The game of golf has undergone a facelift in modern years. The game played by retirees and older men has given way to a younger generation filled with players from all background, races, and genders. There is no more “typical golfer” as there may have been in years past. And while very little has changed in the rules of the game, the ability for players to reach new and amazing heights of success only seems to grow as the year’s past.
Tiger Woods is easily the most recognized name in modern golf. However, he is not the only superstar to ever play the game. So, we’ve put together a list of some of the best golfers of all time to give a nod of recognition to players that have brought their own form of talent and competition to this popular game.
Here Are The Best Golfers Of All Time:
The top spot on any golfers list is going to be dominated by Tiger Woods. Not only has Woods become synonymous with the game of golf, but he has also brought a bit of celebrity status to the game far beyond that of the celebrities that take part in golf tournaments. He is a true athlete and competitor.
Regardless of how you may feel about his off the green actions, Woods is by far the best player in the game and currently ranks second all-time in men’s major and PGA tour wins. Only in his early 40s (at the time of publication), Woods still has years ahead of him in this game that provides decades of potential play to its competitors.
Jack Nicklaus has been considered by many to be the greatest golfer ever, and if it were not for the accomplishments of young Woods, he would undoubtedly hold the top spot. He does have more career wins and championship titles than Woods, but at 35 years his junior, we have to be honest that Woods will likely surpass him soon enough.
Nicklaus has competed against most of the other players on our list and both won and lost to them at some point. We have to give him props for a great career that just keeps going!
Another great that could be argued as the best were it not for Wood’s young success is Sam Snead. The late Snead was a prominent figure in the game of golf long before Wood’s was ever born. A professional golfer widely considered one of the best for over 40 years, Snead competed in PGA and Senior PGA tour events until just before he passed.
Snead was able to amass 94 Gold PGA medallions, 82 wins, and was runner-up at 4 US Opens. Snead was often quoted commenting on the change in the game from the short game to the long game. Snead was without a doubt the best short game player to ever walk the green.
Arnold Palmer was one of the most well-known players to grab a club. Way before there was ever an Arnold Palmer cocktail, he had accumulated several PGA and PGA Champions wins. Palmer is known for his charm both on the golf course and TV, having been one of the first golfers to dawn a sportscoat and take on prime time television.
Palmer was also instrumental in a number of charities and was a huge part of several celebrity charity golf tournaments, partnering up with A-listers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and even former President Gerald Ford.
One of the first golfers to reach national acclaim, Bobby Jones was a legend before there was such a thing. Co-founder of the Masters Tournament, Jones was one of the first golfers to compete on both the national and international stage.
Gaining success and momentum in a time when the world was overcome by war and suffering. Jones is also one of the few golfers to maintain a full-time career throughout his golfing career. A fully trained and licensed lawyer, Jones only competed in golf part-time.
Ben Hogan is the man behind the science of golf. Hogan is generally credited with many of the modern adjustments to the game of golf that lead to the change from the short game that Snead dominated. Hogan’s golf-swing theory has led to many innovations in clubs and green design throughout the years.
Hogan won 9 professional championships in his career and is (currently) only one of a handful to win all of the major championships.
No golf best-of list could be complete without including the great Tom Watson. Watson has won nearly 40 PGA events and has been designated player of the year a whopping 6 times. What Watson brings to the game that sets him aside from all other golfer is his unique and fast-paced play. Watson is still competing and is often seen teaching younger players how to ramp up their game.
Another household name when it comes to golfers, Phil Mickelson has competed and held his own against almost every other player on this list. Mickelson remained one of the players to watch for over 25 years and was only slightly de-throned once Wood’s came on the scene.
Mickelson continues to amass titles and add to his statistics. As of publication, he has won 3 out of the 4 majors. His other accomplishments include 5 Majors, 3 Masters and both a PGA and an Open Championship.
Golf may be one of those sports that you either love or love to hate. For those that love and follow the game religiously, we understand that there is so much more to the game than merely striking a ball with a club. Golf requires, sometimes, years of dedication to perfecting the art of your swing and being able to provide consistency. The players on this list have proven that they deserve the designation as being the best of the best. The future of golf was paved by most of these players, a true testament to their dedication to a game they all love.