Golf is a popular sport across the globe, even though it may not be accessible to everyone. It is said that the modern version of the game started being played in Scotland in 15th Century. However, some historians believe that games similar to golf had existed much earlier in Europe.
Over the years, golf has emerged as a highly competitive sport with major tournaments such as the Open Championship, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Masters. The game has also spawned several golfing legends, who have contributed significantly to making it popular across the globe. To know them better, here’s an overview of the ten greatest golfers of all time.
Gene Sarazen – Coming from a poor family, Gene Sarazen learned the game of golf while working as a caddie. He developed his skills on his own and was known for his unique interlocking grip of holding the golf club. In his career, Sarazen won seven men’s major championships and 38 PGA Tours.
Gary Player – One of the youngest people to become a professional golfer, Gary Player has a total of 160 professional wins. He is also a top rated golf course architect. He has executed over 400 golf course design projects across the globe. Player has nine wins in men’s major championships and 24 wins in PGA Tours.
Bobby Jones – An influential figure in the world of golf, Bobby Jones has the most achievements in the shortest time. He is also the youngest golfer to take retirement even when he had a flourishing golfing career. In a span of just seven years, Jones won 7 men’s major championships. He played as an amateur throughout his career, which is why he does not have any PGA Tour wins.
Tom Watson – Regarded as one of the best all-rounders, Tom Watson was good with both long hits as well as short game. He was introduced to the game of golf at an early age by his father. Watson is also said to have played brilliantly even when weather conditions were unfavorable. In his golfing career, Watson registered a total of eight wins in men’s major championship events. His PGA Tour record has 39 wins.
Ben Hogan – Coming from a poor family, Ben Hogan started working as a caddie when he was just eleven years of age. However, this proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it ignited his passion for the game of golf. Hogan is regarded as one of the best ball strikers. It is said that he used to practice his swing much more than any other player at that time. In his golfing career, Hogan had 64 PGA Tour wins and nine men’s major championship wins.
Arnold Palmer – Not just a great golfer, Arnold Palmer is also regarded as one of the most charismatic individuals in the history of golf. Prior to starting his golfing career, Palmer had served for three years with the U.S. Coast Guard. In his initial golfing years, Palmer used to sell paint to support his financial needs. He quit that job once he started winning in local golf events. Palmer became a professional golfer in 1954. His lifetime achievements include 62 PGA Tour wins and seven men’s major championship wins.
Sam Snead – A golfing legend, Sam Snead is considered by many to have the ‘perfect swing’. His ‘swing’ had become such a sensation among golf lovers that many golfers had started imitating his swing action. Another great thing about Snead was that he was highly accurate with long hits. With 82 PGA Tour wins, Sam Snead is tied with Tiger Woods at the first position. In men’s major championships, he has a total of seven wins. Sam Snead passed away in 2002 due to complications arising from a stroke.
Walter Hagen – Starting as a caddie to support his family, Walter Hagen never let go of an opportunity to learn the intricacies of the game. He was popular among his fans for his assertive nature and flamboyant playing style. He contributed significantly towards promoting the game of golf in the United States and across the globe. He has 11 men’s major championship wins and 45 PGA Tour wins.
Jack Nicklaus – If men’s major championship wins were the sole criteria, then Jack Nicklaus would probably be the greatest golfer of all time. That’s because Nicklaus is currently at top of the list with a total of 18 wins. However, in PGA Tour wins, Nicklaus is ranked third, with a total of 73 wins. Nicklaus started playing golf when he was just 10 years old. He became a professional golfer in 1961 at age 21. At the peak of his golfing career, Nicklaus had become popular for his consistency in long and straight hits.
Tiger Woods – One of the most recognized faces in the world of golf, Tiger Woods has showcased exemplary golfing skills throughout his junior, college level and amateur golfing career. He became a professional golfer in 1996 when he was just twenty years of age. Woods currently has 82 PGA Tour wins. In men’s major championship events that comprises U.S. Open, Masters Tournament, PGA Championship and The Open Championship, Woods is placed at second place with a total of 15 wins. It is expected that Tiger Woods will be included in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021.