The hilarious story behind how Tony Finau marks his golf balls

tony finau mark golf ball

Finau's ball featured the initials "TF" on Sunday at the Rocket Mortgage for his son, Tony Finau Jr.

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

As Finau was wrapping his second consecutive 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 he marks his ball by adding the initials of one of his kids on either side of the Titleist play number. It’s a sweet gesture that lets them know dad’s thinking about them during competition. (On Sunday in Detroit, Sage Finau’s initials were on the ball during the victory.)

One would assume Finau simply switches up the initials every time he tees it up to give each of his five kids an opportunity to see their name on the ball, but Finau prefers to play the 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.

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

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In this particular case, dad definitely plays favorites.

“If [Sienna-Vee is] performing well, I’ll keep her in,” Finau said. “But if she wants to go on vacation and hang out on the beach — goes to the sand, likes to swim — I’ll switch her out. So I end up having a favorite son or daughter by the end of the week, and my caddie and I will actually talk about it and say, ‘Who’s ready for an eagle? Who’s ready for a birdie?’ It’s a way for me to incorporate my kids and keep it light and fun on the course.”

The way Finau has been playing recently, Sage can rest easy knowing his initials aren’t going anywhere. Dad’s on an absolute heater at the moment.

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Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at

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