PGA's Biggest Drinkers

The Tour’s Top Tipplers: The PGA’s Biggest Drinkers

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour is home to some of the world’s best golfers. However, life on tour isn’t always about birdies and pars. The pro circuit also has a long-standing reputation as a place where alcohol flows freely behind the scenes. While moderation is undoubtedly wise, more than a few prominent players throughout the years have been known as big drinkers both on and off the course.

The PGA Tour has been home to some prodigious drinkers over the decades. Numerous player autobiographies and insider accounts point to a strong drinking culture that developed during the early years of the tour and has continued to the present day. While alcohol likely flows more freely in private settings, plenty of tales exist of players throwing back drinks during tournaments as well.

Department stores, media days, and charity events associated with tournaments also tend to incorporate open bars where pros take advantage of free-flowing booze. From the legendary hard-partying exploits of guys like Lee Trevino and John Daly to rising young stars downing beers to bond after rounds, big drinkers have long been fixture in pro golf. Read on for a look back at some of the PGA Tour’s most epic drinker and boozers through the years.

Lee Trevino’s Nonstop Antics

The legendary Lee Trevino established himself as one of the tour’s foremost pranksters and partiers during his dominant run through the 1970s and 80s. Fond of booze as well as practical jokes, “Merry Mex” was the life of every party on and off the course. He thought nothing of popping open a beer at 7:30 in the morning before a round. Trevino also loved to find creative uses for alcohol, like injecting vodka into oranges to create boozy snacks on the course.

At a charity event in Chicago, Trevino once took the stage clearly drunk and slurring his words heavily. After speaking incomprehensibly for a few minutes, Lee pulled out a bottle and exclaimed, “I think I know what my problem is, they’ve got me drinking Canadian Club and I drink Jack Daniel’s!” More than a few close incidents cemented Trevino’s legend as one of the PGA Tour’s most colorful lifelong drinkers.

John Daly’s Battles with Alcoholism

One of golf’s biggest fan favorites, long-hitting John Daly has made no secret over the years about his serious struggles with alcohol addiction. After bursting onto the scene with a surprise 1991 PGA Championship victory as an unknown alternate, Daly quickly became known as much for his prodigious drinking as his towering drives.

Throughout a career full of ups and downs, Daly has continued to wage battles against alcohol abuse. His consumptive tendencies are well documented in incidents like the time he was found passed out drunk outside a Hooters restaurant after a bender. Nor did major victories lead him to curtail his intake – he proudly admitted to being “hammered” while winning two different tournaments. Daly says that for decades alcohol made him “just want to escape and not be in reality.” Though now in his 50s, this PGA Tour institution still speaks openly about the ongoing challenge of staying sober.

“Grip It and Sip It” Bonding Culture

In addition to old warhorses like Trevino and Daly who enjoyed drinks on their own, the PGA Tour has also cultivated an entrenched social drinking culture over the decades. One common mantra passed between playing partners is “grip it and sip it”, referring to golf shots followed by slugs of beer between holes.

Young stars just breaking onto the scene quickly get initiated into booze-filled bonding rituals. After rounds, it’s common for players to head to bars or the notorious “19th hole” at countryside courses to down beers while rehashing shots, commiserating over bad breaks, and cementing camaraderie. The pros have a lot of downtime at events and alcohol has filled that void for generations.

This drinking culture serves to strengthen relationships between players but has also ensnared some in unhealthy patterns which damaged their games and personal lives. Still, casual drinking continues as a significant lynchpin in how generations of golfers have formed friendships and networks that sustain them over lengthy careers.

Rising Stars Nursing Hangovers

Make no mistake – while the older generation of boozy icons like Trevino and Daly made headlines in their day, drinking remains ingrained on Tour today. In 2015, rising 24-year old star Jordan Spieth admitted he was nursing a wicked hangover during his final round at the prestigious Memorial Tournament. Still, Spieth gutted out an impressive score while visibly pale and sickly from the alcohol aftereffects.

Several top young American stars like Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and others proudly post photos on social media of drunken escapades, beer-chugging contests, and more. While youthful indiscretions are nothing new in golf or any sport, the current generation of twenty-somethings appears just as inclined toward excessive boozing like those that came before them despite their athletic conditioning and more modern health awareness. If anything, the drinking culture in pro golf appears as strong as ever.


Q: What are the drinking habits of PGA Tour professionals?

A: Professional golfers on the PGA Tour have varying drinking habits, but the tour has strict alcohol consumption policies in place during tournaments. Most players practice responsible alcohol consumption, focusing on hydration and fitness during competition.

Q: Do professional golfers drink alcohol while competing?

A: While personal preferences vary, the PGA Tour strictly regulates alcohol consumption during tournaments. Players generally prioritize performance and adhere to professional standards, abstaining from consuming alcohol on the course.

Q: Have there been any notable cases of excessive drinking among PGA Tour professionals?

A: The PGA Tour maintains high standards of behavior and professionalism. Excessive drinking among professional golfers is uncommon and is not commonly associated with the tour’s image or culture.

Q: How does the PGA Tour handle incidents involving alcohol involving its players?

A: The PGA Tour takes all alcohol-related incidents very seriously, and it has strict protocols and disciplinary measures in place to deal with them. The tour’s code of conduct is expected of all players, and violations can result in fines, suspensions, or other penalties.

Q: Is alcohol consumption prevalent among professional golfers on the PGA Tour?

A: Alcohol consumption among professional golfers on the PGA Tour is not a common problem. The tour places a premium on professionalism, fitness, and performance, fostering an environment in which responsible behavior is expected and upheld.


In conclusion, the PGA Tour has a well-deserved reputation as home to some of the biggest drinkers in pro sports over the past half century-plus. From beloved icons like Lee Trevino and John Daly to today’s rising young American stars, generations of professional golfers have lived up to the old 19th hole bar term “shoot your age” in levels of drinks consumed.

While alcohol abuse and full-blown addiction represent hazards for pro athletes, recreational drinking remains embedded both socially and culturally on the PGA Tour scene.

Tales of infamous benders, locker room beer-guzzling contests, and battling hangovers during tournament play continue creating notable moments showcasing pro golfers’ prodigious thirsts through the years. All evidence suggests epic drinkers will continue holding their own on Tour leaderboards for decades still to come.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *