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Do You Know Me? Not Bloody Likely!
Rick Reilly
April 08, 1991
There's a loose side to tightly wound golf star Nick Faldo. But he does his best not to show It
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April 08, 1991

Do You Know Me? Not Bloody Likely!

There's a loose side to tightly wound golf star Nick Faldo. But he does his best not to show It

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And the reporters bought it, too. Later he made the mistake of answering the phone in his own voice.


"Is a woman in your room?" asked a reporter.

Faldo looked at Gill, who was gazing out on the Pacific from the balcony. "No," said Faldo. "I can honestly say a woman is not in my room."

He is batty about horoscopes. He's a sucker for children. After he won the World Match Play in England in 1989, he gave the £100,000 to children's charities. He loves to trade gossip, drive his Porsche 911 too fast and pal around with Elton John. Unfortunately, the people who know all this about Faldo, you can count on the fingers of a one-armed man.

"If you are inside Nick's inner circle," says Mitchell Spearman, a friend and Leadbetter assistant, "you get to know what a great guy he is. Unfortunately, he hardly lets anybody inside the circle."

What makes Faldo such a good golfer—unwavering single-mindedness—may be the same thing that makes him so insular. Why should he give away anything to you, the player, or you, the reporter, or you, the amateur?

Faldo loves to tell about the famous British darts player who is also a card-carrying loner. He is the best in the country, yet he refuses to socialize with the other players and won't even stay at their hotel when he's playing with them on the English team. When asked once why he isn't closer to his compatriots, the darts player said, "The day they know everything about me is the day they beat me."

Faldo: "Everybody wants something different from me. 'Play like Seve. Charm like Arnold. Talk like Trevino.' Well, if they don't like it, tough. If they don't know me, tough. I've got to have something up my sleeve."

In Faldo's mind, giving of yourself is the same thing as giving away yourself, and he is much too obsessive to give anything up now. Whatever Faldo does, he is a beast about doing it perfectly. When he was given a new bicycle for his 12th birthday, he took it to the garage, dismantled it and put it back together again, just so he could know exactly how it worked.

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