As with everything, everyone has their opinion of which players would make their top five golfers’ list. And, while many may not agree with the names mentioned here, one thing is for sure, each player can hold their own.
Photo by Markus Spiske.
That said, in compiling these names, we looked at each player’s achievements and impacted on and off the course. The number of major tournaments they won was a deciding factor on who made the list and who didn’t. But, that was not the sole criteria we considered. How impactful were they outside the course?
Let’s get down to our top five golfers of all time.
Jack, for most ardent golf fans, needs no introduction. He, as it stands today, has won the most major championship – 18 in total. Aside from his trophy hauls, which are rightly outstanding, Jack was a consummate professional.
His consistency, mental toughness, physical skill and strength and an uncanny ability to strategically dismantle golf courses during his playing days certainly makes him a head and shoulder above others.
Golden Bear, as he is fondly called, played during a time when other greats like Norman, Kite – were at their prime.
In addition to his 18 Major title hauls, when you consider he placed second place on 19 different occasions, you will begin to see just how incredible and impactful Jack Nicklaus was during his playing days.
For some, Tiger Woods, is the greatest golfer of all time, hands down. Woods career has been like a fiery tale – one time he was on his way to becoming the most celebrated athlete the golfing world has ever seen, next he is struggling to salvage his reputation and career.
Granted, nothing can take away Woods’ achievements on and off the pitch. With 15 major titles with the last coming ten years after a messy divorce and several surgeries to correct a chronic back injury, 82 PGA Tours wins, and a resurgence in name value, Tiger Woods is without a doubt, an indispensable player for all golf tournaments.
It is not surprising then, that many Sportbookies, including Unibet rank Woods at 5th place in the Open Championship 2020 with +1600 odds.
Bobby Jones was the Unprofessional professional who took the world of golf by storm. Without turning pro and hence, earning a cent from winning golf championships, Bobby swept through all the tournaments he entered.
For a short run, beginning when he was 20, he either won or came second in all the competitions he entered, until his retirement eight years after at a young age of 28.
During this time, he won 13 major championships, a record that stood for 40 years until a young upstart Nicklaus Jack came along. Booby is also the only golf player to have won the Grand Slam – that is winning all four major championships in a single year.
While Booby retired at a young age, he didn’t leave the game entirely. Him and other friends banded together to form what is today known as the Masters – an invitation-only elite tournament.
And, he is also the founder of the Augusta National Golf Club. If Bobby hadn’t retired early, who knows what many other records he would have set.
No one has done more to take golf from the clubhouses into homes and pubs than Arnold Palmer. Yes, he won 62 PGA Tours which included seven Major Championships.
His signature smile and go-for-broke playing style invigorated modern golf and in the process made The Masters what it is today.
Only three other players, Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, and Nicklaus Jack, have more Majors than Walter. He was also the first American to win the British Open, a feat; he repeated four more times.
His US PGA four in a row wins in 1924 to 1927 set a new record that wasn’t broken until the 60s.