Golf is a sport with a rich history. While fans have witnessed great golfers in different eras, compiling a list of the standout golfers will spark a fierce debate. Our list narrows down to those we deem as stand-out performers. Performance in top tournaments and bodywork were the two main criteria we chose to conclude the individual golfers.
Nicklaus nicknamed “The Golden Bear” is regarded as one of the two all-time greatest golfers along with Tiger Woods. Having won a record 18 majors while accruing 19 runner-up finishes and nine third-place finishes ‘The Golden Bear’ holds the record for third-most PGA Tour wins with 73, and winning the Masters on six different occasions. He secured his last Masters aged 46 years making him the oldest to ever win the tournament. Nicklaus undoubtedly earned some tons of dough having led the money list eight times. He won the Player of the Year gong five times. Nicklaus became the first player to complete double and triple career slams of golf’s four major championships. An all-time greatest list without Nicklaus would be preposterous.
In recent memory, no other golfer boasts the stature of Tiger Woods. In the early 2000s, Woods undoubtedly seemed to surpass Nicklaus as the most famous golfer before his health took a toll on him. Since his 1997 Masters win, golf experienced a surge in popularity, and Woods is credited for it. Some sources also credit Woods for the increase in prize money in golf, by drawing the highest TV ratings in the sport and generating interest in subsequent PGA tournament audiences.
Woods won 14 majors, ranking him second on the all-time list behind Jack Nicklaus and 79 PGA tournaments, second all-time behind Sam Snead. Three victories in the modern-day grand slam and one of five other golfers to attain such a feat, and the only one to win four majors (in the modern-era) in succession, Woods is unquestionably an all-time great.
Marital issues and injuries plagued the career of a player well on his way to becoming the best golfer of all-time.
Blessed with the potential to be the greatest ever and not making a penny from tourney wins is unique to Bobby Jones. Bobby never turned professional thus never earned money from the sport. Form 1923–1930, Bobby beat top amateur golfers, amassing 13 Major championships and became the only golfer to win the Grand Slam, and all four Major Championships in a calendar year. In 1925, with Jones destined on winning the 1925 U.S. Open, he called a penalty on himself for seeing the ball move, therefore, losing by one stroke. Retiring at the age of 28 before reaching his prime years, Bobby brought sportsmanship to the game.
Nicknamed “The Hawk”, Hogan ended his career with a win in the 1953 Open Championship, a season referred to as “The Triple Crown” as a result of winning five of the six tournaments in which he took part. These wins include three majors. An overlap in the dates of the PGA Championship and the Open Championship made it impossible for Hogan to try for the championships. At the prime of his career, Hogan was interrupted by a near-fatal car accident and World War II. Hogan won six majors after he recuperated from the car crash.