Scotland is generally regarded as the country where golf was invented. It developed from an elitist sport for gentlemen to a mass phenomenon. Golf inspires young and old, and the best players in the world are responsible for this.
The world’s major TV stations have long been broadcasting the most important tournaments live, ensuring that fans all over the world are always well informed. A huge industry has grown up around the sport, making it easy for supporters to stay close to their stars, at least when it comes to equipment. Golf trips are in vogue and offer followers of the sport the opportunity to explore new courses in foreign countries and compete with players from all over the world.
The following stars have contributed significantly to making golf a mass phenomenon. They were able to enter themselves in countless winners’ lists and have secured their fixed place in sports history.
American Jack Nicklaus is undoubtedly considered the greatest golfer of all time to this day. During his long career, he recorded an incredible 115 tournament victories, including 73 on the PGA. Among them were six successes at the Masters. Four times Niklas won the US Open, five times the PGA Championship. Four times he completed the career Grand Slam. His performance in the world’s major golf tournaments remains unbeaten in many areas to this day.
Part of the reason for his extraordinary success was certainly the unusual combination of his skills. At his best, Niklas was considered to be one of the greatest putters of all time and at the same time the player with the longest stroke. His most characteristic ball flight was the power fade. Nicklaus devoted himself to community service after his career and authored several books on golf. His company, Golden Bear, has also risen internationally to become a leading architectural firm for golf courses.
The successor to Jack Niklaus was undoubtedly Tiger Woods. With his early successes, he fueled the worldwide golf boom like no other. His age was initially responsible for this. Tiger, as his fans call him, won his first Masters at the age of 21. It’s no wonder, then, that over the next few years he rose to become one of the best-paid athletes in the world. Woods thus advanced not only athletically, but also financially to dimensions never known before.
Not only did he break numerous golf records, but he also managed to remain the number one player in the golf world longer than any other player before him. The PGA named him Player of the Year eleven times. With 108 tournament victories, 82 of them with the PGA, Tiger Woods is one of the best golfers of all time. However, his appearance off the course has also made him one of the most controversial professionals. His career has been marked by numerous scandals, and a car accident a year ago is now likely to have ended it for good.
The New Yorker has achieved historic things for the sport of golf. With a total of eleven major victories, he was one of the most successful golfers in the first half of the 20th century. Hagen is considered a pioneer of professional golf. He came from a working-class family and originally started his career in golf as a caddy. But professional golfers were not particularly respected at the time, as amateurs dominated the scene. Hagen was even denied entry to the clubhouse in 1920 when he played in the Open Championship. His success helped end this class division between professionals and amateurs. Walter Hagen was the first American to win the British Open Championship and is now considered a legend of the sport.
The best golfers in the world have undoubtedly inspired their successors. Currently, American Scottie Scheffler leads the world rankings, followed by Spaniard Jon Rahm and American Collin Morikawa. In the women’s category, Jin Young KO from South Korea leads, ahead of Nelly Korda from the USA and Lydia Ko from New Zealand. Here, too, some players have achieved incredible things.
Sweden’s Annika Sörenstam won a total of 72 tournaments on the LPGA Tour in her 16-year career. She claimed ten major titles and was named Player of the Year eight times. With 93 professional titles, she is undoubtedly the best female golfer of all time. She ends her career at the age of 38.
Mildred “Babe” Zaharias
The American is considered one of the most versatile sportswomen of all time. She began her career as a track and field athlete and initially won two gold medals at the Olympics. It was not until the age of 24 that she turned to golf and rose to become the first female celebrity in golf. With 41 victories on the LPGA Tour, Mildred Zaharias has long since immortalized herself in the history books. The popular player died of colon cancer at the age of just 45, but her achievements remain unforgotten to this day.
These stars are considered great role models for numerous young players. Golf has conquered its place in the sports world and will certainly continue to generate enthusiasm in the future.