This year’s PGA Tour season came to an end last weekend at the Tour Championship, which got me to thinking about what an incredible year of golf it has been.

The highlights from 2013 include: Tiger v. Sergio at The Players, Adam Scott’s breakthrough win at Augusta, the anchored-putter ban, Mickelson’s runner-up finish at a U.S. Open (again) followed by redemption at Muirfield, and a Hogan-esque ball striking showcase from Jason Dufner at Oak Hill.

But do you know what was really off the charts in 2013? Golf commercials.

This year produced better golf commercials than any year in recent memory. The commercials were so good, in fact, that I think it’s necessary to recap the 10 absolute best golf commercials aired this season.

To clarify what I mean by the “best commercials” I ask the simple question: How effectively does the advertisement express itself? Whether their goal was to evoke laughter, chills or simply make you want to buy their product, these commercials exhibited the highest caliber of production value and entertainment:

No. 10 — Bridgestone: “Pro-Shop/Assistant Manager”

There were three of these throughout the golf season, all of which featured one of the best casts of any on this list. But I thought this episode was best.

FAVORITE PART: A short, chubby Trevino emerging from the crowd and telling the pretty woman: “I’ll tell you about compression.”

No. 9 (and 8) — MasterCard: “Feeling like a pro”


Hats off G-Mac, Ian, Sneds and Mr. Watson here. Yes, they’re only lip-synching in the second commercial, but that makes it fun.

FAVORITE PART: “That’s the guy. SNEEEE-DUH-KER!!”

No. 7 — Footjoy: “The Mark of Player”

No jokes, tricks or surprises here, but FootJoy’s “Mark of a Player” spot succeeds with a pump-you-up musical score and a simple message: players play our stuff.

FAVORITE PART: Webb (presumably) splitting the fairway with a serious game face.

No. 6 — PGA Tour: “Born for This” (FedEx Cup Playoffs)

This is the more bada** (and thus more rewatchable) version of its predecessor. The pause during each player’s two sentence quotes is so effective.

FAVORITE PART: The music. This song makes me want to video myself during a round with quotes of my own. Example: After a skied drive, I once yelled fore… to alert myself.

No. 5 — ESPN: Rickie Fowler’s SportsCenter Commercial

Rickie Fowler is quickly becoming one of my favorite golfers. He’s cool, great with the fans and, apparently, can even poke fun at himself.

FAVORITE PART: Rickie spitting out the coffee.

No. 4 — Nike: “No Cup is Safe”

Nike did not waste much time from the time it signed Rory to featuring him in a pretty awesome advertisement. In a sort of Jordan/Bird shot for shot type contest, El Tigre and McIlory trade barbs and trick shots in a funny display of showmanship. If only Rory could have been so confident on the course this year.

FAVORITE PART: Tiger remarking to Rory: “Dude, is that your real hair?”

No. 3 — EA Sports Tiger Woods 2013: “The Rumble”

Tiger teams up with The King in this very well done ad which features two golfing legends fighting off a group of would-be trophy thieves. Yes, it oversells it a bit at the end with Trevino’s (still nonetheless funny) cameo, but it is very well done.

FAVORITE PART: “Omaha spread?” “That’s what I was thinking.” Side note: how convincing is Tiger in this?

No. 2 — Avis: “The Professionals”

This rivals the Rickie Fowler commercial for the “most genuine laughter induced” when I first saw it. The music is funny (which helps Steve morph from a man into a beast), as was Stricker getting dusted by an old couple in a beat up old sedan.

FAVORITE PART: Stricker kills it by calmly stating “I’m a savage” at the end.

No. 1 –Dicks Sporting Goods: “Swing your Swing”

This Dick’s Sport Goods commercial is just so well made and, let’s face it, applicable to many of us who probably every once in a while need to chill out on the hyper technical stuff and just go out there and (like Arnie) rip it. I particularly love the cook swinging the spatula while on the job, which we can all relate to.

FAVORITE PART: Arnold walking the walk by showing us his violent, jerky, unique — and awesome — swing.

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Lawyer, Bachelor and Golf Nut. John also writes for his and his sister's Italian culinary and lifestyle blog at www.johnandelana.com, maintains an honest GHIN handicap, and is from New Jersey; all of which he is proud of.

28 COMMENTS

  1. The best commercial from years ago was a spoof of Tiger Woods. Tiger had done his black and white “I am Tiger Woods” for Nike. I believe it was Lamkin grips that did one (in black and white) showing 4 duffers slicing and hooking their shots into the woods. Then they would show a close up of their face (like the Tiger commercial) and say “I’m in the Woods”. It only aired a few times and have to assume the Tiger or Nike Machine strong-armed someone to drop it. Would love to see it again.

  2. I like the “Swing Your Swing” ad best as it’s also a PSA with Mr. Palmer admonishing a basic truth not to be lost.

  3. Great list. The Titleist commercial where it shows the players behind the ball visualizing the shot. You actually see the shot take off as they envision what they intend to do with the ball. I thought that was a great commercial.

  4. Great job! Stricker kills me with “I’m a savage” ROFL!

    The Visa “feeling like a pro’ commercials equally good too.

  5. That Rumble commercial is pretty awful. Dunno why anybody like that, or the game. The game has such awful graphics and movements still.

  6. The Fed Ex Office Ones came awfully close, esp the one with the old guy who has the massive hand… Rory and the Robot, also deserves honorable mention (although if you look closely, he does not make the last shot).

    Golf is a Sport was a dud in my opinion. I didn’t buy into it. Just my opinion.

    Thank you for the comments.

  7. Very disappointed that TW 14 “Golf is a sport” didn’t make the cut. It was a very good commercial, much better than “feeling like a pro”. Anyway, at least WRX got #1 right. Luv Arnie. “Swing your swing” is arguably the best golf commercial ever made. 60 seconds of pure inspiration that hits the soul. Message so powerful and personal it transcends race, class and gender. Best of all…timeless.

  8. I hate to say this but how did the mark stefenhaggen commerical not get in? that commericial doesn’t have actual golf in it but it’s hilarious.

  9. As a Dick’s associate for the golf department, that commercial is actually a spot on representation of our customers.

    “Is this driver– that’s stamped VR_S Covert on the sole which hangs on the VR_S Covert fixture below its VR_S Covert sign– the VR_S Covert driver?”

    … Yes.

  10. How did the two Euro Tour commercials not make the cut? Paddy on the range and Rory vs the robot were both better than the Dicks commercial which sucks.

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