Any of you golf fans out there ever notice that in EVERY article about a young golfer who is on the rise, the word “swashbuckling” is used. For example, here, from a sportsline.com article the Ryder Cup:
The Mickelson-Kim pairing should be intriguing. Kim, a swashbuckling 23-year-old from Los Angeles, has been campaigning to play with Lefty for weeks. Maybe he can change Mickelson’s fortunes, since the latter is 2-3-3 in the alternate-shot format.
It is so strange that this word is used at all, but it’s worth noting that this is not a new thing. In fact, the unofficial golf historian in me believes the term remained seldom used until the original golf “swashbuckler” Arnold Palmer came along. (Just type Palmer’s name into Google with “swashbuckling” and you’ll see a variety of articles about Sir Swashbuckle). Since then, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Hal Sutton, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Ricky Barnes have all swashbuckled, if you are able. It used to be used more for players who weren’t afraid to take risks, but now it’s just anyone who hits it far and is young.
I don’t like golf’s stranglehold on this expression so let’s broaden it now – I’m looking forward to a great showdown Sunday between two up and coming, young swashbucklers in Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers.