Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buc Great Jimmie Giles on golf, The Masters

Jimmie Giles catches up with Buccaneers.com to talk about The Masters and his love for golf.

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Golf and football are pretty similar, Buccaneer great Jimmy Giles said.

"It's really just pure determination, will power and just the ability to want to succeed at something that you know that you need to put effort into in order for it to pay dividends," he said.

Giles played tight end in the NFL for 13 seasons, from 1977 to 1989, and was a member of the Buccaneers from 1978 to 1986. During that time, he put together the best career in team history for a player at his position.

He hauled in 34 receiving touchdowns as a Buccaneer, the most of any player in team history, and accumulated more receiving yards (4,300) and receptions (279) than any other tight end to ever play in Tampa Bay. He was elected into the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor in 2011.

In 1987, Giles found the golf course for the first time.

"That's when we had the first strike," Giles said. "We didn't have anything else to do. Doug Williams and I, we had a golf course right across the street from us. It was called the Hall of Fame. Of course everybody called it the Hall of Shame because of the condition of it. We just decided to kill a lot of time and would go across the street and try to play golf."

When he retired in 1990, he became hooked.

"Just sitting up at home wasn't going to cut it for me," Giles said. "I decided to pick up a set of golf clubs and really learned how to play this game."

Over the course of the past two and a half decades, Giles has developed into an excellent player, by anybody's standards. His current handicap, when properly rested, is an eight.

From Thursday to Sunday, the best golfers in the world will compete in The Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Although the tickets are difficult to come by, Giles was able to attend the tournament in 2010.

"I had a friend from Richmond, Virginia," he said. "He invited me to come down and watch The Masters with him and a couple other retired players. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go. It was the most beautiful course that I've ever seen in my life, there's no question about that."

"That was also the first time I got to meet and shake hands with Tiger Woods," Giles added. "He was on the putting area and we were around him at the time and he kind of looked over and glanced and I said something to him and just kind of introduced myself to him and he just chatted with us for a few minutes. It was pretty exciting."

Although Woods is ranked outside the top 100 in the world for the first time in almost 20 years, Giles believes he can make a run.

"I'm a Tiger Woods fan and I don't count him out of any contest like that because we have all seen what he can do," Giles said. "The more he plays, the better he gets. If he starts with that extreme confidence, I think he's going to be a force to be reckoned with."

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