Golf does not stands for “Gentlemen only, Ladies forbidden”. Of course not. This sport is definitely female friendly. In fact, out of 80 million golfers worldwide (according to HSBC) 19% of them are women according to the National Golf Foundation. The times are definitely changing for this men-dominated sports due to variety reasons. It may be because of business, socialization, or fitness where many girls are really engaging to. One of the first person to give interest to golf is Queen Mary of Scots. Because of her the word caddie was coined. It was reported that she traveled to France just to play and was even criticized because for spending more time in golf than on royal matters. Who are the ladies who took it to the next level and became the top golfers of all time? Let’s start the countdown…
Se Ri Pak
South Korean, Se Ri Pak, emerge in the late 1990s. She became a professional by 1996. She won two major championships in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour in 1998 and became the youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Open. Since then, she won 21 more times on the LPGA, including three major championships. She was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame and 2007 at the age of 29.
Patty won 15 major championships and 60 total victories on the LPGA Tour, making her fourth highest of all time in golf history. She help established the tour in 1984 and became the first President. She is a three-timer LPGA Vare Trophy winner and also three times LPGA Tour Leading Money Winner. Patty became Female Athlete of the Year for three years. And a hall famer in 1951.
Karrie Webb is an Australian golfer who is the tenth highest of all time in golf history for her 41 wins in the LPGA Tour. She tuned as a professional golfer in 1994. She won six major championships and 17 titles on the LPGA Tour between 1999 and 2002. She was named GWAA Female Player of the Year and received the LPGA Achievement Award in 2000. She was also inaugurated in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2005.
Juli is well-known for her longevity as a golfer. She turned professional in 1983 and had 2 major championships in her bag during her first full season of the LPGA Tour in 1984. In over 20 years, she won 31 times on the tour, in addition to seven major championships. She is also the most successful American player in the Solheim Cup, becoming the oldest competitor in the event’s history 2011.
Before she retired in 2010, Mexican golfer, Lorena left a mark in golf history by being the first female player to win over $4 million in a season and achieved 27 wins on the LPGA Tour, including 2 major championships. She instituted the Lorena Ochoa foundation to help underprivileged children schooling in her hometown, Guadalajara.
American female professional golfer Nancy Lopez became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1977. She achieved the title of the LPGA Tour 41 times which is the seventh highest of all time in golf history. She won 9 times during her rookie season in 1978. She became the cover of Sports Illustrated in the same year of winning Tour’s Rookie and Player of the Year. She won 28 LPGA Tour titles and represented the U.S. in the inaugural Solheim Cup 1990.
Californian Mickey Wright was admired for her swing by Ben Hogan. She joined the LPGA Tour in 1995. She won 82 LPGA Tour events, placing second on the all-time list, and 13 major championships. Mickey become the only player in the history to hold four titles at the same. She is a five-time LPGA Vare Trophy winner and four consecutive LPGA Tour Leading Money Winner. She was the ninth greatest golfer of all time by Gold Digest magazine in 2000.
Former American female professional golfer Kathy Whitworth became the first women to reach career earnings of $1 million on the LPGA Tour in 1981. She won 88 times in the LPGA Tour which is the highest on the all-time list. She is a seven-timer LPGA Vare Trophy winner and eight times LPGA Tour Leading Money Winner. She was the Female Athlete of the Year twice in 1965 to 1966 and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975.
Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias
America’s first female golf celebrity in 1940s, Babe won 41 PGA Tour, including 10 major championships. Her career was shortened by her death due to colon cancer. She was dubbed as the greatest female athlete of the 20th century.
Annika Sorenstam is a Swedish female golfer who turned professional in 1992. She won 90 international tournaments and became the female golfer with the most wins. She has 72 LPGA Tour wins making her the third highest of all time. She also won the Ladies European Tour 17 times. She received six LPGA Vare Trophy, eight LPGA Tour Leading Money Winner and named LPGA Tour Player of the Year for eight times. In 2003, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The retired golfer who also holds an American citizenship is considered the most successful female golfer in history and the top career earner with over $22 million in prize money.
Let these ladies keep you inspired to do your best. Because if they can be at the top of their game then so are you!