The hilarious story behind how Tony Finau marks his golf balls

Finau’s prom featured the initials “TF” Sunday at the Rocket Mortgage for her son, Tony Finau Jr.

Getty Images

When it comes to his kids, Tony Finau doesn’t play favorites off the course. But on the course? It’s a whole different story.

As Finau wrapped up his second straight PGA Tour win on Sunday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, cameras zoomed in to reveal the initials “SF” on his golf ball. While some pros mark their ball with dots or lines, Finau prefers to keep it in the family.

During a recent one-on-one around the equipment in his bag, Finau revealed that he marked his ball by adding the initials of one of his children either side of the Titleist game number. It’s a sweet gesture that lets them know Dad is thinking of them during the competition. (Sunday in Detroit, Sage Finau’s initials were on the ball in the win.)

One would assume that Finau simply changes the initials every time he does so to give each of his five children the opportunity to see their name on the ball, but Finau prefers to play hot hand. In other words, if he starts making bogeys or finding the bunkers with regularity, a new set of initials goes on the ball.

Finau’s youngest daughter, Sienna-Vee, gets her initials on dad’s golf ball.


In this particular case, Dad is definitely playing favorites.

“Whether [Sienna-Vee is] performance, I will keep it,” said Finau. “But if she wants to go on vacation and hang out on the beach – goes in the sand, likes to swim – I will change her. So, I end up having a favorite son or daughter at the end of the week, and my caddy and I are going to talk about it and say, “Who’s ready for an eagle?” Who’s ready for a birdie?’ It’s a way for me to include my kids and keep them light and fun on the course.

The way Finau has been playing lately, Sage can rest easy knowing his initials aren’t going anywhere. Dad is on absolute heat right now.

Want to redo your bag for 2022? Find a suitable location near you at GOLF affiliate True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest fully geared podcast.


Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and Editor for Equipment. Before joining the team at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering PGA Tour equipment.

Michael C. Ford