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Best golfers of all time: A list of the greatest players to ever play golf
All of the greatest golfers of all time have had successful careers and have been able to reach their greatest successes, including winning major prizes and drawing large crowds in their tournaments. Although these top players have made it seem easy to win such prestigious awards, not every golfer can be successful in winning a major. Read on to learn about the best golfers of all time.
After extensive research from several publications, we've created a list of some of the greatest golfers ever. These players' rankings, which include established legends and current professionals, are based on PGA Tour victories, major championships, and fan polling.
The best golfers of all time: ranking the best ten
Golf has developed into one of the most well-liked sports in the world over the past century. It has helped golfers become well-known and wealthy because the reward pools are so huge compared to several other sports.
10. Byron Nelson | United States of America
PGA Tour: 52 wins
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Masters: 2 wins (1937, 1942)
US Open: 1 win (1939)
US PGA: 2 wins (1940, 1945)
Byron Nelson played better than anyone had ever played for some period in 1945. Lord Byron won 11 consecutive tournaments, including the PGA Championship in that year.
The Byron Nelson Championship, which was held yearly in Dallas, helped preserve his legacy. Up until his passing in 2006, he went to the competition almost every year.
9. Tom Watson | United States of America
PGA Tour: 39 wins
Masters: 2 wins (1977, 1981)
US Open: 1 win (1982)
British Open: 5 wins (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983)
From 1970 through 1980, Watson, a native of Kansas, was among the best golfers in the world, winning eight major tournaments, including five Open Championships. He never finished the golfing season in a position higher than second in the PGA Championship. It is Byron Nelson who helped Watson rise to new heights in golf.
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Young Watson's career flourished under Nelson's guidance, as he helped him win his first major within a year of their collaboration. Nelson originally expressed interest in Watson in 1974 and later served as his mentor.
8. Gary Player | South Africa
PGA Tour: 24 wins
Masters: 3 wins (1961, 1974, 1978)
US Open: 1 win (1965)
British Open: 3 wins (1959, 1969, 1974)
US PGA: 2 wins (1962, 1972)
Golf was mostly controlled by British and American professionals before the diminutive South African left with his wife, children, and a some luggage, and embarked on his five-decade international trip. The "little man in black," is widely regarded as the best South African golfer of all time. The Mzansi-born player, who may be the most successful non-American golfer in history, gained the moniker "The Black Knight" because he frequently donned all-black attire.
He was Jack Nicklaus' and Arnold Palmer's contemporary and opponent. In addition, he is the first non-American to have finished a Grand Slam career and to have won 165 matches on six different continents in the past 60 years.
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Gary Player is one of only five golfers to have won all four of the sport's major tournaments, and he is one of just four players (the others being Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Nick Faldo) to have captured the British Open and Masters three times each.
7. Walter Hagen | United States of America
PGA Tour: 45 wins
US Open: 2 wins (1914, 1919)
British Open: 4 wins (1922, 1924, 1928, 1929)
US PGA: 5 wins (1921, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927)
Hagen, a showman, was the first extremely successful touring professional. In an era when amateurs like Bobby Jones dominated the sport, he significantly increased the status of the lowly professional golfer.
Walter Hagen, a New York native, introduced the British Open title to American history for the first time and went on to win four more Open titles, making him a national hero. However, he is one of the best golfers to never win a masters.
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6. Sam Snead | United States of America
PGA Tour: 82 wins
Masters: 3 wins (1949, 1952, 1954)
British Open: 1 win (1946)
US PGA: 3 wins (1942, 1949, 1951)
Sam Snead is one of the greatest golfer in history if winning is the yardstick for measuring greatness. Only Tiger Woods and Sam won more golf championships using swings that were as fluid and sugary as breathing and appeared to come naturally and without effort. In addition to his numerous triumphs, Snead participated in World War I.
5. Bobby Jones | United States of America
PGA Tour: 9 wins
US Open: 4 wins (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930)
British Open: 3 wins (1926, 1927, 1930)
Nobody shone more brilliantly than Bobby Jones during the heyday of sports. Not Jack Dempsey, Red Grange, or Babe Ruth. Only amateur Bobby Jones made the top-10 ranking.
A country that was actually embracing sports on an epic scale observed in astonishment as Jones won everything in sight between 1923 and 1930. Then, at the age of 28, he quit playing competitive golf because he felt that he had finished conquering the world.
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No sports legend left the game at such a young age or accomplished more in a shorter amount of time. He also took part in the planning of Augusta National; thus, his impact on golf did not end after retiring.
4. Arnold Palmer | United States of America
PGA Tour: 62 wins
Masters: 4 wins (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964)
US Open: 1 win (1960)
British Open: 2 wins (1961, 1962)
Better players with more attractive swings have existed. However, Arnold Palmer has never been a more significant golfer. In the end, the man rose to prominence as one of the most liked golfers of all time.
With each game Arnie played, his army of supporters expanded. He increased payouts by four times and moved golf from country clubs to living rooms.
In the azaleas and pines of Augusta National, where Arnie's Army initially gathered, Palmer ruled from 1958 until 1968. He competed at every master during that lengthy period, with the exception of 1963, winning four times, placing second twice, third once, and fourth twice.
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3. Ben Hogan | United States of America
PGA Tour: 64 wins
Masters: 2 wins (1951, 1953)
US Open: 4 wins (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953)
British Open: 1 win (1953)
US PGA: 2 wins (1946, 1948)
Ben Hogan practiced more than any other player. He invested a lot of time in training and technique development, which is how he became a golf legend. He wasn't a charismatic leader that inspired people to watch the game like Arnold Palmer was. The Hawk is still golf's greatest shot-maker of all time.
Hogan's life consisted of a series of challenges. Hogan couldn't control the hook in the beginning. Even though he suffered numerous severe injuries in a car accident in 1949 and survived it in his later years while serving in the army, he was bound for success. He is still regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time.
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2. Jack Nicklaus | United States of America
PGA Tour: 73 wins
Masters: 6 wins (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986)
US Open: 4 wins (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)
British Open: 3 wins (1966, 1970, 1978)
US PGA: 5 wins (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980)
The Golden Bear, as he was known, brought out the best in his rivals, including Palmer, Player, Watson, and Trevino. But more crucially, he improved golf by using his physical prowess, mental fortitude, consistent level of perfection, and brilliant ability to strategically destroy golf courses all around the world.
In 1974, he was among the first people admitted to the Hall of Fame. And he is justifiably regarded as one of the best golfers of all time at the masters.
1. Tiger Woods | United States of America
PGA Tour: 82 wins
Masters: 5 wins (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019)
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US Open: 3 wins (2000, 2002, 2008)
British Open: 3 wins (2000, 2005, 2006)
US PGA: 4 wins (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007)
Woods started on a path in April 1997 that took him straight to being the greatest of all time and cemented another position as the golfer with the highest net worth. He is regarded as a money machine and has a net worth of $900 million. He completely dominated the most illustrious and historically significant golf competition, forever altering the game.
Instead of hurting the broadcast ratings, Tiger's breakaway made golf the sport with the highest viewership to date. The ratings in 1996, before Woods got professional, were 9.2. When Woods won in 1997, the figure increased to 14.1. As they say, the rest is history. He is currently rated as the greatest American golfer in history.
There are a few additional stars who rank among the best golfers of all time, who haven't won a major but have had a significant impact on the sport. These people include Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, and Bernard Gallacher, among many others. Also important to know in the game is that Phil Mickelson earned $138 million in total during the past 12 months, making him the highest-paid golfer in the world.
Sportsbrief published an article about Tiger Woods versus Phil Mickelson. Both are among the top two greatest golfers of all time.
Since their lives and careers are inextricably linked, the complicated correlation between the two greatest players of their generation has captivated the golf world for decades. The two men, however, couldn't be more dissimilar. To read more on the two, click the above link!