small, so utterly insignificant, that it looks as if the promoters picked it up at Alan’s Discount Trophies and Key Cutting on the way to Woburn.
6: SKINS GAME AT INDIO, CALIFORNIA TROPHY
When youngsters dream of becoming a successful professional golfer, they doubtless envisage fame and fortune beyond compare, houses as big as their schools, a fleet of cars for all occasions, and a trophy cabinet stuffed full of glittering silver trophies. They do not expect a head of broccoli that’s been rotting at the bottom of the fridge for a month and then mounted on a cheap wooden plinth.
5: THE GINN CLUBS & RESORT OPEN TROPHY
The trophies on the LPGA Tour defy belief, and the Chihuly Trophy is a case in point. Created by renowned American glass artist Dale Chihuly, it was commissioned by Ginn Clubs and Resorts who wanted something that represented the vibrancy, brilliance and fun of the event, although what they ended up with was an enormous vase-cum-bowl. Sadly, they didn’t commission a big old bespoke mantelpiece for it to sit on as well.
4: THE BAY HILL TROPHY
Now that’s what we all a trophy. No namby-pamby bit of tin with a couple of handles. Oh no, just a ruddy great sword. Genius. Now, in the hands of someone as cool and composed as Kenny Perry, it makes a terrific trophy, but what happens if it gets into the wrong hands? What happens if it’s awarded to a player so wayward that it could endanger the galleries? What happens if Thomas Bjorn ever wins it? It doesn’t bear thinking about...
3: THE NORDIC OPEN TROPHY
Trophies as headgear? Only in Scandinavia. At the Nordic Open near Copenhagen in Denmark, England’s Ian Poulter took the title in 2003 and then, to the amazement of everybody watching, risked everything – most notably his expensive young man’s hairdo – by placing the frankly rubbish trophy on his immaculately coiffured head and posing like a clown. Cool.
2: THE BATTLE OF BIGHORN TROPHY
Over the course of his stellar career, Jack Nicklaus probably thought he had seen everything that the great game of golf had to offer. That was until he signed up to The Battle Of The Bighorn in July, 2002. Paired with Tiger Woods, the Golden Bear beat the team of Sergio Garcia and Lee Trevino three and two at the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, California and was then confronted by the monstrosity of a trophy that consisted of two rams slugging it out on some rocks. Nicklaus retired soon after, his belief in the game finally shattered.
1: THE LANCOME TROPHY
Possibly the most homo-erotic award in modern-day golf, the Lancome Trophy ceased being in 2003, but left behind a long list of winners who received the cup and then ‘accidentally’ left it in the locker room. Here, the 2001 winner, Spain’s Sergio Garcia, carefully avoids gripping the naked torso any lower than necessary and smiles the smile of a man who’s clearly thinking: “Just get the cheque and get out of here.” For the record, the body is a scale replica of Colin Montgomerie’s upper body circa 1989, although the Scot doesn’t have a golf ball for a heart, obviously...