A sport not so eagerly followed in India but played and taken up by a fair few, golf is seeing a rise in the number of contenders across the nation. However, in terms of viewing, it still remains to be a not-so-popular choice among broadcasters. Hopefully, we can become an audience in the near future that helps most sports thrive. In celebration of the sport of golf, here are my top ten best golfers of all time (male).
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Tiger Woods is considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time. He is currently tied for all-time PGA Tour wins. He stands with a total of 82 PGA Tour wins in his career alongside Sam Snead.
Woods’ other notable championships include five Masters Tournament wins, three US Open wins, three British Open wins and four US PGA Championship wins. Woods also became the youngest-ever Grand Slam winner when he won the 1997 Masters aged just 21.
Woods gives back to the people of the nation through the TGR foundation, which he and his father set up back in 1996 to improve the education, health, and welfare of children in America.
In terms of wins, Sam Snead could be placed right up there with Tiger Woods. The late American golfer had a stunning career, during which he won several titles. Snead is tied at the top with Tiger Woods for the most PGA Tour titles (82). He also won three Masters titles, three US PGA Championships, four US Open titles and a solitary British Open title.
Apart from his brilliant wins, Snead also fought in World War I. It is also said that he never took golf lessons and generally employed some not-so-orthodox methods throughout his career. He was also the oldest golfer to have won a PGA event, one he successfully claimed at the age of 52.
Considered one of the best ever golfers of all time, Jack Nicklaus won 117 tournaments during his career. He won the PGA tour on 73 occasions. To add to this impressive feat, he also has to his name five US PGA Championship wins, six Masters wins, four US Open wins and three British Open wins. Nicklaus is also the oldest-ever player to win the Masters, at the age of 46. He was also the first-ever player to enter the Hall of Fame. He also co-founded the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation back in 2004, which raised more than US$100m in less than fifteen years.
Another late American great of the sport, Ben Hogan won the PGA Tour 64 times during his illustrious career. He won two Masters titles, two US PGA Championships, four US Open Championships and a solitary British Open. Hogan faced atrocities early on in his life when his father took his own life when he was just 9. He also came back from a car accident having suffered serious injuries. Hogan indeed showed resilience and character to achieve the things that he eventually did in the sport.
Walter Hagen will remain in the hearts of all those who continue to play and embrace the sport. During his career, Hagen registered 45 PGA Tour wins. His other major victories include a solitary Masters win, five US PGA Championship wins, three US Open wins and four British Open wins. Hagen was not only a golfer, but also a reasonably good pitcher. He was named a charter member of the PGA Hall of Fame back in 1940 and then retired the year after.
Arnold Palmer had quite a career in golf. He won 62 PGA tours during his career, which is the fifth-best record of all time. Apart from the PGA Tour, he won four Masters tournaments, three PGA tournaments, one US Open and two British Open titles. His name is also heavily linked with various promotions of casinos in Canada. Palmer also turned businessman apart from his golfing career and got into designing golf courses through the Arnold Palmer design company he founded.
Gary Player is the only South African golfer on this list. Nicknamed “The Black Knight”, the retired golfer won 24 PGA Tour titles during his career. His other major wins include three Masters wins, two US PGA Championship wins, a single US Open win and three British Championship wins. Player eventually retired from professional golf in 2009. During his career, he also began a career as a golf course designer, a notable addition to his ability of playing the sport.
Bobby Jones is up next on this list. Although he had a short career and stopped playing the sport at the age of 28, Jones accomplished quite a bit within that time span. During his time in the sport, Jones won four US Open titles, three British Open titles and nine PGA Tour titles. After hanging up his boots, Jones co-founded the Masters. Of this lot, he was one who barely took part in professional tournaments post his last Grand Slam victory in 1930. He was also a practising lawyer in Atlanta.
Tom Watson was considered one of the best players around during the 1970s and an all-time great. He won 39 PGA Tour titles, which is the tenth-best all-time record. His other major wins include two Masters titles, one US PGA Championship, one US Open and five British Open titles. Apart from being a serial winner in the sport, Watson has also written several books on golf.
The last player on this list is Bryan Nelson. The late American golfer played alongside some of the greats of the game, including Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. He himself was quite the player and managed to win 52 PGA Tour titles during his career. His other achievements include a two-time Masters win, a two-time US PGA Championship win, a US Open win and a solitary British Open win.
Nelson was a haemophiliac, due to which he was exempted from providing military service to his nation during World War II. He was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1953.