He’s stylish yet affable; the cigar-smoking, wine-swilling Spaniard with the famed stretching routine, who some have dubbed “the most interesting man in golf”.

Fellow pro golfers call him “The Mechanic”, owing to his love of fast cars. You know him as Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Last weekend, just days after his tie for fourth at the Masters, the 50-year-old Jimenez was victorious in his Champions Tour debut in the Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf. But don’t expect to see too much of The Mechanic on the 50+ tour this season, as his eyes are set on a bigger prize. He wants to play in September’s Ryder Cup, where he’d become the oldest European team member in history.

We’re petitioning for Paul McGinley to instate Jimenez immediately. After all, the game’s greatest spectacle should surely feature the game’s coolest player.

Here’s 10 reasons (although we could happily pen a book filled with them) why Miguel Angel Jimenez is the coolest man in golf – if not the world.

He is like a fine wine…
At an age where most golfers are well beyond their prime, Miguel Angel just seems to get better. Last December, he became the oldest player to win a European Tour event, winning his fourth Hong Kong Open at the age of 49. He added to his cult-like status at this year’s Masters, joining Fred Couples and Ben Hogan in the record books with his third-round 66 that tied the lowest score by a player 50 or older in the tournament’s history. He’s already a four-time Ryder Cup representative, and on current form, he looks a huge chance to don the European colours again at Gleneagles in September.

He also likes a fine wine…
Rioja, to be precise; the famed drop of red from his native land’s north east. When the European Tour’s Portugal Masters offered up a reward of 100 bottles of wine for sinking an ace on the Oceanico Victoria’s 8th hole, who more fitting to claim the prize than The Mechanic? They say he thinks nothing of having a glass of wine before he goes out to play. That earns a tick in my book.

His stretching routine…
You’ve surely seen it; whether on television golf coverage or on replay several times on Youtube. It’s the most peculiar, eccentric, yet strangely fascinating warm-up routine in golf – if not all of sport. There’s knee twirls, sumo squats and gravity-defying back stretches… all while a Havana cigar dangles from the corner of his mouth. “I stretch every morning,” says Jimenez, who remains remarkably nimble for his age and physique. “You have to do this to keep up with the younger lot.”

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He’s constantly surrounded by a cloud of smoke…
Adding to the stretching regime is the routine cigar that Jimenez fires up, without fail, while on the driving range. He typically smokes four or five a day and will do so even on the course, during practice rounds and pro-ams, but never during competitive play. Regardless of how he fares during his round, you can bet the Mechanic will have a fat Cuban sparked before the ink touches his scorecard.

His hair…
Jimenez is distinguishable from a par-4 distance away owing largely to his long mane of curly ginger hair. By day, it’s scrunched back in a ponytail; by night (ie. cigar and wine time), The Mechanic lets loose – literally. Now anyone with a skerrick of style or fashion sense would assume that it shouldn’t work, but somehow it just does. Not since Steven Seagal has a middle-aged man made a ponytail look so damn cool.

Dog tricks…
At the annual Par 3 Contest at this year’s Masters, Miguel revealed a new trick: how does one guide their golf ball wherever they want? Don’t be silly, by whistling at it like a puppy – of course. Lofting his tee shot up and over the pin, Jimenez started shouting at his ball in Spanish, before dog-whistling it all the way back down towards the cup.

He drives in style…
Usually you’d be jealous of any bloke who drives around in a roaring red Ferrari. But seeing Miguel behind the wheel of his beloved 1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello (which he rolls into the parking lot of each tournament he plays in Spain) while sporting his trademark aviator sunglasses… somehow you just wouldn’t have it any other way.

The walk…
If you’ve watched Jimenez in action on the golf course, you’ll know that he does not merely ‘walk’ between holes. He struts. With his shoulders pulled back and head held high, the bold-striding Spaniard exudes so much confidence and ‘coolness’ that you almost want to trail in his aura.

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He makes life seem like a holiday…
The Mechanic’s rounded physique represents the accumulation of a life well-lived; of a man whose lighthearted take on life has earned him admirers the world over. “It is relaxing to enjoy a good wine, a cigar, good food, a whisky,” he says. “You have to take the time to enjoy them. You cannot enjoy them if you rush them, no? You cannot enjoy life if you rush.”

He’s loved around the world…
Considered one of the sport’s most charismatic figures, it’s little wonder the 50-year-old is revered on both sides of the pond. His efforts at the recent Masters tournament prompted the US media to compare Jimenez to “The Most Interesting Man in the World” featured in the Dos Equis commercials. “He’s a man of his own and everyone appreciates him,” Chubby Chandler says. “He lives his life and plays the game the way he wants to. He never rushes anything, he savors everything. He just inhales life, and he exudes it. I’ve never known someone more comfortable in his own skin than Miguel.”


You can watch Miguel Angel Jimenez in action at this year’s Spanish Open, held at PGA Catalunya from May 15 – 18.

Trent

Trent

Fond spectator and student of the game. Always on the look out for a winner. Proud owner of a 'caveman' swing and some of the worst attire ever donned on a golf course.

One Comment

  • Avatar Brian says:

    I’m 62. Miguel is cool. He isn’t the only one who loves live. I stretch and take life slow after racing through much of if. It’s my life now and like Miguel I savor it.

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