Golf’s roots go back to the 15th century in Scotland, and throughout the years, there have been players who have perfected the sport and are considered celebrities due to their individual tales and accomplishments during their careers. Golf has grown in popularity over the last century to become one of the most famous sports on the planet. Golfers have been popular all over the world, and the sport has often given them money due to the huge bonus pools relative to other sports. Today’s golfers owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneers since it was they who opened the way for today’s rising stars. We’ve assembled a list of the top ten greatest golfers in history.
Top 10 Greatest Golfers in The History [2023 Ranking]
10. Byron Nelson
Byron Nelson’s golf tenure was relatively brief, lasting only from 1935 to 1946. Nelson is well known for winning 11 races in a row in 1945, a milestone. These 11 victories were part of a total of 18 victories in one of the most successful seasons in PGA history.
Nelson claimed five major championships over his 12-year tenure. He captured the Masters and PGA Championships twice each, as well as the US Open once. He competed in the Masters until the mid-1960s, finishing 15th in 1965.
Nelson captured the 1951 Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his last professional championship, after retiring from full-time golf in 1946. Nelson was highly regarded as one of the greatest golfers of his day, and he was able to win all of his championships when many of his peers were fighting in World War II.
9. Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer was the golfer who did more to revolutionize the game than anybody else in the mid-twentieth century. Hundreds of thousands of people tracked Palmer through golf courses in the 1950s and 1960s, earning him the moniker “Arnie’s Army.”
Arnold Palmer achieved a record of seven major championships throughout his career. The 1958 Masters tournament was the first of these. Between 1958 and 1964, Palmer won four Masters, two British Opens, and one PGA Championship. Palmer is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.
8. Sam Snead
This World War I veteran has a total of seven big accomplishments under his belt. Since returning from the battle, he won three Masters, three PGA Championships, and won US Open. Mr. Snead still holds the record for the most PGA wins with 82, earning him the moniker “Slammin’ Sammy.”
For a long time, he kept the mark for the most PGA Tour victories before Tiger Woods matched it in 2019. One of the best golfers of all time Snead sets many records for durability. He became the oldest player to win a tournament when he won the Greater Greensboro Open in 1965 at the age of 52. He came third in the 1974 PGA Championship at the age of 62. In the 1979 PGA Championship, he was the oldest player to reach the cut in a major.
7. Gary Player
Gary Player is still tied for fourth all-time in major championship wins. He is one of the five players to have achieved all four Grand Slams in their careers. In 1959, he won his first major championship, the Open Championship. His most recent victory was in the 1978 Masters.
Gary won the Masters and the British Open three times in all. He has won the US Open and the PGA twice. With his victory in the 1965 US Open, he joined Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan as the only players to have won the Grand Slam to that stage. Gary Player is one of the greatest golfers in the world, but just 24 of his victories have come on American soil.
6. Tom Watson
The golfer who ranks sixth on this chart has made the best of his tenure in the United Kingdom. During a nine-year span in which he claimed the Open Championship five times, Tom Watson came close to owning the Claret Jug. On the American side of the Atlantic, Watson has earned three big championships. In 1977 and 1981, he captured the Masters’ tournament, as well as the US Open in 1982. The PGA Championship was the only major he never achieved, but he did finish second in 1978.
Tom Watson has claimed six major championships on the Champions (formerly Senior PGA) Tour in addition to his eight major titles. Three of these championships were won in the Senior British Open on the other side of the Atlantic. Watson, who was 59 at the time, came close to tying the mark for most Open Championships when he fell in a playoff at the 2009 British Open.
5. Walter Hagen
When most people think of Walter Hagen, they think of golf clubs. Hagen, on the other hand, was a major player in his day. His 11 major championships placed him in third place all-time.
Hagen’s competitive career began in 1912, and he managed to win until 1936 when he retired. In 1942, he made his last major appearance. Because of his wins in the US Amateur, others contend that he should be ranked second in terms of majors. Hagen has five PGA Championships, four British Opens, and two US Open victories to his credit.
4. Ben Hogan
Ben Hogan is commonly regarded as one of the best golfers of all time. He is the second player to ever complete the professional Grand Slam and has won nine major championships in total. Hogan won four US Opens, two Masters, two US Opens, and the 1953 British Open, among other significant names. His last term was the 1959 Colonial, and he formally retired in 1971.
If it hadn’t been for a pair of big setbacks in his career, Hogan’s gaudy numbers might have been much higher. World War II was the first of these disruptions, and Hogan participated in the military from 1943 to 1945. The second occurred in 1949 when he was narrowly killed in a traffic accident.
He and his partner were also unharmed in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus. In 1950, Hogan returned to the tour, and 1953 was his best year. Hogan only joined six tournaments during this season, winning five of them. Three majors were among the five victories. Hogan might have secured all four majors in one year if the PGA and British Open dates hadn’t clashed.
3. Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones is the number three golfer on this ranking of the best ten golfers of all time. Jones never played golf for earnings, except in an era when amateurism was prized. In the 1920s, he played in major tournaments before retiring from professional golf at the age of 28 in 1930. Jones will continue to make money from the game, as well as from instruction and supplies after he retired.
The Open and Amateur tournaments in the United States and Great Britain were the biggest tournaments throughout Jones’ career. He participated in 31 of these big tournaments, winning 13 of them. In 1930 (also his last year of competition), he had his best year, winning all of the majors in a single calendar year.
Jones won four US Opens and three British Opens, tying for the most ever. He was also a six-time winner of the US Amateur and a single-time winner of the British Amateur. He became renowned during his career for kicking off the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.
2. Tiger Woods
The golfer who is currently ranked second on this list of the best golfers in the world may one day overtake the number one ranking. Tiger Woods is actually ranked second in terms of major championships achieved in his lifetime. Woods has achieved 15 major championships in total, second only to Jack Nicklaus in this list.
Tiger Woods had conquered all four majors at least three times, and as of early 2019, he has won 81 PGA tournaments and 41 European PGA tournaments. Woods has won some of the most prestigious tournaments in golf history, including the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes and the US Open by 15 strokes in 2000.
Between the 2000 US Open and the 2001 Masters, Woods accomplished what became known as the “Tiger Slam,” capturing all four majors in a row. Prior to 2019, he has not won a major since the 2008 US Open. Woods went almost 11 years without winning a major after that US Open victory. With a surprising victory at the Masters in April 2019, he won his fifth green jacket. Woods’ window is closing at 43 years old, but he also has a chance to surpass the Golden Bear in the years ahead.
1. Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time, and he will remain so until his mark of 18 major championships is surpassed. Between 1962 and 1986, Nicklaus won 73 official PGA championships. Nicklaus claimed a remarkable six Masters Tournaments, five PGA Championships (tied with Walter Hagen), four US Opens, and three British Opens, among other major titles. The 1986 Masters was Nicklaus’ last major, and it is remembered as one of the most exciting tournaments in major history, as he scored six shots under par (30) on the back nine of the final round. He holds the record for being the oldest player to win the competition.
Following his PGA Tour performance, Nicklaus managed to win on the Senior PGA Tour until 1996, capturing eight more major titles. In addition, at the age of 58, he placed sixth in the 1998 Masters. The 2005 Open Championship was his last professional tournament.
The Top 10 Greatest Golfers in The History are:
- Jack Nicklaus
- Tiger Woods
- Bobby Jones
- Ben Hogan
- Walter Hagen
- Tom Watson
- Gary Player
- Sam Snead
- Arnold Palmer
- Byron Nelson