Ask any avid golf lover who the greatest golfers of all time are, and you’ll get various answers based on merit, skill, and the number of tournament trophies in the cabinet.
As the conversation continues, the names on the list and their order seem to change as more variables come into consideration. After weighing in with one such golfer, this was their conclusion on who deserves the top five “world’s greatest” rankings.
No. 5 – Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is one of the most decorated players of all time, and as of October 23, 2022, he is ranked number one in the world. With 22 PGA Tour wins, 14 European Tour victories, and 4 Majors under his belt, Rory is easily recognizable for his accomplishments in the game of golf.
While the Northern Ireland native has yet to win a Masters and came in 2nd in 2022, many believe it is only a matter of time before he dons the green jacket to join the prestigious golfers and completes his grand slam.
No. 4 – Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer was behind the most significant advancement of the game of golf before televised events. With 62 PGA Tour victories spanning from 1955-1977, including seven major wins, he was considered one of Jack Nicholson’s greatest rivals.
Now, when you have a “mocktail” named after you, your name is likely to be synonymous with refreshment and the game of golf. Yet, considering that he won a PGA Tour every year between 1955-73, he wasn’t named “Athlete of the Year” in 1960 for mixing lemonade and iced tea.
No. 3 – Sam Snead
Mr. Snead was a leading PGA Tour money winner in the years before the Palmer vs. Nicholson rivalry. With an impressive 82 PGA victories, he remains the top-ranking golf player in the world, though he is now tied with Tiger Woods for the honour.
Known for the Snead squat, Sam had a distinctive bowed-leg posture that allowed him to drive the ball differently, powering through ball impact with the snap of his knees and unique rotation.
So, why isn’t he ranked higher on our list? “Slammin’ Sammy’s” wins came before the PGA Tour existed and played under different guidelines.
No. 2 – Jack Nicklaus
“The Golden Bear” boasts the most Masters with 6, and while he has 18 majors, Jack Nicklaus was also runner-up 19 times. To add to the astounding stats, Nicklaus was also a top 10 finisher 73 times.
With a total of 117 professional tournament wins, who is to argue that Jack doesn’t belong in the top three greatest list? For some, being the “winningest” player makes him the greatest of all time. However, there is one name you can’t deny.
No. 1 – Tiger Woods
Tiger. One word. That’s all it takes to know that the greatest player in the world of golf is Mr. Tiger Woods. His household name comes with Nike sponsorships, out-of-this-world comebacks and, of course, his tie with Sam Snead for the top-ranked golf player in the world.
Yet, what sets Tiger apart from all the other players is how his athleticism and sheer success changed the game of golf. History will show how his talent transformed golf into today’s televised, crowd-following events. In addition, many players credit him for making the game lucrative with endorsements and prize money.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Tiger Woods is No. 1!
Take the Debate to the Turf
One sore spot seems to come up often when you consider some of the game’s top players leaving the PGA Tour for the LIV Tour in Saudi Arabia. Some felt that high-ranking players like Phil Nickelson and Dustin (DJ) Johnson belonged on this list; however, the move overseas disqualified them from the “best-of-all-time” leaderboard.
What do you think?
Bring your top five golfers of all time to the debate while practicing your swing at Red Deer’s Golfzone! You and your friends can heckle and cheer each other on, enjoy great food and beverages, and then decide who makes the list of greatest golfers of all time!
Book your tee time online or by calling 587-273-1048 today!