Watches and golf have been closely linked for decades. The pairing is a perfect example of two luxury worlds finding each other. Numerous famous golfers have connections to some of the biggest names in the watch industry. Moreover, some watch brands have actively partnered with some of the world’s most important golf tournaments. Audemars Piguet, Omega, and Rolex have all made huge names for themselves in the industry.
The world’s top golfers have long been known to sport incredible watches on their wrists. It should come as no surprise that Rolex has made the biggest name for themselves in the golf industry. The legendary trio of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player, also known as “The Big Three,” have proudly worn solid gold Rolex Day-Dates for decades. You could often spot their watches when they held up trophies or donned the famous green jacket after winning The Masters.
Traditionally, golfers wouldn’t wear watches on the course for reasons of comfort and because they could interfere with the balance of their swing. Plus, the impact when striking the ball could potentially damage a watch’s movement. However, in recent years, we have seen more and more players wearing watches out on the golf course. Let’s find out which brands are the most popular on the green.
Golfers’ Favorite Watch Brand: Rolex
It makes sense to start with the biggest name in golf, and that’s Rolex. Their most famous brand ambassador is, without a doubt, Tiger Woods. Woods has worn a variety of different Rolex models since teaming up with the company in 2011. Another famous name with links to Rolex is Phil Mickelson. The sport’s most famous leftie is known to wear Rolex Cellini models on the course. In recent years, he has also been spotted wearing a Sky-Dweller and a rose gold Yacht-Master on an Oysterflex bracelet. Other champion golfers who are Rolex brand ambassadors include Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, and more. Most of them sport Rolex’s famous sports models like the Daytona, , and .
Female golfers who double as Rolex ambassadors include Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, and Anna Nordqvist. You’ll find them wearing a wide variety of Rolex women’s models. In addition, the brand has the so-called “Rolex New Guard,” a group of young, up-and-coming players who are also Rolex brand ambassadors. Former Rolex New Guard playe/search/index.htm?query=GMT-Master+&dosearch=true&searchexplain=1&watchTypes=&accessoryTypes=rs include Ricky Fowler, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas. The current Rolex New Guard consists of Joaquín Niemann, Matthew Wolff, and Cameron Champ. Rolex is very active in the world of golf, so it is not surprising that it’s the biggest brand in the sport.
Omega: Rory Mcllroy and His Seamaster
Omega’s most famous brand ambassador in recent years is, without a doubt, Rory McIlroy. The brand created the spectacular solid gold Omega Speedmaster ’57 “Rory McIlroy” Special Edition for him. They also designed the Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light in collaboration with the Northern Irish player. Another famous name with links to Omega is Sergio García. Omega developed the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Golf Edition” that you could often see the Spanish player wearing off the course. The brand’s most recent ambassador is Collin Morikawa. Morikawa became an ambassador in early 2020 and went on to win the PGA Championship that same year.
Audemars Piguet: A Steady Name in Golf
Audemars Piguet has had a steady presence in the world of golf for decades. The most famous pro golfer to wear Audemars Piguet is Nick Faldo. The brand created three special in 1992, 1997, and 2002, all of which have become coveted among collectors.
Nowadays, Audemars Piguet has an extensive list of around 20 golfers who are brand ambassadors. Some of these include Ian Poulter, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Branden Grace, Matt Wallace, Vijay Singh, Emiliano Grillo, Tyrrell Hatton, and my personal favorite, Andrew Johnston, a.k.a. “Beef.” You can spot all of these players wearing Royal Oak or Royal Oak Offshore models. Ian Poulter sports one of the most exclusive watches of the group: the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon.
Richard Mille: The Most Robust Sports Watches?
Richard Mille pushes the envelope when it comes to wearing watches during sports. Their watches are designed to withstand the extremes of motorsport, tennis, and golf, and their brand ambassadors often wear their RM watches on the track, court, and course. The most famous golfer to play with a Richard Mille on his wrist is Bubba Watson. The brand created the iconic white for him, which he later wore on tour. The watch features a patented G-sensor that compensates for Watson’s powerful swing. The successor model is the This watch takes its inspiration from the original RM 038 and uses a special case and movement construction to withstand the power of Watson’s swing.
Watson isn’t the only golfer to partner with Richard Mille. American Cristie Kerr is one of the most successful female golfers in history. She has been with the brand since 2014 and can be found wearing her titanium RM 007 on the course. Nelly Korda is another female golfer who has partnered with Richard Mille. She comes from a family of professional tennis players. Her father, Petr Korda, won the Australian Open in 1998, and her brother, Sebastian, currently plays on the ATP Tour. Nelly Korda has been playing golf at the highest level since 2016, often with her titanium RM 007 on her wrist.
Hublot: Following in the Footsteps of Richard Mille
Hublot has also created a watch that you can wear on the course: the . This unique timepiece has a carbon fiber case, gray Texalium upper layer, and can even keep track of your golf score. Famous Hublot brand ambassadors include world-class players Dustin Johnson and Patrick “Captain America” Reed. They have both worn the Big Bang Unico Golf in addition to other models from the brand.
TAG Heuer: Smart Watches for Smart Golfers
As you probably know, TAG Heuer entered the field of smartwatches a few years ago with their TAG Heuer Connected. The brand recently introduced the . This timepiece is an excellent tool for the golf course. It features options to track the distance to the green, hazards, shot distance, and even has interactive 3D maps of courses. To top it all off, the watch has a specially designed club recommendation tool that is very handy when playing. British golfer Tommy Fleetwood recently became a TAG Heuer ambassador and will soon be sporting the TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition.
So, there you have it: some of the most famous golfers and their remarkable watches. Whether smartwatches or mechanical watches, the worlds of golf and luxury timepieces are a great match and will be for years to come.