Top 6 Best Golfers of All Time
Each era of golf since the turn of the 20th century has had an iconic player that seemingly accomplished all that the sport has to offer. Although it can be tough to compare golfers of different eras, we’ve done the research and came up with a list of the six best golfers in the history of the sport.
Let’s dive right into it.
#6. Bobby Jones
You know that this list is loaded with all-time greats when Bobby Jones, a golfer that won 13 Majors, only ends up at number six. What’s amazing about Jones is that he was an amateur golfer, opting to make his living as a lawyer rather than play the sport professionally. When he retired at the young age of 28, Jones had won the U.S. Open four times and the Tour Championship three times. Jones also holds the distinction as being the only golfer to win all four “Grand Slam” tournaments in a calendar year, which he did in 1930–prior to the Masters being established in 1934.
5. Sam Snead
The next golfer on our list is Sam Snead, who won 185 professional events – including 82 PGA Tour events and seven Major championships. Dubbed “Slammin’ Sammy,” Snead was incredibly successful even into the later years of his career–as evidenced by his tie for third place at the 1974 PGA Championship at the age of 62. Snead’s 82 PGA Tour wins is the most by a single player in the history of the tour, although Tiger Woods is nipping at his heels with 79 wins. In an age where athletes seem to retire by their mid-forties, Snead’s prowess into his later years is seemingly unrivaled.
4. Ben Hogan
Given his sweet swing and his adeptness at ball striking, it’s not surprising that Ben Hogan ends up on our list after his nine career Major Championships and 64 PGA Tour wins. Hogan, whose career was interrupted for two years due to his service during World War II, is one of just five golfers to have won a career Grand Slam. At the age of 41, “The Hawk” put together one of the finest seasons in golf history when he won three major championships and finished first in five out of the six tournaments he entered in 1953.
3. Arnold Palmer
In addition to blessing the world with the fantastic drink of iced tea mixed with lemonade that bears his name, Arnold Palmer is one of the most accomplished golfers of all time and deserves a spot in the top half of this list. A four-time Master’s Champion, “The King” won all of his seven major championships during a seven-year stretch from 1958-1964. Palmer was one of the sport’s most recognizable players and one of its most accomplished ones as well, coming in fifth all-time with 62 career PGA Tour victories.
2. Tiger Woods
Had it not been for injuries plaguing his playing career over the past few years, Tiger Woods would have undoubtedly ended up at number one on this list. Woods has been the face of the sport since making his tour debut back in 1996, and even if he never returns to his old form, he’s one of the most accomplished golfers of all time. Tiger’s seemingly endless list of accomplishments includes at least three championships at each of the Major championships, 14 overall Majors wins, 79 PGA Tour Wins and 40 wins on the European Tour. Woods has finally gotten healthy this year for the first time in a while and given the fact that he’s contended in tournaments in 2018, he should be able to add to his win total at some point. But he still has some work to do to catch our top ranked golfer of all time
1. Jack Nicklaus
Our number one ranked golfer of all time is none other than the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. No other golfer is within striking distance of his record of 18 Major Championship wins. In addition to his first-place finishes, Nicklaus finished runner-up at Major events 19 times in his career. Much like Sam Snead, Nicklaus was still a threat to win even into his late forties as he set the record for the oldest player to win the Masters when he won the 1986 tournament at the age of 46. His 73 PGA Tour wins put him third all-time behind both Tiger Woods and Sam Snead but his unbelievable play in Major tournaments is surely enough for him to deserve the top spot on our list.