17 Greatest Golfers of All Time
It would be hard to say who the 17 greatest golfers of all time are because many factors come into deciding how good a player is. It is almost as hard as writing about hated players, or the best cars to drive. We can base the greatness on winning streaks, longevity in the game, PGA 20 wins or even significant victories.
We will share with you who we feel are the greatest golfers of all time.
1. Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus has won a total of 18 Majors and 73 PGA Tours between 1962 and 1986. Some of his titles include 5 PGA’s, 4 US opens and 6 Masters Tournaments. His final major was in the 1986 Masters; he also had the distinction of being the oldest player to win this particular tournament.
Jack went on to play on the PGA Tour until 1996 and won 18 major titles in the Senior PGA Tour. His last professional game was in the 2005 Open Championship.
2. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has won 15 Majors, 81 PGA’s and 41 European PGA tournaments. He has gained a place in the annals of golfing history by having noteworthy wins in major championships including the 1997 Masters and the 2000 US Open.
Between 2000 and 2001, Tiger won all the four majors in the US Open and Masters. Tiger made a surprise comeback in 2019 by winning the Masters, after almost 11 years without a major.
3. Ben Hogan
Ben has won the professional Grand Slam, and nine Major championships including Four US opens, 2 British open in 1953 and Two Masters. His last title was the Colonial in 1951. He retired from the game in 1971. Two major events had an impact on his career; the World War II where he served as a utility pilot, and a car crash in 1949, where thankfully, he and his wife survived.
4. Walter Hagen
Walter had a total of 11 major championships. He started playing in 1912 and continued to be a success in the game until 1936. His final major was in 1942. Some of his major wins include 5 PGA championships, 4 British Opens, and two US Opens.
5. Bobby Jones
Bobby was active in major tournaments in the 1920s but retired at an early age of 28 in 1930. He played in 31 major tournaments in the open and amateur games, in both the US and Britain. In 1930, Bobby won all the four majors. He holds the record for the most titles after winning four US and 3 British Opens. He is the founder of the Masters’ tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.
6. Gary Player
Gary stands out as one of 5 players to win the Career grand slam. He won his first major title in the Open Championship in 1959 and the last in the Masters in 1978.
Gary won three times at the British Open, three times at the Masters, twice at the PGA and once at the US Open. In 1965, he became the only player to win the Grand Slam at the US Open.
7. Sam Snead
Sam has 82 PGA Tour titles including seven major championships. He won 3 Masters and PGA championships in the British Open in 1946. He did not win any US Open and therefore could not complete the career Grand Slam.
He also has several longevity records; for instance, at the age of 52, he won a tournament, at 62 Sam played in the 1974 PGA championships where he came in 3rd. In 1979 he played at the PGA Championship.
8. Tom Watson
Tom won the Open Championship 5 times, Masters Tournament in 1977 and 1981, and in 1982 he won the US Open. He also has six major titles on the champions with three coming from the Senior British Open.
9. Byron Nelson
Byron has 18 titles including five major championships Two Masters, two PGA, and one US Open. His final professional title was the Pebble Beach pro-am in 1951.
10. Arnold Palmer
Arnold won 17 major championships including the Masters’ tournament in 1958, four Masters, two British Opens and 1 PGA title.
11. Gene Sarazen
Gene won a total of 7 Majors and 39 PGA Tours including the US Open and PGA championship. Even at the age of 71, he was still playing and made a hole-in-one in the 1973 Open Championship.
12. Phil Mickelson
Phil has won a total of 5 majors and 43 PGA tours. He turned professional in 1992 but only won his first major in the 2004 Masters.
13. Billy Casper
Billy Casper has won three Majors and 51 PGA tours. He also holds the record for most points won on the Ryder Cup. He has also won five trophies, and between the years of 1964 to 1970 he won a total of 27 times.
14. Seve Ballesteros
Seve holds five majors, nine PGA Tour victories and 50 European tour victories. Between the 1970s and mid-’90s, he held the title of the most wins in the European Tour. He was instrumental in Europe’s five-time wins in the Ryder Cup both as a captain and player.
15. Harry Vardon
Harry won seven Majors in the Open Championship. He also had 49 major victories. He had a unique grip that came to be known as the ‘Vardon Grip’ Where the hands overlap and not interlock as is typical.
Interestingly Harry never played in the PGA championship or Masters because they came after his time. He won the US Open once and came in second twice in the three times he played.
16. Ernie Els
Ernie has 4 won majors; two in the British Open and two in the US Open. He also has 19 PGA Tour victories.
17. Lee Trevino
Lee has 29 PGA tours and six majors. He has beaten Nicklaus 4 times at major championships.
Talk to any sports enthusiast, and they will tell you that there are moments that are hilarious, gut-wrenching, and capable of giving one an incomparable high. Golf easily tops the list as one such sport, and it is good to know who to thank for the thrill.