8 Most Disliked PGA Tour Players: Mishaps of the Top Hated Golfers

The most disliked PGA Tour players may seem tame to football or basketball fans. However, golf fans like myself are a passionate bunch, and I can name a few pro golfers I love to root against when I’m watching tournaments. My golf students also have their own golfers they love to hate, so I polled my friends and have a list of some golfers to keep your eye on.

Who are the most disliked PGA Tour players? 

  1. Patrick Reed
  2. Rory Sabbatini
  3. Ian Poulter
  4. Vijay Singh
  5. Phil Mickelson
  6. Bubba Watson
  7. Bryson DeChambeau
  8. Tiger Woods?

Any golf fan will want the details about why these top golfers are unpopular. Read on to learn the details of some key events for each PGA golfer, which probably led to their demise.

8 Most Disliked PGA Tour Players

1. Patrick Reed


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The cockiness of Reed has put him in the front line of disliked golfers on the tour.

He made his first mistake after winning a tournament early in his career, the 2014 WGC Cadillac Championship.

Tiger was at the top of his game then, but this did not stop Reed from claiming to be one of the top 5 players on tour.

He further stated that future tournaments would end up with him and Tiger fighting for the win.

Jordan Spieth shares this story when playing with Tiger and Patrick on the Ryder Cup:

“Tiger goes, ‘Don’t worry, Patrick, you only need 74 more wins and 14 more majors.’ And then I go, ‘Patrick, you can’t talk sh#! to him, because you can’t even talk sh*! to me. You need two more majors and four more wins to get to me!'” – Jordan Spieth

During the Ryder Cup, he tangled with the crowd, and that was another nail in his coffin.

Of late, he has been involved in a few rule infringements or taking advantage and bending the rules to suit his purpose.

Trust and honor don’t seem to be part of his game plan.

2. Rory Sabbatini


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Although Rory goes out of his way to support the Military Veterans, he has undone his reputation by some on and off-course actions.

He famously walked to the next hole while Ben Crane still lined up his putt on the green.

In mitigation, they had been put on the clock, and Crane is possibly the slowest player on the circuit.

He holds the distinction of heading a random poll on “who the least favorite playing partner” was on the tour.

His head-strong, arrogant manner does not sit well with the spectators who jeer him on course.

He split from his wife recently, and her revelations have only helped Rory Sabbatini’s hated reputation.

Read more: The Most Forgiving Putters

3. Ian Poulter


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Ian Poulter has been described as a “douchebag,” which in American slang is an obnoxious, arrogant individual.

Excessively self-obsessed is another way he has irritated the golfing public.

Always immaculately dressed, with his designer clothing range, he struts around the course in a manner that is not liked by the fans.

When things are going well on the course, he reminds many of a “peacock” with its feathers splayed.

On other occasions, he is grumpy and sour when things don’t go his way on the course.

But he is the player many golfers would stake their lives on to nail a 5-foot putt under pressure.

He has proved that in the Ryder Cup, but still, he has many detractors in the crowd.

Looking to upgrade your own putter? Check out the in-depth review of the best putters this year.

4. Vijay Singh


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A few years back, he had a magnificent run of form, winning many tournaments within two consecutive seasons.

But, in the caddie enclosure, he is the one golfer no one wants to caddy for.

He has probably hit more golf balls on the range than any professional golfer of the modern era.

He sometimes does not greet his long-standing caddy in the morning before play!

Out on the course, his cold demeanor and open displeasure don’t build his fan base.

His dislike of the press and refusal to interview do not endear him to the media.

It is sad, but a fact of life in the golfing world that bad form and the lost ability to reach the golfing heights of days gone by, must create huge frustration.

Maybe he should be given the benefit of doubt!

Read more: What To Wear While Golfing

5. Phil Mickelson


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A surprise addition to this group, but the public loves or despises him.

Many fans describe Phil as “larger than life” and insincere.

He is a big man, and his skill, especially his flop shots, leaves fellow players in awe.

That he creates time for his family, irrespective of circumstances, is also seen by some fans as over-the-top and orchestrated.

Undoubtedly he would have dominated world golf had it not been for Tiger.

When he started playing, he earned the nickname Figjam.

Many fans also accuse him of faking his smile when walking the course.

The term “whiner” is another tag from the golfing public.

Professional golf is a tough way to make a living, and the press and public believe they own a part of the golfer.

Phil would also feature as the most liked golfer of his time by some.

Many think he is great for golf and fits the mold with the likes of Sevy and Greg Norman.

Attacking play was their mantra, and they produced spectacular shots that excited all who watched them.

6. Bubba Watson


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A player that the fans love to hate!

All the fans do not appreciate his unconventional style of attacking play.

A few incidents over the last few seasons may have dented his reputation.

Refusal to enter a long driving competition before a tournament started upset many of his fans.

The players on the tour have huge respect for him, and his willingness to assist various charities comes across strongly.

Not sure he or Phil deserves to be on this list, but then fans have their own ideas!

7. Bryson DeChambeau


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Lastly, Bryson has been the talk of the golfing world over the last season on the tour.

He pioneered equal-length irons throughout his set.

He works on theories and studies greens and their contours in a  “professor-like” manner.

His attacking style and “goffer” mentality have revolutionized the game.

He lengthened his driver and hits the ball prodigious distances off the tee.

Attacking a huge dogleg over water the other day while leading the tournament, he hit a 500-yard tee shot to pin-high in the rough.

Standing on the tee, the spectators urged him to take the risk (he won the tournament to the delight of the fans).

The PGA wants to change some rules to negate his length by making adjacent fairways OB at certain tracks!

Finally, it is understandable that not too many players want to be paired with him.

8. Tiger Woods


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Many claim he is the greatest golfer ever, but he must still beat Jack Nicklaus’s record of major wins to wear that mantle.

He came onto the scene and produced golf, inspiring many to take up the game.

His following at the majors was a distraction for his playing partners.

His playing ability is not doubted, but then arrogance crept into his life, both on and off the course.

The clandestine off-course demeanors with plenty of women from various walks of life hit the headlines.

His wife kicked him out, but that did not stop him.

Lately, he has suffered injuries, mainly to his back.

Many feel that he has “used” the injuries in an attempt to win back the adoration that once followed him.

Like any top sporting personality, he has had his fair share of altercations with players and the press.

The saying “live by the sword, die by the sword” is apt.

Read more: Wondering what’s in Tiger Woods’ bag? Read the full article.

Final Thoughts

Who are the most disliked PGA Tour players? Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed are a couple of them. I highlighted some modern-day golfers and some of their most spectacular controversies.

Unfortunately, where huge sums of money are at stake, jealousy and contempt creep into the game.

No doubt, looking further back in history, Ben Hogan was seen as aloof, Arnold Palmer was seen as arrogant, and even Sevy had his detractors.

Tom Watson, Lee Travino (who never stopped talking while playing), Gary Player, and even the greatest golfer, Jack Nicklaus, were accused of being arrogant.

Nick Faldo was not everybody’s favorite, but time heals many rifts.

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Nick is the founder of GolfSpan and an avid golfer. He's not quite a pro but has over 15 years of experience playing and coaching golfers worldwide. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience when it comes to choosing the right golf gear and finding the right setup for your game.

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