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Famous Golfers Who Love Cigars

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

So, the PGA – the Professional Golfers’ Association – does not explicitly prohibit smoking while playing in a tournament. There. The PGA simply asks that golfers who smoke do so discreetly as there may be younger fans who could be influenced. You’ve probably seen some golfers with cigarettes. There are some, however, who smoke cigars, though it’s not often, if ever, that you catch them with a stogie in their mouths while hitting a shot. Still, as we know, cigars are wonderfully relaxing and several pro golfers enjoy lighting up after their rounds.

Famous Golfers Who Smoke Cigars

Two years ago, in 2021, Dustin Johnson graced the cover of Cigar Aficionado magazine alongside his fiancée, Paulina Gretzky. We find out in the middle of the article that Johnson, who now plays on the LIV pro golf tour, that he only rarely has a cigar.

 “I like ’em, but it’s not a regular thing,” Johnson told the magazine. “I’m sure as I age I’ll probably appreciate them more,” he says. “Very occasionally I’ll have one, but just not a whole lot.”

Perhaps the most famous of all pro golfers who have reportedly been cigar smokers is Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear. But that’s all the information we have. Nicklaus was once photographed on the course during a tournament smoking a cigarette, next to Arnold Palmer, who was also smoking. Nicklaus apparently hated the image and quit.

The “Cigar Guy”

Miguel Angel Jimenez is a Spanish pro golfer, known to some as “the cigar guy,” who has won more than 20 tournaments on the European tour. He has long, graying hair, which he sometimes wears as a ponytail. His cigar of choice is often a Cuban Vegas Robaina Torpedo, a Cohiba Behike or Cohiba Siglo VI. Big ring gauges for big living. Jimenez has a profound philosophy of life.

“It is important, no, to love what you are doing?” he said to Cigar Aficionado.  “It is important to enjoy the things that life brings you. I always know that when I start to play golf, that this is what I would like to do. I become good enough to be successful and have many good things for my life.”

Breaking Barriers

The first Black player to join the PGA tour, in 1961, was most comfortable when he played while smoking a cigar. Charlie Sifford won two titles on the tour and later won a Senior Tour Open championship. Sifford explained to Cigar Aficionado that he was once asked about why he played with a cigar, almost never removing it from his mouth.

“[Sifford] said that on a full swing, he could tell if he was swaying off the ball because the cigar would move and point away from the ball. And, the same thing on his putts; if the ball moved off the end of the burning cigar, he knew he was moving his head and could stop it.”

Other Golfers Who Enjoy Cigars

Another famous golfer who enjoys cigars is Davis Love III. He maintains a large collection of smokes. Rocco Mediate could be seen with a cigar during practice rounds. Darren Clarke, of Ireland, who played primarily in Europe, could be seen with a large Cohiba before and after rounds.

Cigars on the Senior Tour

The PGA Senior Tour, for those 50 and older, is where you could more often see golfers smoking cigars. Among the pros who LOVED cigars and wasn’t shy about it was Larry Laoretti, who gained fame by winning the 1992 Senior US Open. Laoretti was so strongly associated with cigars that he got a deal from Te-Amo that gave him as many Te-Amo Lights as he wanted.

The late Hubert Green, who won 29 pro tournaments, enjoyed cigars when he was on the Senior Tour, though not while playing. He would generally light up a Cuban cigar at the end of a round.

 "Something I can look forward to,” Green said in 2002. “Hey, if I play bad I still have something that's pleasurable."

Jim Thorpe, Walt Morgan, John Jacobs, Dana Quigley and Tom Wargo all were known to light up on the driving range and, occasionally, on the course. Morgan, like his hero, Charlie Sifford, played with a cigar in his mouth. Like Laoretti, Morgan was also on Team Te-Amo.

"Golf and cigars just seem to have always gone together," explained Morgan, the winner of three Senior Tour events. "That's the way I learned to play — swing with one in my mouth because I didn't like putting it down. I don't know how I would play if I didn't have one because I haven't tried it, really. You get to playing a certain way, it's tough to change."

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