Keridatch Aphibarnrat and the Funniest Names in Golf

“They call it golf because all the other 4-letter words are taken.”–Raymond Floyd

Next to the ripsnorting humor of baseball and football names, I have to admit that Golf is a bit funny-name challenged.  But all is not lost: seek and ye shall find.  Here is a look at some of the funniest names, past and present, from the game Mark Twain called “a good walk spoiled.”

Barn rat.  Some Asian names sound a bit awkward to English speakers.

Barn rat. Some Asian names sound a bit awkward to English speakers.

Keridatch Aphibarnrat is a rising 24-year old Thai player who qualified to play in his first two majors this year.  He has also won on the European tour.  According to Wikipedia he is also known as Anujit HirunratanakornHuh?  Don’t ask, I have no idea.  I do know that regardless of what they call him here or in Thailand, any name with “barn rat” in it has to look funny to us.  I must admit that, in my own professional field, I have seen some Asian names that translate a good deal more awkwardly in English than Aphibarnrat, but as this is a PG-rated blog I’ll leave it at that.

Thomas Brent “Boo” Weekly is an American PGA tour player from Florida.  Boo is not a fortunate name for any professional athlete, though it turns out that this nickname comes from Yogi Bear’s cartoon sidekick, Boo Boo.

Retief Goosen is a two-time U.S. Open winner from South Africa.  I think his name sounds more like a Danish liquor or a village in Wales.

Frank Urban “Fuzzy” Zoeller,  Jr. is an American golfer who is almost as ancient as I am.  He has won two majors and one senior major.  If you follow sports at all, you’ve probably heard of him.  What you probably didn’t know is that the nickname “Fuzzy” comes from his initials, FUZ.

Wiffy in action. He apparently didn't whiff this one.

Wiffy in action. He apparently didn’t whiff this one.

Wilfred Hiram “Wiffy” Cox was an American golfer who won 9 PGA tournaments in the 1930’s and finished as high as 3rd in the U.S. Open.  While we’re on the subject of unfortunate names for athletes, Wiffy has to be right up there.  It would be bad enough to call a baseball or tennis player by that sobriquet, but good grief, a golf ball isn’t even moving when you try to hit it.

Briny Baird…Fred Funk…Duffy Waldorf…Heath Slocum….OK, they may not be Van Lingle Mungo or Barkevious Mingo but we golfers are a bit more reserved.  We’ll take what we can get (and kick our ball out of the rough when you aren’t looking).

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About Mark Sackler

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."-Alan Kay; let's invent a better future, together.
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16 Responses to Keridatch Aphibarnrat and the Funniest Names in Golf

  1. Barn Rat, Boo, Fuzzy and Wiffy all in one sport. Amazing.

    I guess Tiger Woods’ name is just plain in comparison. It’s probably a good thing his last name wasn’t Putter. 🙂

  2. marksackler says:

    Reblogged this on The Millennium Conjectures™ and commented:

    My monthly guest post on The Blog of Funny Names. Appropriately enough, I’ll play 9 holes this afternoon. Sadly, neither my body nor my sense of humor will hold up for 18,

  3. elkement says:

    The funniest Asian name I can remember is a first name: Asif.
    Sounds _as if_ something is missing.

  4. Dave says:

    Brilliant post from beginning to end – full of fun factoids, interesting words (I was previously unaware of how useful “sobriquet” is for a blog like this), and of course, brilliant names.

    Three notes for this morning:
    1. Golf played a role in the development of the blog of funny names. Rob and I were watching golf when I said that Phil Mickelson “hunkers” when he walks. Rob said that he thought it was really more of a saunter. Then we started coming up with funny walking words like jaunt and stroll. A day later Rob started coming up with funny baseball names, which led to me scouring baseballreference.com for the funniest names I could find. That was the beginning of the funny names list.

    2. Rob has this weird habit (or at least he did back in the day) when watching Retief Goosen golf. He would stand next to me with his towering figure, put his hand on my shoulder, and say (in a grandfatherly way a lot like our grandpa Carl used to talk to us) “Dave… do you know what Rolaids spells?”, to which I would reply “Relief?” Then he’d say “Rolaids… it spells Retief!” I’m not sure if the conversation ever happened exactly that way, but “Rolaids spells Retief” is definitely something I’ve heard him say more than thrice.

    3. Interesting there was a golfer named Heath Slocum, since there was a baseball pitcher named Heathcliff Slocumb who I’ve previously mentioned on this blog.

  5. marksackler says:

    When I wrote this late last night my tired neurons needed a shortcut to synonyms. I already had used “nickname” in this post, and “moniker” was (over)used to the hilt during Moniker Madness. So credit Thesaurus.com for “sobriquet.”

  6. wdydfae says:

    This post was a hole in one!

    (Hey, look. Somebody had to say it.)

  7. bluebee says:

    I was a bit taken a back when I heard a crowd booing at a golf championship on TV – turns out they were cheering for Boo Weekly. Now they do the same for Retief – “Gooooose”.

  8. Arto says:

    Fully Zoeller, Jr, Wiffy Cox, Duffy Waldorf…man, I gotta start watching golf again. These names are as terrific as your average pair of golf pants.

  9. As always great post guys. Love the fun trivia info (never knew how “Fuzzy” got his name). Very funny. Love the xtra background stuff in the replies section. Like extras on my DVD.
    Dysu

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