Top 20 Golfers of All Time

Ever wonder with all these great golfers around the world, who is really the best? Know who’s who when it comes to playing golf. Can you guess who’s on top? Well, keep your list to yourself and let’s find out if you are right as we bring you the Top 20 Golfers of All Time. This list is brought to you by the due diligence of Athlon Sports and Life. So, let’s start the countdown, shall we? top-20-golfers-of-all-time

  1. Vijay Singh

  • “The Big Fijan“
  • Learned golf from his father, an airplane technician who also taught American professional Tom Weiskopf
  • His first name means “victory” in Hindi so maybe that’s the reason Fiji’s only world-class golfer with
  • 34 PGA tour wins
  • 2 PGA Championships
  • 2000 Masters victor
  • PGA Player of the Year and European Tour Player of the Year in 2004
  • In the same year (2004) bagged the Vardon Trophy (award for leader for scoring average) and Byron Nelson Award (given annually to the player with lowest adjusted scoring average)
  1. Ernie Els

  • “The Big Easy”
  • Started playing golf at the age of 9 and also fond of other sports such as tennis which he won the Eastern Transvall Junior Championships at the age 13, cricket, soccer and rugby in his native land of South Africa, where he established his vineyard and winery business and design signature golf course in 2004
  • At age 14, he turned his full attention playing golf and never looked back with his
  • 68 career wins worldwide
  • 19 PGA Tour victories
  • 4 PGA Championships
  • European Player of the Year for three times
  • PGA Rookie of the Year in 1994
  • Part of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011
  • Payne Stewart awardee (annually given to the golfer who exemplifies the values of character, charity and sportsmanship by PGA Tour) in 2015
  • He also founded Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 dedicated for his son with autism, Ben.
  1. Cary Middlecoff

  • “Doc” for being a dentist before transitioned into a golfer at 26 year old
  • Although his career as a golfer was relatively short, his bizarre career move helped him become one of the greatest golfers of all time
  • 40 PGA Tour wins
  • 10th on the all-time wins’ list
  • 1955 Masters victor
  • Also in 1949 (Masters victor)
  • 1956 US open champion and bagged the Vardon Trophy
  • Won three titles as a member of the United States’ Ryder Cup Team
  • World Golf Hall of Famer in 1986
  1. Billy Casper

  • “Buffalo Bill” because buffalo is part of his unique diet along with hippopotamus, bear, elk due to serious allergy issues
  • Two time PGA Player of the Year in 1966 and 1970
  • 69 wins worldwide
  • 51 PGA Tour wins
  • 7th on the all-time wins’ list with 3 championships
  • 5 five Vardon trophy awardee
  • Served 8 Ryder Cup teams and still holds the U.S. record for the most career Ryder Cup points won
  • Despite being overshadowed by his fellow golfers in his prime – Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Plamer and Gary Palmer, he wrote a book entitled “The Big Three and Me” in 2012
  1. Nick Faldo

  • 1990 PGA Tour Player of the Year
  • 3 time European Golfer
  • 41 professional wins
  • Hall of Fame golfer (held a world No. 1 ranking for for 97 weeks, 81 consecutive weeks from 1992 to 1994)
  • 3 time Champion at The Masters and another 3 at The British Open equal to 6 major championships
  • Payne Stewart Award in 2014
  1. Seve Ballesteros

  • The greatest European golfer of all time because he helped the European Ryder Cup team win 5 times during his Hall of Fame career
  • Took home 3 claret jugs for winning at The British Open
  • 2 championship win at the Masters
  1. Lee Trevino

  • “Merry Mex” / “Super Mex”
  • Greatest Hispanic golfer of all time
  • Self taught golfer and became a protégé of Hardy Greenword
  • 89 professional wins
  • 29 PGA Tour wins
  • He is one of just four players in the history of golf to win twice each at the US Open, PGA Championship and Open Championship.
  • 1971 PGA Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated Man of the Year, AP Athlete of the Year (Associated Press sports editors as panel who do the voting annually)
  • 5 Vardon Trophies
  • Hall of Fame of Golfer
  • One of his superstitions is not using a yellow tee
  1. Harry Vardon

  • Yep, Harry Vardon is giving out trophies, well not really him but it was given to honor him.
  • He is truly one of the all-time greats, regardless of era.
  • 49 professional wins
  • 21 team victories
  • 6 time Claret Jug winner
  • His 6 British Open victories still stand as a record today
  • 1 US Open title in 1900
  • Part of the “Great Triumvirate” – a trio of golfers with James Braid and J. H. Taylor help bring golf  as a forefront sport in the world
  1. Phil Mickelson

  • A career with many ups and downs
  • 3 Masters victories
  • 1 PGA Championship win
  • 1 British Open title
  • 42 PGA wins
  • 9th on the all-time list
  • 26 top 5 finishes
  • 37 top 10 finishes
  • A runner up in the us open for 6 times
  • World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012
  1. Gene Sarazen

  • His first Masters win in 1935
  • One of the five players in the history of gold to complete the Grand Slam
  • Seven major titles during his Hall of Fame career
  • 48 professional wins
  • 39 PGA Tour wins
  • AP Male Athlete of the Year in 1932
  • Inventor of the modern sand wedge
  1. Byron Nelson

  • Won a staggering 11 consecutive tournaments in a row and 18 tournaments total on the year 1945
  • 1945 PGA Champion
  • AP Male Athlete of the Year (1944-1945)
  • 64 professional wins
  • 52 PGA Tour wins
  • 6th on the all time wins list
  • Ranks 2nd behind tiger woods for consecutive cuts made with 113
  • PGA tour lifetime achievement award in 1997
  • Payne Stewart Award in 2000
  • Congressional Gold Medal in 2006
  1. Tom Watson

  • 6 time PGA Player of the Year
  • 3 time Vardon trophy winner
  • World Golf Hall of Fame
  • 1 golfer in the world from 1978 to 1982 according to McCormick’s World Golf Rankings
  • 39 PGA t=tour wins
  • Rank 11th on the all-time list
  • 8 major championships including
  • 2 Masters wins
  • US open win
  • 5 British Open titles
  • President of US Ryder Cup squad winning at 1993
  • At age 66, he has 6 senior major championships and 14 career wins
  1. Gary Player

  • “Black Knight” / “Mr. Fitness” / “International Ambassador of Golf”
  • Renowned golf course architect with more than 200 design projects throughout the world
  • And of course operates in licensing, publishing, videos apparel, golf equipment and memorabilia of Black Knight International
  • 165 professional wins worldwide
  • 24 PGA Tour wins
  • 9 major championships
  • Grand Slam club member (winning all golf’s major championships in the same calendar year)
  • One of his superstitions or lucky charms is wearing charms
  1. Walter Hagen

  • Flamboyant, extravagant, dapper and over confident
  • 75 professional wins
  • 45 PGA Tour wins (8th in PGA history)
  • 11 major championship
  • 5 Western Opens
  • World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974
  1. Arnold Palmer

  • “The King”
  • Has a very own Army and a drink named in his honor
  • Helped set golf in the forefront of the sports through television alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player
  • 95 professional wins
  • 62 PGA Tour wins
  • 5th all-time winning list
  • 4 time Masters’ Champion
  • 2 time British Open winner
  • US Open winner in 1960
  • Almost a grand slammer because he finished 2nd in three separate PGA Championship
  • 2 time PGA Player of the Year
  • 4 time Vardon Trophy winner
  • Sports Illustrated Man of the Year in1960
  • Has 13 streets in the US named for him
  1. Ben Hogan

  • “The Hawk”
  • 64 PGA tour wins
  • 4th on the all-time PGA wins list
  • 9 major championship
  • one of the five who earned Grand Slam of golf
  • 4 time PGA Player of the Year
  • 3 Vardon Trophy winner
  • AP Male Athlete of the Year in 1974
  1. Sam Snead

  • “Slammin Sammy”
  • Winningest golfer in PGA history with 82 PGA tour career victories
  • 165 professional wins
  • 7 major titles
  • Placed 2nd four times in the US Open
  • 4 time Vardon Trophy winner
  • Oldest golfer in history to win a tournament (at 67 years old)
  • Hall of Famer
  1. Bobby Jones

  • The greatest amateur golfer
  • In just a seven year period, between 1923 and 1930, Jones would compete in 31 major tournaments, claiming 13 major championship titles (seven professional, 6 amateur)
  • He is the only golfer credited with a single-season Grand Slam in 1930
  • Co-founded The Masters
  • World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974
  • Retire at the age of 28
  1. Jack Nicklaus

  • “The Golden Bear”
  • 73 PGA Tour wins, 3rd in the all-time winning list
  • 18 career championships
  • 5 PGA Chanmpionships
  • 4 US open titles
  • 3 British Open championships
  • 6 Masters win
  • 5 time PGA Player of the Year
  • 8 time Vardon Trophy winner
  • Golf world’s golf course architect of the year in 1993
  • Received the preseidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2005 at the White House Ceremony
  • “Most Powerful Person in Golf” for three times in a row in 2006 by Golf Inc magazine
  1. Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods

  • Single-handedly popularized golf in a way that it had never been done before transcending the sports’ world into popular culture
  • 79 PGA Tour wins
  • 14 major championship
  • Triple grand slam
  • He is the only player in golf history to win four consecutive major in a row
  • He has the lowest scoring average in PGA Tour history by a fairly wide margin
  • Won a mind-blowing 25.2 percent of the tournaments he entered
  • 11 time PGA Player of the Year
  • 9 time Vardon Trophy winner
  • Made the most consecutive cuts (142) in golf history
  • He won’t be eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame until he reaches 50 years old
  • But his way too young and a lot can still happen and achieve by Tiger


So there you go guys, the top 20 greatest golfers of all time. Did you guess it right? Do you agree with the list? If not, let us know what you think and who is the best golfers for you.