Animal Golf Tour – See who Stacks up the as the Best Golfer
Golf Ability Theory from the Animal Kingdom
Have you ever been curious which animal, provided that they could swing a golf club, would be the best golfer? Probably not. Before anyone rights this off as fake, there are some lessons we can learn from the animals in our own golf game. Perhaps your golf game mimics a certain animal…a golf spirit animal you might say.
I’ve chosen two animals from six different categories, courtesy of a Nat Geo animal list. Categories are Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates & Fish. The next step is to rank all 12 animals based off how their traits would transfer to their golf game. Meet the 2017 animal kingdom playing field…
The Mammals: Cheetah & Bottlenose Dolphin
Turns out the mammals intelligence and power can really help a golf game. Both the Cheetah and Bottle Nose Dolphin did well in the 2017 Animal Open with a 1st and 2nd place showing. No wonder names like the Golden Bear and the Walrus have worked so well.
Bottlenose Dolphin: Finish – 1st Place
The dolphin smile may appear to be friendly, but on the course…everyone is a target. Their intelligence puts them at the top of the list for golf knowledge, giving the dolphin a big advantage in confidence. It’s fluidity for the golf swing is parallel to none. The dolphin has every shot in the bag, a low cut, high draw, and experience putting a ball through a hoop. This confidence and ability allows the dolphin to pull victories off time and time again. The dolphin also makes it look easy by combining the right blend of power and balance. I imagine the dolphin is excellent at determining yardages given it’s echolocation abilities. Any negative traits of the dolphins golf game would only come from showing off.
What we can learn from the Bottlenose Dolphin: Fluidity, Tempo, Agility, & Confidence
Cheetah: Finish – T2nd
I imagine the patience of the Cheetah along with it’s planning ability to be one of the better knowledgeable golfing animals on the list. Fast, agile, and deadly accurate, the Cheetah is that elusive top notch golfer that is hanging around the whole tournament in 2nd or 3rd place. Always ready to strike when the opportunity presents itself. Cheetah’s victories would most likely come from some impossible shot from the deep rough on the last hole of the tournament, while the leader in the clubhouse just shakes his head. On the downside, the Cheetah would probably suffer from multi-day tournaments as it’s attack has a limited time span.
What we can learn from the Cheetah: Preparation & Finish Strong
The Birds: Rock Pigeon & Yellow Throated Vireo
Birds certainly get their time in the spotlight when it comes to golf. Birdies, eagles, and seagulls to be specific, but how would these species do if forced to play the game rather than infiltrate? Not great. I probably chose two of the poorer bird golfers in the category. Perhaps a Hawk or Eagle would have finished higher. Retief ‘The Goose’ Goosen would agree….he is good. And so is Angel ‘El Pato’ Cabrera.
Rock Pigeon: Finish – 10th
Perhaps your common amateur golfer, the rock pigeon distinguishes itself on the golf course simply by showing up. Always ready to play, never a real threat to win, but a top 10 finish might be in store for it’s overwhelming desire to play the game. Even if injured, the pigeon loves to golf. They play everyday and end up breaking even most days. It’s golf strategy is to put in the hours on the range and hope it pays off. On Tour, the pigeon is that guy who plays in every possible tournament domestic and abroad. Making the cut is it’s top goal. On the downside, the pigeon is always asking for shot selection advice, disqualifying themselves in the process.
What we can learn from the Rock Pigeon: Practice Practice Practice & Know the Rules
Yellow Throated Vireo: Finish – 6th
An interesting contender on the list is the yellow throated Vireo. It’s geographic location gives it the ability to play golf year round. The Vireo’s golf game is strong, but slow. Definitely in need of some speed training when it comes to both fitness, and pace of play. A slow golfer who is always more interested in finding others golf balls, the course marshal is constantly on their tail. In order to win using it’s slow and steady golf strategy, it’s only option is to pull off an upset by catching the leaders on an off day. On the Animal Tour, the Vireo will pull off some amazing golf shots, but anyone hitting out of the trees as often as the Vireo does would do the same. A top 10 finish is the best the Vireo can hope for on tour.
What we can learn from the Vireo: You Can Always Hit Amazing Shots
The Reptiles: Draco Lizard & Saltwater Crocodile
A unique lizard and a unique crocodile are the competitors from the reptiles category. Reptilian sponsors should be proud of their achievements on the Animal Tour. Finishing tied for second and 7th in a 12 animal field.
Draco Lizard: Finish 7th
When an animal gets a nickname of the flying dragon…you should take notice. While not an overwhelming force of strength & power, the Draco Lizard will often amaze on the golf course. The flying dragon lizard is consistently in the fairway…avoiding trouble at any cost. A talented trick shot artist with a well rounded game is when the draco is at it’s best. Perhaps without the shear talent to compete at the top level, the lizard will always put up a decent number.
What we can learn from the Draco: Shot Creativity, Consistency, Avoiding Hazards
Saltwater Crocodile: Finish T2nd
If I were to choose a golfer to represent the saltwater crocodile, John Daly comes to mind. He’s been called the Lion before, and like a saltwater croc, he is big and he is agile. Making for a deadly combination on the golf course. On any given day and any given golf hole, the croc can take down any competitor. Sharks and tigers are rarely immune when the croc wants to hunt. This explosive ability makes the saltwater crocodile one of the longest driving animals on the tour. And around the greens, it’s low level ground scoping abilities would be able to see breaks of the putting surface. You know…Camilo Villegas style. Downsides…it’s reputation will isolate itself from other’s on the Animal Tour since it’s a man-eater with no limits.
What we can learn from the Saltwater Croc: Flex & Explosiveness
The Amphibians: Poison Dart Frog & Spotted Salamander
Some expected the Amphibians to perform better on the Animal Tour. Amphibians will always show streaks of greatness, but it’s a challenge for this animal category to come out as a top tier golfer such as the Mammals. However, they shine in certain aspects of the golf game.
Poison Dart Frog: Finish – 5th
The best word to describe the poison dart frog as a golfer is ‘capable’. Or rather ‘highly capable’. The poison dart frog is a self made golfer. They can compete and win at any given time or place. They are friendly on and off the golf course given that they can kill you on it. The ability to adapt, and change to different environments makes the best frogs long-time golfers on the Animal Tour. They will throw in a win or two every season for a long time. Surprisingly long off the tee, their explosiveness hurts them on the short game. If it weren’t for this, the dart frog could compete for victory every week. But when the dart frog has a bad day…it’s a really bad day.
What we can learn from the Poison Dart Frog: Explosiveness
Spotted Salamander: Finish – 9th
The most elusive golfer on the Animal Tour, the spotted salamander will play plenty of golf, but only succeeds under certain weather and course conditions. This inability to play dry courses along with hilly courses puts the salamander at the base of the pack. The salamander strengths are it’s size and speed, while not at the top, it’s certainly not the shortest player on tour. It’s average drive and short game are only slightly above average on favorable tracks. The salamander is popular on the Animal Tour and a fan favorite due to it’s spots of greatness.
What we can learn from the Spotted Salamander: Find Your Course Strengths
Invertebrates: Stick Insects & Tarantulas
The invertebrates struggle year after year on the Animal Tour. Often times good putters, their lack of power and agility slow them down. I guess having a backbone is sort of important for golf.
Stick Insect: Finish 12th
The stick insect would be able to have a very wide swing arc, and it’s long straight limbs would most likely increase accuracy to go along with distance. But the major lack of power from the stick insect is troublesome and they rarely compete on the tour. Older stick insects have found success on the SAT tour when course conditions are not long. Suspicions of club throwing among the species along with their colorful course attire make them likely candidates for cheap sponsors looking for headlines but not tour wins.
What we can learn from the Stick Insect: Lines, Angles, & Swing Arc
Tarantula: Finish 11th
Coming in only slightly ahead of the stick insect is the tarantula. A slightly more stable base would ensure balance is not the problem for the tarantula, but again…the power and more specifically swing speed becomes an obstacle. Tarantulas are much better short game players than long game. When they are at the peak of their golf game, tarantulas can bury long putts and take down a victim emotionally by dropping in a 40 footer.
What we can learn from the Tarantula: Good Mental Game, Stable Base
Fish: Whale Shark & Triggerfish
Fish would probably make for pretty good golfers. They appear hard working, and with flashes of grace and agility I think would lead to lower scores. The fish faired well on the Animal Tour, and you can never count them out when the conditions are in their favor. Not very well liked on the Animal Tour however. Fish are very competitive and brutal once they set their sites on you.
Whale Shark: Finish 8th
Filter feeders play big golf. They take big divots, hit every club in the bag a long way, and constantly win long drive tournaments. The biggest animal on the list, it’s strength is its strength. And its strength is also a weakness when on the putting surface. Not particularly a strong putter, the whale shark will play better golf if it has a good caddy following it around chasing for scraps. Someone who can point out the subtle details of the course rather than see just the big picture.
What we can learn from the Whale Shark: Go Big or Go Home
Triggerfish: Finish 4th
What might appear as a surprising fourth place finish, the Triggerfish is quite the golfer. The most competitive spirit on the Animal Tour, the triggerfish is deadly from the sand and has an amazing short game, discovering breaks and sensing things other animals miss. Their highly competitive nature makes them a threat every time they step onto the golf course. It’s only weakness being shorter fins and a smaller swing arc leads to shorter tee shots. While most victories come at the home course, the triggerfish can intimidate the average golfer and take advantage of it. Winning numerous mini-tour events, a win on the Animal Tour would mean the Dolphin took a week off.
What we can learn from the Triggerfish: Anyone Can Compete
Final Finish Rankings Animal Tour 2017
1st: Bottlenose Dolphin
T2: Cheetah & Saltwater Crocodile
5th: Poison Dart Frog
6th: Yellow Throated Vireo
7th: Draco Lizard
8th: Whale Shark
9th: Spotted Salamander
10th: Rock Pigeon
12th: Stick Insect