Golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century. It found its 18-hole form in 1764 at St. Andrews’ Old Course. The sport has changed a great deal since then from the players and equipment to endorsements and television coverage. Let’s take a look at the top ten greatest golfers of the 20th century.
- Phil Mickelson
With his failures nearly as celebrated as his plentiful successes, Mickelson has had 44 wins in the PGA Tour, making him the all-time ninth, as well as five majors, which includes three Masters. He had a stunning 66 in the 2013 British open.
- Gene Sarazen
Sarazen is known mostly for one particular shot, but that shot was amazing. It is still carving its place into golf history, although it took place in 1935. It was Sarazen’s first Masters. His double eagle in a par-5 reachable in two shots made history.
- Gary Player
Player fashioned a career that was remarkable and saw him win significantly over 150 tournaments around the world, including nine majors. He is one of just five players to possess all four of the modern majors.
- Tom Watson
Watson dominated the oldest tournament in golf, the British Open, and won eight majors. In 1977 he was part of the greatest duel in golf history in the British Open, against Jack Nicklaus. He made at least a single cut per year for a streak of 37 years in his career with 39 PGA Tour wins.
- Bobby Jones
A figure from the Golden Age of sports, he was a prodigy at 14 years of age. Jones truly found his game at 20, which his remarkable run began. In 1930, he won the U.S. Open and the British Open by slim margins and then completed his thus far not-to-be-repeated Grand Slam.
- Ben Hogan
Known as the Hawk, Hogan was neither about the charismatic wooing of the crowds nor technologically advanced equipment. He was focused on striking the ball well and did so to win nine majors. The Hawk is one of five to win all Grand Slam events.
- Arnold Palmer
Palmer brought people to golf like few others. He won 60 PGA Tours, 7 major championships, and was the first PGA Tour millionaire. He went 15 consecutive years, winning at least one game a year.
- Sam Snead
Known as Slammin’ Sammy, Snead won more tournaments than any other single player. He won as many as 165 victories worldwide on top of 82 titles in the PGA Tour. He also won three Masters.
- Jack Nicklaus
18 major championships mark Jack Nicklaus’s career, with an amazing 37 top twos when it comes to majors. Nicklaus fought against and beat many of the greats on this list at their peaks.
- Tiger Woods
Woods has claimed the Player of the Year in the PGA Tour a record ten times. Woods has the lowest scoring average in the history of the PGA Tour and took four consecutive Majors.