Nick Faldo (1957- )
Born in Hertfordshire, England, Faldo has been one of the world's top golfers for over 20 years. His success to date has already earned him a place in golf's hall of fame. He is an inspiration to all British golfers and by the time he is finished will be remembered as one of the all time greats.
One day in 1972, Faldo happened to switch on the TV and see Jack Nicklaus in action at the US Masters. By the time the programme finished, he decided that he wanted to be a top golfer and set about achieving that aim. That says it all about Nick Faldo - he carries with him the strength to see a decision through to the end regardless of the personal sacrifices involved. David Leadbetter commented "I have never met a more focussed professional".
Faldo turned professional in 1976 just 4 years after taking up golf. Even in that short period of time, he established an enviable record as an amateur including the youngest ever winner of the British Amateur Open. He was also the youngest ever member of a Ryder Cup squad when he was selected in 1977.
From the outset Faldo set himself the goal of being one of the great champions. Although he was successful during the early 1980s, he took the tough decision in 1983 to completely re-model his swing in order to become truly competitive. His form suffered during the transition which exposed him to much media criticism. However by 1987, he had come through the other side to win the Open. A string of victories in the majors followed.
The latter part of the 1990s was a disappointment, perhaps manifested most in the sacking of David Leadbetter as coach. Despite this radical move, he has failed to regain his previous form but of course we must never write Faldo off. There are a few more chapters left in the Nick Faldo story especially as he is as determined as ever to maintain a busy schedule and win at every opportunity.