Top 9 Golfers Of All-Time
9. Gene Sarazen: You may be thinking, “Who is this guy?” Well, this guy won seven majors in his career, spanning from 1922-1935. He didn’t specialize in one of the majors, winning all four majors in his career. Aside from majors, he also won 39 times on the PGA Tour, which in the ‘20s and ‘30s was a ton due to the limited number of tournaments. He was awarded the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1932 when he won both Opens, the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. He became a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, cementing his legacy in golf history.
8. Tom Watson: You may be thinking that number eight is too low for Watson, but with the seven above him, number eight is the perfect fit. He won eight majors, including five Open Championship victories. It was almost six in 2009 when Watson almost made history at The Open Championship when he had a putt to become the oldest major champion at 60 years old. The only major he wasn’t victorious at was the PGA Championship, which he finished second in 1978. Watson also won 39 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
7. Gary Player: The South African had nine major victories in his illustrious career, which included all four majors. He also won 24 times on the PGA Tour, which is why he is not higher up on this list. Player became part of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 and received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
6. Arnold Palmer: The golfer or the drink? Of course I’m talking about the golfer, who earned the title “Major Champion” seven times. Four of his seven major victories came at the Masters, which is tied for second all-time with Tiger Woods. Palmer also won 62 PGA Tour tournaments, adding to his legacy. He topped the PGA Tour’s money list four times, spanning from 1958-1963. He also earned many honors during his playing career, from PGA Player of the Year to Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year to Bob Jones Award winner. He earned a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, most deservingly.
5. Sam Snead: The all-time leader in PGA Tour victories won 82 times on the tour from 1936-1965. He also won seven majors, which included three times at each the Masters and the PGA Championship. He was the PGA Player of the Year in 1949 when he won both the Masters and the PGA Championship and finished second at the U.S. Open. He became a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 and his record 82 PGA Tour wins are not forgotten today, especially with Tiger Woods chasing after it.
4. Ben Hogan: He won nine majors and 64 PGA Tour tournaments. He was U.S. Open champion four times and Masters champion twice. He led the money list on the PGA Tour in five seasons and was named PGA Player of the Year four times. He earned the AP Male Athlete of the Year award in 1953 when he won three of the four majors. The icing on the cake came in 1974 when he was voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
3. Walter Hagen: The first double-digit majors champion on this list won eleven majors. He is the all-time leader in PGA Championship victories, winning it five times. He also was champion of The Open Championship four times. Majors weren’t the only tournaments that Hagen won as he also won 45 times on the PGA Tour. He cemented his legacy by becoming a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
2. Tiger Woods: The greatest golfer in the modern era, Tiger Woods is second all-time in majors and PGA Tour victories. He’s won fourteen majors and 74 PGA Tour tournaments. He became the only golfer ever to hold all four major trophies at the same time in 2000-2001 when he won all four majors consecutively starting with the 2000 U.S. Open. He is a ten-time PGA Player of the Year and a ten-time PGA Tour Player of the Year. Also, he’s been atop the PGA Tour money list nine times. He’s the only player on this list to not be in the World Golf Hall of Fame, but that won’t last for long.
1. Jack Nicklaus: The Golden Bear is the all-time leader in major victories as he won them eighteen times. He won each major at least three times, including the record six Masters victories. He also won 73 times on the PGA Tour, which is third all-time. He led the PGA Tour money list eight times and earned PGA Player of the Year five times. His induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame came in 1974. Jack Nicklaus is the undisputed number one golfer of all-time due to his eighteen majors, which still stands alone at the top. He will remain number one until Tiger or any other golfer surpasses him in career majors.