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15 Best Golfers of all Time

Jack Nicklaus

The 15 Greatest Golfers of All Time

Golf is commonly referred to as the “rich people’s game.” Golfers at the highest levels are among the highest-paid athletes of all time. However, we will not be discussing their financial worth today. Instead, we’ll be counting down the top 15 golfers of all time today.

Some of the great golfers are well-known. Most professional golfers, however, are unknown to the general public.

Furthermore, there aren’t many professional golf courses in many Asian and African countries.

As a result, golfers are less common in these countries.

But don’t worry, we’ll discuss the 15 best golfers of all time and why they’re considered the finest in their area in this list.

The 15 Greatest Golfers of All Time

Ranking Name Major Achievement
15. Vijay Singh Number 1 Rank
14. Nick Faldo 6 Major Championships
13. Greg Norman Number 1 Rank
12. Lee Trevino 6 Major Championships
11. Seve Ballesteros Number 1 Rank
10. Bryon Nelson 52 Wins PGA Tour
9. Arnold Palmer 62 Wins PGA Tour
8. Tom Watson 8 Major Championships
7. Gary Player Won Grand Slam
6. Walter Hagen 11 major titles
5. Gene Sarazen Career Grand Slam
4. Sam Snead 82 wins in PGA
3. Ben Hogan Won Grand Slam
2. Tiger Woods 15 Major Championships
1. Jack Nicklaus 18 Major Championships

15. Vijay Singh

His name suggests he’s from the Indian subcontinent, but this exceptional golfer is actually from Fiji.

Vijay Singh turned professional golfer in 1982 at the age of 19.

Also, he ranks 11th on the list of richest golfers in the world with a total net worth of $75 million.

Since then, he has won 64 professional games. He won Masters Tournament in 2000, and two PGA Championships in 1998 and 2004.

He reached his greatest rating of 1 in 2004.

Mr. Singh remained in the top rank for 32 weeks.

His career was surrounded by scandals, yet he merits a spot on this list.

14. Nick Faldo

English golfer Nick Faldo became a professional at the age of 19.

Since then, he has won 43 professional matches.

He has a wonderful results when it comes to major competitions.

Nick has won the Masters Tournament three times in 1989, 1990, and 1996.

Apart from that, he won a PGA Championship in 1992.

He also won the US Open Championship in 1988.

Plus, his streak in The Open Championship is also quite good.

Faldo won the championship three times in 1987, 1990, and 1992.

He earned the PGA Player of the year in 1990.

Nick is one of the top professional athletes in the UK. Nick is also recognized as one of the top golfers of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

13. Greg Norman

The multitalented Greg Norman is an entrepreneur as well as a professional golfer from Australia.

As an entrepreneur, Norman has ventured into numerous sectors, including interior design, real estate, wine production, and private equity.

Greg was unanimously voted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

He is also dubbed “The Great White Shark” for his ferocious playing style.

Greg Norman
Greg Norman drinking wine with his wife. Source: gregnormanestateswine

Norman won the Open Championship twice in 1986 and 1993.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, he was listed as number 1 for a total of 331 weeks.

That’s why Greg is on our list of 15 best golfers of all time.

12. Lee Trevino

One of the best golfers of all time, Lee Trevino, was born in 1939.

He started playing professionally in 1960.

Since then, he has won 92 professional games.

Lee Trevino won the PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open Championship two times.

Only five players have been able to achieve this feat.

The only major tournament in which he didn’t win was the Master’s Tournament.

Trevino is also an inspirational figure to Mexican Americans.

Before him, there weren’t any professional Latino golfers, certainly not reaching such exploits.

11. Seve Ballesteros

Seve Ballesteros was amongst the top golfers of the 1980s.

The renowned Spanish champion Ramon Sota was his maternal uncle.

It’s probable that he became inspired by glancing at his maternal uncle.

He won 90 games in his career.

Seve Ballesteros
Seve Ballesteros with hall of Fame Troophy. Source: Golfoy

Steve attained the number 1 rank in 1986 and he stayed at number 1 for 61 weeks during his career.

Among the major competitions, he won the Masters Tournament two times. He also won The Open Championship three times.

Seve dominated the European Tour during his career. He was voted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1999.

10. Bryon Nelson
One of the best professional golfers from the early part of the 20th century is Bryon Nelson.

Bryon is also considered one of the best golfers of all time.

Bryon Nelson won three major competitions.

He won the Masters Tournament in 1937 and 1942.

he won the PGA Championship in 1940 and 1945. Apart from that, he also won the US Open in 1939.

Bryon won 52 games in his PGA Tour, which is the 6th highest of all time. Nelson is also the first player to win 50 PGA Tour events.

9. Arnold Palmer

The American golfer Arnold Palmer is recognized as one of the best players and the most attractive player of his day.

He professionally played the sport for approximately half-decade.

He became a professional in 1954 and retired in 2006.

During this period, he won 95 games. Sixty-two of the games were on the PGA Tour.

He won the Masters Tournament four times.

Similarly, he won US Open once and The Open Championship two times.

8. Tom Watson

Moving on, another excellent golfer on this list of 15 finest golfers of all time is Tom Watson.

He dominated the sport in the 1970s and 80s.

Over his career, he won 8 major tournaments. He was most successful at The Open Championship.

He won The Open Championship 5 times. Apart from that.

He also won the Masters Tournament and the US Open.

Between 1975 and 1985, he won 8 titles. It demonstrates that he was earning an award virtually every year.

Unfortunately, since then, he hasn’t been able to recreate his accomplishment.

But, his achievement in 2009 The Open Championship proves that he is still a terrific player.

Also, Check Out the Top 25 Richest Golfers in the World.

7. Gary Player

The Black Knight’ from South Africa is one of the best professional golfers of all time.

He started his professional adventure in 1953. Since then, he has won 24 games on PGA Tour.

He is one of the five golfers to win all the major tournaments known as the Grand Slam.

Gary achieved this milestone at the age of 29.

His first major event was the Open Championship in 1959.

He captured all the major trophies by winning the US Open in 1965.

Career grand slam conferred elite status to Gary among the golf players.

The career Grand Slam alone secures him a spot on our list of 15 finest golfers of all time.

6. Walter Hagen

Another classical player on this list is Walter Charles Hagen.

He was highly well regarded even up to the late 50s.

Walter won a total of 11 major titles.

He won the PGA Championships 5 times, US Open 2 times, and The Open Championship 4 times.

In terms of major trophies, he stands third after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

In many ways, Hagen is the first important superstar who grabbed people’s attention to the game.

He became an inspiration to a number of young gamers.

Before Hagen, a number of the golf courses accepted only wealthier players.

Golf was primarily of leisure activity, and the amateurs controlled the sports.

Hagen changed that.

The other players had to increase their talents to defeat Hagen.

That’s why he is one of the finest golfers of all time.

5. Gene Sarazen

To win all the major events in golf is a great deal. There are just five players to win all four tournaments.

Gene Sarazen is one of the players to attain this feat.

He turned professional golfer in 1920.

Over his career, he won 48 professional games. Gene won his first competition in his second year as a professional.

In 1922, he won two big tournaments, i.e., PGA Championship and US Open.

After that, though, he had to wait for 10 more years to win another big championship.

He got his mojo back in 1932. Later, he won two events in the same year.

4. Sam Snead

‘The Slammer’ Sam Snead is also recognized as one of the finest golfers of the 20th century.

He won seven major championships.

Sam has won the highest number of games in the PGA tour along with Tiger Woods.

Sam Snead 
Sam Snead  Playing Golf. Source: LiveAbout

He has won a total of 82 games in the PGA circuit.

Many believed that Sam Snead possessed the perfect textbook golf stroke.

Apart from that, he was also famed for his straw hat.

3. Ben Hogan

Now, it’s time to talk about the holy three of the golfers.

One of the players to win all the major championships is Ben Hogan. Hogan played golf for four decades.

In these years, he managed to win nine trophies in all major competitions, including Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open Championship.

Even though he started professionally in 1930, his first major event triumph was in 1946.

However, his greatest year was 1953. In 1953, he won three major competitions.

After winning the Open Championship in 1953, he earned the career grand slam.

Ben Hogan also wrote the book ‘Five Lessons‘ in which he detailed the strategy to acquire a solid swing.

It’s one of the most famous books on how to play golf.

2. Tiger Woods

Many people would be astonished that we have Tiger in the 2nd place instead of the #1 slot.

TigerWoods is possibly the most popular golfer of all time.

Woods is also one of the wealthiest athletes of all time.

His career graph is also quite amazing.

Tiger turned professional in 1996. Since then, he has won 109 professional games.

These include 82 wins in the PGA circuit, which is the highest of all time.

He shares this record with Sam Snead.

Apart from that, he has also won all the big tournaments.

He won 15 major championships in his career.

In addition, every 1999 to 2007 (excluding 2004), he was named the PGA player of the year.

He won the Masters Tournament in his second year. In the same year, he became the world’s number 1 golfer.

He was number 1 for 683 weeks.

Most golfers fail to recover once they slide from the top.

Even though he plummeted to number 58, he became the number 1 golfer again just two years later.

This is why he is number two on our list of 15 best golfers of all time.

1. Jack Nicklaus

Now, it’s time for the number one golfer of all time.

The finest golfer of all time is Jack Nicklaus.

He has won all the major competitions a total of 18 times.

Like Woods, he won his first major tournament in just his second year.

Within five years, he won all the big tournaments.

Unlike other players, he focused solely on the major tournaments.

He has won fewer PGA Tour games than Tiger Woods.

However, in terms of the total win, he is ahead of Woods.

Even on the PGA Tours, he is just 9 wins behind Tiger Woods and Sam Snead.

That’s why he is the best golfer of all time.

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These athletes prove that we can achieve big goals if we are determined and focused.

The path of these 15 finest golfers of all time might be an inspiration to all of us.