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There are many remarkable personalities in the world of golf, among them the genius of Jack Nicklaus, the touching decency of Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods' prodigious talent. Here are some of the most outstanding stories the sport has to offer. 1) Jack Nicklaus: The Best Ever Jack Nicklaus, 'The Golden Bear', is commonly regarded as the best golfer in the history of the world. Nicklaus, now aged 68, won a record 18 professional majors in his 25 years of PGA golf tours. In the senior version of the PGA golf tours, the Champions Tour, he scored a record eight majors. Both of these records still stand today. As a child, Jack Nicklaus suffered from mild polio, and the foreword of his book, 'Golf My Way' states, 'Even a slight case of polio failed to prevent him from turning up...for a golf match.' 2) Tiger Woods: The Child Prodigy Currently ranked as the world's number one golfer, Tiger Woods began playing golf at the tender age of two. By the age of three, he astounded onlookers at the Navy Golf Club in Cypress, California, when he shot 48 over nine holes. Woods is a quarter Chinese, a quarter Thai, a quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch, and refers to himself as 'Cablinasian', a portmanteau word he coined from Caucasian, Black, American-Indian, and Asian. Early in Tiger Woods' career, some golf experts feared that his exceptional talent would have a negative affect on game. They imagined the rest of the top golfers would get sick of always competing for second place, and fans would tire of watching the same person win every match. In fact, Tiger Woods' brilliance, coupled with his youthful charisma, have encouraged a whole new generation of golfers to take up the sport. 3) Lee Trevino: A Fight From Poverty Lee Trevino, now 68, is an American golfer and an icon for Mexican Americans. This courageous character of golf was born in poverty in Texas. At the age of five, he was put to work in the cotton fields. When Trevino's uncle gave him a few old golf balls and a rusty golf club, he was suddenly hooked. At eight he began caddying at a local golf course, a job which enabled the young Trevino to practice the game with old discarded golf clubs and balls, hitting at least 300 balls after work each day. Trevino ended up as one of golf's great legends - in 2000 he was ranked as the 14th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine. Trevino has established numerous scholarships and continues to offer assistance to less fortunate Mexican Americans. 4) Rory McIlroy: The Teen Sensation


Rory McIlroy is the latest sensation on the golf tournament circuit. At the tender age of 18, this young star from Northern Ireland is on the verge of breaking into the world's top 200 following making joint 11th at the 2008 Abu Dhabi Championship. In 2005, Rory McIlroy became the youngest ever winner of both the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close Championship. The super-confident youth intends to become one of the world's top golfers over the coming years. 'I want to be a major contender in five or 10 years and try to win majors, and if I can do that I will achieve my main goal', he said in a recent interview. 5) Bobby Jones: The Impeccable Sportsman Bobby Jones is still the only golfer ever to have won the Grand Slam, or all four major championships in the same year. Jones was not only a great golfer, he was also a true sportsman. In 1925, Jones was in the final playoff of the US Open golf tournament at the Worcester Country Golf Club. When his ball ended up in the rough he was setting up to play his shot and his golf club caused a slight movement of the ball. Jones immediately turned to the marshals and called a penalty on himself. The confused marshals looked to the gallery, but since neither they nor anyone else had witnessed the golf club incident, the decision was left to Jones. Bobby Jones called the two-stroke penalty on himself, unaware that he would lose the golf tournament by one stroke. When praised for the gesture, Jones replied, 'You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.' The United States Golf Association's sportsmanship award has since been named the Bob Jones Award in his honour, and Jones' honesty was properly rewarded when he went on to win the Grand Slam the following year.

Morgan Clarke is the Chairman of Your Golf Holidays, a company which has been providing golf holidays [http://www.yourgolfholidays.com] for over 25 years. The award-winning specialist tour operator is privately-owned and determined to ensure that both experienced golfers and novices will enjoy an unforgettable experience in whichever of the 20+ countries they want to play in.

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Five Incredible Characters of Golf  

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