Best Male Golfers of All Time

Who are the most successful and talented male golfers ever?

The Top Ten

1 Tiger Woods Tiger Woods Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time.

The only reason this is even a debate is because Tiger got hurt. Had he stayed healthy he'd have over 100 wins and 20-25 majors, and he'd still be going. I mean he even just won a major with limited ability (48th in driving distance in that Masters). In his prime he won like 30% of all tournaments he entered. That's absurd. Even now he's at like 23% for his career. He won 9 Vardon trophy's - that goes to the player with the lowest scoring average. No one else won more than 5. Jack Nicklaus, as great as he was, never won one. he never had the lowest scoring average. Tiger did it 9 times

Jack and Tiger each at 23%, and that's perfect, because they really are 1 and 1A. The way I explain it is that Jack Nicklaus had the greatest career of all time, but Tiger is the best golfer ever. What I mean by that is Jack has the best record, the 18 majors, and also 19 runner-up's in majors, and also played in the golden era of golf, he had the best quality of opposition. But Tiger took golf to the highest level it's ever been played. For a decade he won like 25-30% of his tournaments. That's ridiculous and will NEVER be done again. His abilities will never be surpassed. He was the perfect golfer. Injuries are the only reason this is even a debate, otherwise he'd have 20 majors already and over 100 PGA wins. As it stands he now has 80 PGA wins, which is 2nd of all time (Sam Snead has 82 and Jack had 73) and he's 2nd in majors (14, to Jacks 18).. But he's healthy again, and even at 42-43 he still has a few years to build to his legacy. He just had his first win in 5 years. It's all ...more

Tiger's numbers are absurd. From 1996-2009 he won 30% of his starts on the PGA Tour (71/239) while competing in the strongest most global fields in golf's rich history. Jack Nicklaus the only other contender for this #1 position won about 20% of his events (52/265) at his absolute peak. More evidence of Tiger's total domination is that he lead the PGA Tour in victories in 12 different seasons. The next best is 6.

Now, if we are counting majors and nothing else it is true that Tiger is 4 wins behind the Golden Bear's 18 solo second in the all time list. Woods is also second in the total wins category 2 behind Sam Snead's 82.

Difficult to differentiate between hogan, woods and Nicklaus.

V 12 Comments
2 Jack Nicklaus Jack Nicklaus

73 Top 10's in addition to 18 titles. No contest.

Jack was great when the equipment sucked

Not only the best golfer ever, the best role model. Always conducted his self with CLASS win or lose. I never heard any 4 letter words when he played a bad shot I have never heard or read about anyone saying anything but good things about Jack. They used to say "Who will be the next Jack Nicklaus? " I can answer that. NOBODY

To see Tiger over Jack is downright offensive. Jack has EIGHTTEEN major vs only 14 for Tiger and this is despite that Jack's competition is light years superior to Tiger's. Jack faced all time greats Palmer, Player, Watson, Ballesteros. Tiger faced no all time greats, and no Phil Mickelsen is not an all time great. On top of that he has something like twenty more runner ups in majors, amazing. Tiger has about 7. Most people who are voting Tiger are probably only doing so since he is black.

V 19 Comments
3 Arnold Palmer Arnold Palmer Arnold Daniel Palmer was an American professional golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport's history.

Great player wonderful man

I Really Just like the Arizona ice tea half and half lemonade tea and he is good and I have no one els to pick

7 major wins but was fundamental in making golf a popular sport. - plmilligan1968

I think arnold is better than tiger

V 2 Comments
4 Bobby Jones

Completed the Grand Slam in a single calendar year AS AN AMATEUR! It blows my mind that he never officially turned pro but yet accomplished so much.

No question the greatest golfer of all time winning 50% of all tournaments he played in

7 major wins with a legendary rhythmic swing. - plmilligan1968

He started young and got better

5 Ben Hogan

9 major wins and rumoured to be the most natural golfer of all time. - plmilligan1968

He created most of the swing and tecnic we see today.

6 Gary Player Gary Player

9 major wins and still the most successful non US golfer. - plmilligan1968

From Wiki:
Player is one of the most successful golfers in the history of the sport, ranking third (behind Roberto de Vicenzo and Sam Snead) in total professional wins, with at least 166, and tied for fourth in major championship victories with nine.

7 Walter Hagen

He used to purposely hit the ball into the woods just to give himself a challenge - Grizleybear

11 major wins and dominated pre 1930's golf. - plmilligan1968

8 Sam Snead

Must be in top 5-7

9 Padraig Harrington

3 of the last 6 majors
and has won the last 2 british opens - Grizleybear

10 Phil Mickelson

Needs to move up the list to a place more respectful of his accomplishments

Lefty has maybe the best short game ever!

Way better than mcllory

The Contenders

11 Rory McIlroy

Good playa and 4 FOUR time majour champion!

Way too early to tell, buy could be on his way!

Rory McIlroy, the best golfer.
I love his pose and tee shots.
He will be the golfer whose skill will be more technical than Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus.

12 Seve Ballesteros

Viva L'Espagne, Seve, one of the greatest short game players of all time, thought about shots you'd only try on a PlayStation

13 Tom Watson

Tom still competes at a high level, when he occasionally plays. The man is in his sixties. I think he gets overlooked because he was too nice, no controversy. A great golfer.

Tom Watson behind Phil this is bs

Five Open Championships, 8 Major wins and took down Jack numerous times when Nicklaus was in his prime. Tom is never given enough credit. Deserves to be much higher on this list!

14 Greg Norman
15 Jason Day
16 Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth

Got his head screwed on straight! Almost too good to be true.

He should be number 1

My boy

17 Harry Vardon

7 major wins, dominated golf upto the first world war. First to write a book on the theory of golf and still has won more majors than any other British player. - plmilligan1968

18 Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo played with a steely nerve and a never say die attitude. He was always aware of greats before him, ie Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player etc. He had what all greats have, an Aura on the golf course and of course he is British.

6 majors and the most successful British golfer in recent years. - plmilligan1968

Between Tom Watson and Woods THIS guy was the best golfer in the world.Yes at times the magic of 'Seve' and the sheer talent of 'Greg Norman' were better than Faldo.However Faldo was better than both of them for longer in the tournaments that mattered...Faldo to be fair should have had an even longer career but his game remained good but the game changed in the late 1990s...he was never a has-been but he did become obsolete...the greatest 'thinking/mental' golfer of all time along with Jack and Tiger.

19 Luke Donald
20 Lee Westwood
21 Graeme McDowell
22 Bubba Watson
23 Matt Kuchar
24 Adam Scott
25 Justin Rose
26 Charl Schwartzel
27 Louis Oosthuizen
28 Sergio Garcia

Finally captured his first major at the biggest stage of them all. Definitely one of the best golfers of all time and one of the more underrated ones as well.

29 Lee Trevino
30 Ben Crenshaw
31 Mike Weir
32 Peter Thompson

5 major wins and the most successful golfer from Australia. - plmilligan1968

An inspiration. Pete Thompson

33 Ernie Els
34 Bill Haas
35 Jonathan Byrd
36 Jim Furyk
37 Jason Bohn
38 Martin Kaymer
39 Payne Stewart

What might have been.

40 Dustin Johnson
41 Vijay Singh
42 Byron Nelson
43 Stewart Cink
44 Francesco Molinari
45 Rickie Fowler
46 Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, politician, and the 45th President of the United States. Born and raised in Queens, New York City, Trump received an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971, more.

Amazing player almost better than jack nichaulas

47 Colin Montgomerie
48 Fred Couples

I can't believe he is this low, Fred is one of the most important people in Golf

49 John Daly

Great golfer but wasted his career

BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top Ten Male Golfers of 2014 Sexiest Male Golfers Top Ten Best PGA Golfers Best Golfers Top Ten Best Golfers of 2016

List Stats

600 votes
49 listings
11 years, 101 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. Bobby Jones
2. Jack Nicklaus
3. Tiger Woods
1. Jack Nicklaus
2. Tiger Woods
3. Arnold Palmer
1. Jack Nicklaus
2. Tiger Woods
3. Bobby Jones

View All 11

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.