Golf has become one of the most popular sports in the world. Golfers have become sports royalty and some of the highest paid sportsmen in the world. Today’s golfers owe a lot to the high quality and extremely talented golfers who came before them. The sport is full of incredible players and has a rich and exciting history.
Here is a list, in reverse order, of who we think the top 5 greatest and most influential players of all time are:
5. GARY PLAYER
Before Steve Ballesteros, before Greg Norman, before Ernie Els, there was Gary Player, golf’s first great international ambassador. South African-born golf legend is the most successful non-american golfer in history. His career was full of victories and talented play, he ended on a high note with nine major victories, three Masters and three Open Championships. He won 165 victories on six continents in 60 years.
4. WALTER HAGEN
3. BEN HOGAN
Ben Hogan spent much of his career training and becoming better and better at his sport. He won the four major championships, and from 1938 to 1959, he won 63 professional tournaments. He also served in the army and sustained many injuries during a serious car accident, despite all these challenges he went on to become one of the best golfers of all time.
2. TIGER WOODS
Some golf enthusiasts might find this placement of Tiger at number two, not worthy of his name. He is the youngest grand slam winner, 14-times leadership of majors, he won 77 PGA competitions and 39 European tournaments. He is, without a doubt, one of the best golfers of all time and you may argue that we took a gamble like you would at an online casino in Sri Lanka by placing him at number two. But then, consider who we’ve placed at number one!
1. JACK NICKLAUS
Good old “Golden Bear”, Jack Nicklaus is the most ultimate golfing legend. He was the oldest player to win the masters (at 46 years young). He gained five US Open titles from 1963 to 1980. Also under his belt he had 73 victories throughout his entire career, this includes 18 major golf championships. Jack was the first golfer ever to win up to $2m in prize money. He became a writer and the owner of his own golfing equipment company. He was also the first ever golfer to be entered into the Hall Of Fame, in 1974.
Jack Nicklaus is the very first sportsman and only the fourth person in history to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), Congressional Gold Medal (2015) as well as the Lincoln Medal (2018). He also went on to become a legendary philanthropist and in 2004, Jack and his wife Barbara co-founded: the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The Foundation has raised just over $100 million in less than 15 years.
Golf is full of inspiring legends who were and still are dedicated to the sport, as hard as it is to narrow down our top 5, we think we have done the players of the golfing game as much justice as we possibly can.