There have been famous golfers throughout history, some of whom are famous because of their social standing, such as James V1 and Mary Queen of Scots. Most golfers though attain their fame through their skill at playing the game and winning tournaments. The list of famous golfers is extensive with surnames ranging through every letter of the alphabet.
The most famous American golfer was Bobby Jones. He won a total of 12 British and American Open and Amateur titles between 1923 and 1930. In 1930, he won all four titles and is the only player in history to have accomplished that feat until Tiger Woods.
Walter Hagen, who was one of Jones’s greatest rivals, had one of the longest and most successful golfing careers. He was the winner of the British Open four times. He also won the U.S. open twice and the PGA title five times. Gene Sarazen was another famous golfer who won the PGA title two years in a row in 1922 and 1923. He also won both the U.S. and British Open titles in 1932 and the Masters in 1935.
During the 1940’s and 1950’s golf was dominates by Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. During his long career, Snead won every major title except that of the U.S. Open. Hogan wom one British Open title and four U.S. title, two PGA championships and two masters tournaments all within 8 years.
Jack Nicklaus dominated the 1960’s and 1970’s and has been ranked the greatest player of all time. He was the first golfer since Walter Hagen to win the POGA title four time and was the first to win the Masters title five times. He won the British Open twice and the U.S. Open three times.
Tiger Woods has now taken the title of the most successful golfer of all time. He is currently number one in the world and in 2006 was the highest paid professional athlete. He has more career wins and more titles than any other player. He is the youngest player ever to achieve the Grand Slam of all four titles in one year and the youngest and fastest to play fifty tournaments in one tour.
Women golfers have also distinguished themselves on the course. Dorothy Campbell Hurd won the Scottish, British, Canadian and American Amateur titles. Joyce Wethered of England won four British Amateur titles. Glenna Collet Vare of Philadelphia won six U.S. and two Canadian Amateur titles.
Three women golfers distinguished themselves in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Babe Didrickson was the first American woman to win the British Women’s Amateur and she won the U.S. Women’s Open three times. Patty Berg and Louise Suggs also won both the British and U.S. Open tournaments.
Today many women are ranked among the top golf players in the world. One of the youngest players ever to be invited to the PGHA Tour at age 13.