Let’s face it, golf and tattoos do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. I won’t waste time pontificating why this is the case. However, I will share some stats on tats: More than one-third of U.S. citizens age 20 – 40 have a tattoo. It is theorized that in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL combined the percentage of inked professional athletes is greater than 50%. Yet on the PGA Tour, the number of its tattooed athletes is so low that it is a statistical anomaly.
By my calculations, LeBron James has more tattoos (24) than the total number of inked golfers currently on the PGA Tour. And in case you were wondering, David Beckham is the most “decorated” professional athlete of all time (it’s reported that he has 63). Here are my top ten tats on Tour:
Francesco Molinari has a random tattoo on his upper right arm. In 2019 he explained the history in an interview with USA Today.
“It’s a Chinese symbol for the tiger,” Molinari said. “It was a silly thing. I turned 18 and it was a way of rebelling, I guess. I thought ‘I’m 18, I can do whatever I want, I’ll get a tattoo. The thing that I regret is that I went in and I wanted to have a tattoo, but I didn’t have a clue about what tattoo I should have. The guy was trying to tell me to come back another time, think about what you want. But I said, ‘No, no we need to do it now, just show me a catalog of images. I wish it was something more meaningful than a random Chinese symbol. I can’t even be 100% sure that it is a Chinese symbol for a tiger. It might be fried dumplings or something!”
“Relentless” is Max Homa’s favorite word. He used to tell his Cal teammates, “You have to be a bulldog, you have to be tough.” Max has always believed that you can never give up. He believed so much in this mindset that he tattooed “RELENTLESS” on the outside of his right wrist. Now every time he brushes his teeth he is reminded of this mantra.
Speaking of honoring the ones we love; for his tenth wedding anniversary in 2014, Bubba Watson got “Angie” tattooed on his left ring finger. He spent $60. I would say he got off pretty cheap for his anniversary!
Rory Sabbatini has four visible tattoos on his arms. The one on his right bicep appears to be a wave. Two are tribal designs (right wrist and inside of his left bicep). Finally, he has Roman numerals X-XV-MMXIV on his left forearm, which I am assuming is an anniversary (October 15, 2014).
Matt Every loves the band Oasis! He not only paid homage to them by naming his son, Liam, after lead singer, Liam Gallagher, he also tattooed the title of his favorite song, Live Forever, inside his right arm. Additionally, Matt has the tattoo of a heart rate on the inside of his left forearm.
Like most of us, D.J. Trahan has had his ups and downs in life. However, he is one positive cat despite his struggles. Trahan believes in positive vibes and a positive attitude. In fact, his tattoo is the Latin translation of “elevate always.” Live, don’t just exist.
Danny Willett might be the first Masters champion to have a tattoo. Oh, the horror! In all seriousness, I have no idea about the meaning of his “infinity” design with roman numerals underneath. I am going to guess that it is symbolic of his never-ending love for his wife, Nicole.
This one will likely surprise a lot of people. But Justin Thomas has two tats. Both in honor of his family. One is a very small tattoo below his left elbow. It is a design that looks like a golf tee but it is the letter “T” which stands for Thomas (obviously). This symbol is in honor of the close relationship he has with his parents. JT added new ink a few months back on his inner right bicep. His latest tattoo appears to be the signature of his late-grandfather, Paul Thomas.
Rickie has the most (six) visible tattoos. Recently he memorialized his wedding anniversary to Allison Stokke with “X V” on his ring finger. (The couple was married on October 5, 2019). Barely visible on the inside of his left wrist (often covered by his glove) is the signature of his late swing coach, Barry McDonnell. On the inside of his left bicep is the name of his maternal grandfather, Yukata Tanaka in Japanese script. On his right wrist is a tiny “F.” Finally, the coolest of them all is the “G” near his left elbow. This is in honor of Georgia Veach, daughter of a Seattle-based pastor Rickie met through fellow Golf Boy, Bubba Watson. Georgia was diagnosed at four months old with a rare brain disorder. Interestingly, pop superstar, Justin Bieber also has the same “G” tattoo.
Tyler McCumber might be the closest to having a full sleeve (it’s almost half a sleeve). He also has the coolest ink on Tour. The TravisMathew ambassador and surf enthusiast rocks two tats on his left arm. The one on the inside of his bicep is a skeleton/mermaid and the one on the outside is a fisherman with an underwater scene. Not quite David Beckham or LeBron James, but McCumber is as close as we are going to get on the PGA Tour.