Double Threats

An around-the-horn ranking of the best major league golfers at each position. The takeaway? Don't challenge the Minnesota Twins to a money match
March 28, 2010

If you can hit a 90-mph fastball—or for that matter, throw one—there's a pretty good chance that you can make a few birdies too. Or in the case of these 10 sweet-swinging big leaguers, a lot of birdies. Here, based on a combination of established handicaps, news reports and interviews with players and team officials, is a ranking, at their respective positions, of the best golfers in the majors.

RELIEF PITCHER

Joe Nathan

TWINS

2009 stats 2--2, 2.10 ERA, 47 for 52 in save opportunities; All-Star

Handicap 10

Best part of his game "It all needs improvement."

Worst "Short game."

Favorite course The Golf Club Scottsdale

C

Joe Mauer

TWINS

2009 stats .365, 28 HR, 96 RBI; AL MVP, Gold Glove, All-Star

Handicap 7

Best part of his game "Depends on the day. I just can't piece it all together."

Worst "Chipping."

Favorite course The Challenge at Manele (Lanai)

3B

Brandon Inge

TIGERS

2009 stats .230, 27 HR, 84 RBI; All-Star

Handicap 6

Best part of his game "Driving ... followed by search and rescue."

Worst "Putting."

Favorite course Augusta National

P

Livan Hernandez

NATIONALS

2009 stats 9--12, 5.44 ERA

Handicap +2

Best part of his game "Driving and short game."

Worst "Mid-irons. I drive the ball so far that I don't hit many mid-irons."

Favorite course La Gorce Country Club (Miami Beach). Also Pebble Beach, Olympic and Teeth of the Dog.

1B

Mark Teixeira

YANKEES

2009 stats .292, 39 HR, 122 RBI; Gold Glove, second in league in MVP voting, All-Star

Handicap 10

Best part of his game "Driving accuracy."

Worst "Mid- and long irons."

Favorite course Peachtree Golf Club (Atlanta)

SS

Nick Punto

TWINS

2009 stats .228, 1 HR, 38 RBI Handicap 0.5

Best part of his game "Putting."

Worst "Long irons."

Favorite course Grayhawk (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

2B

Ian Kinsler

RANGERS

2009 stats .253, 31 HR, 86 RBI

Handicap 8 ("But it should be down to 6 by spring.")

Best part of his game "Getting off the tee."

Worst "Everything else."

Favorite course "Arthur Pack, now known as Crooked Tee, in Tucson. I grew up playing there."

LF

Josh Willingham

NATIONALS

2009 stats .260, 24 HR, 61 RBI

Handicap 8

Best part of his game "Iron play."

Worst "Chipping."

Favorite course Pebble Beach

CF

Shane Victorino

PHILLIES

2009 stats .292, 10 HR, 62 RBI; Gold Glove, All-Star

Handicap 12

Best part of his game "Driving."

Worst "Every other aspect."

Favorite course Makena Beach & Golf Resort (Maui)

RF

Jeff Francoeur

METS

2009 stats .280, 15 HR, 76 RBI

Handicap 5

Best part of his game "Putting."

Worst "Chipping."

Favorite course Muirfield (Scotland); Merion (Philadelphia)

GOLF.COM • SIGOLFNATION.COM

"The best part of my game is driving ... followed by search and rescue."

—Brandon Inge

"I drive the ball so far that I don't hit many mid-irons."

—Livan Hernandez

"My handicap? Ten. I hope this doesn't mean my friends will give me fewer shots."

—Mark Teixeira

PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. PHOTONICK LAHAM/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOJOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOJOHN BIEVER PHOTOG. FIUME/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOMARK CUNNINGHAM/MLB PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOAL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOJAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOROBERT BECK PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON TEN PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)