All Time Greatest Golfers: Golf Tips from the Best

The all time greatest golfers know the game of golf inside and out. They understand the strategy, swing mechanics, dedication, mental fortitude, and strength required to be a winner.

The greatest golfers still make mistakes and errors on the golf course. For them, a poor golf shot or miscalculation has been the difference between victory and defeat.

The game of golf has changed over the decades, but the all time greatest golfers from various eras have shared useful tips and advice that can help you on the the golf course.

Who are the All Time Greatest Golfers?

The list of “all time greatest golfers” will always be subjective. There have been many influential golfers that changed the game of golf. We’ve put some serious time and thought into this list, but we still feel like some golfers missed out.

These are the top 10 greatest golfers based on our opinion:

1. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf
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07/22/2024 11:07 pm GMT

Tiger Woods has been the most influential player to ever pick up a golf club. He broke down racial barriers and brought a whole new era of golf with him. I dare you to find someone who hasn’t heard of Tiger Woods. He is that influential.

He was mentally unflappable. He holds an incredible 14-1 record when entering the final round of a major with at least a share of the lead. No one has been able to close out tournaments like Tiger Woods. That’s why he holds the number one position on this list.

Tiger Woods Winning Resume

  • 82 PGA Tour Wins (15 Majors)
  • 41 European Tour Wins
  • 3 Japan Golf tour Wins
  • 2 Asian PGA Tour Wins
  • 3 PGA Tour of Australasia Wins
  • 17 Other Wins
  • 21 Amateur Wins

Golf Tips from Tiger Woods

  • “Don’t watch f—– youtube, go hit balls.”
  • “Whatever makes your game better, do it.”
  • “Proper posture and good eye alignment are two of the most important elements of a consistent putting stroke.”
  • “The key is increasing your clubhead speed through impact. So I really fire the club through with my right hand.”

2. Jack Nicklaus

The Golden Bear
Golf My Way: The Instructional Classic
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07/23/2024 12:09 am GMT

“The Golden Bear” has an argument for being number 1 on this list. He’s the only golfer to win more Majors than Tiger Woods.

Jack Nicklaus was an incredible ball striker and understood the game of golf better than anyone. He was a true all-around great golfer. That’s why it was so hard to beat him.

It’s hard to compare his achievements with those of Tiger Woods because they played during different eras. I would have loved to see Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus play together in their primes.

Jack Nicklaus falls second to Tiger Woods on this list because he wasn’t quite as transformative to the game of golf.

Jack Nicklaus Winning Resume

  • 73 PGA Tour Wins (18 Majors)
  • 9 European Tour Wins
  • 3 PGA Tour of Australasia Wins
  • 24 Other Wins
  • 10 Senior PGA Tour Wins

Golf Tips from Jack Nicklaus

  • “Every golfer should understand that golf is a game of balance, rhythm and timing.”
  • “Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You’ve got to believe you can play a shot instead of wondering where your next bad shot is coming from.”
  • “Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety.”

3. Sam Snead

Sam Snead Classic
The Game I Love by Sam Snead
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07/23/2024 03:18 am GMT

Sam Snead earned the nickname “The Slammer” because he could really hit the ball. He is credited with the most natural, self-taught swing the world has ever seen.

Snead rose to fame in the 1930s when he won six events during his first year on the PGA Tour. He was dominant for the better part of 4 decades, cementing his name at number 3 on this list.

Critics believe he would have more wins if it weren’t for World War 2. The war cancelled 14 major championships and Snead served in the Navy during his prime from 1942 to 1944.

Sam Snead Winning Resume

  • 82 PGA Tour Wins (7 Majors)
  • 45 Other Wins
  • 10 Senior Wins

Golf Tips from Sam Snead

  • “I tried to make my swing as simple as I could make it.”
  • “It’s a one piece swing. All I think about when the club goes back is that it all goes together.”
  • “Forget your opponents; always play against par.”
  • “Practice puts brains in your muscles.”

4. Ben Hogan

Essential Golf Reading
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport, believed that any golfer with average coordination can learn to break eighty.

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07/22/2024 10:17 pm GMT

Ben Hogan had a profound influence on golf swing theory. He was the first professional golfer to analyze the golf swing and present it to the public. He wanted everyone to have an efficient, powerful golf swing.

Ben Hogan wrote a book called “Five Lessons”, demonstrating the five fundamentals of the golf swing. He was instrumental in bringing the game of golf to the general public. Golf was seen as a game for the wealthy for a long time.

Ball striking is what Ben Hogan was known for. He is widely regarded as the best ball striker to ever play the game.

Hogan was a fierce competitor and an elite ball striker. It’s no surprise he is one of golf’s greatest.

Ben Hogan Winning Resume

  • 64 PGA Tour Wins (9 Majors)
  • 9 Other Wins

Golf Tips from Ben Hogan

  • “The most important part of the golf swing is the movement of the lower body.”
  • “This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win.”
  • “Placing the ball in the right position for the next shot is eighty percent of winning golf.”
  • “Every day you miss playing or practicing is one day longer it takes to be good.”

5. Arnold Palmer

The Superstar
Arnie: The Life of Arnold Palmer
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07/22/2024 09:31 pm GMT

Arnold Palmer was the first superstar of golf’s television age. He was charismatic, well-spoken, and down-to-earth. It was like he was designed for television. Only Tiger Woods had a greater social impact on the game of golf.

Palmer took big risks and wore his emotions on his sleeve. He wasn’t your typical golfer, but he was exactly what golf needed. He took golf mainstream and it paid huge dividends for every professional golfer.

The great Jack Nicklaus called Arnold Palmer “an icon” and “a legend”. Palmer took the game of golf to another level of popularity.

Arnold Palmer Winning Resume

  • 62 PGA Tour Wins (7 Majors)
  • 2 European Tour Wins
  • 1 Canadian Tour Win
  • 11 Other Wins

Golf Tips from Arnold Palmer

  • “I have a tip that can take 5 strokes off anyone’s golf game. It’s called an eraser.”
  • “Swing your swing. Not some idea of a swing. Not a swing you saw on TV. Not that swing you wish you had. No, swing your swing. Capable of greatness. Prized only by you. Perfect in its imperfection. Swing your swing. I know, I did.”
  • “Golf is a game of inches. The most important are the six inches between your ears.”

6. Bobby Jones

The Lawyer
The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf
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07/22/2024 09:27 pm GMT

Bobby Jones was one of the most influential golfers to play the sport. The crazy part is he never became a professional golfer, opting to play as an amateur. He inspired the next generation of golfers with his incredible accomplishments.

Jones was a lawyer by profession, but he is better known for his contributions and dedication to growing the game of golf. As an amateur, he often beat the tours top players (Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen).

Jones retired from championship golf at age 28, but not before he won 13 of the 31 majors he played in. He is famous for earning the “Grand Slam” before retiring. He went on to be the founder of Augusta National and co-founded the Masters Tournament.

Bobby Jones Winning Resume

  • 9 PGA Tour Wins
  • 4 US Open Wins
  • 3 The Open Championship Wins
  • 5 U.S. Amateur Wins
  • 1 British Amateur Win

Golf Tips from Bobby Jones

  • “The most common fault is leaving too much weight on the left foot during the backswing, so that when the downswing is attempted, all the weight goes back to the right foot.”
  • “Keep your left wrist flat when you strike the ball.”
  • “The average golfer would be a lot better off if no one had ever said anything about the necessity for keeping the eyes glued upon the ball.”

7. Nick Faldo

Faldo Mental Tips
Faldo: A Swing for Life
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07/23/2024 04:50 am GMT

Sir Nick Faldo is dedicated to the game of golf. He won three Open Championships and three Masters during his career, cementing his name in golf history.

Inspired by Jack Nicklaus, young Nick Faldo began playing golf at age 14 and dedicated his life to the game. After retiring, Nick Faldo became a commentator for CBS Sports coverage of the major golf championships.

Golf fans everywhere recognize the voice and influence of Nick Faldo.

Nick Faldo Winning Resume

  • 9 PGA Tour Wins (6 Majors)
  • 30 European Tour Wins
  • 1 South Africa Tour Wins

Golf Tips from Nick Faldo

  • “Tempo is the glue that sticks all elements of the golf swing together.”
  • “It goes without saying that it is no good having a perfect setup, perfect grip and perfect golf swing if the whole thing is misaligned. It sounds obvious but many players simply do not spend enough time getting themselves on target.”
  • “Golf is a game of confidence, and confidence comes from within.”

8. Seve Ballesteros

Seve Magic
Seve: The Official Autobiography
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07/23/2024 04:29 am GMT

Seve Ballesteros was a Spanish golfer who was the face of European golf for more than two decades. He finished second at the Open at the age of 19 and never looked back.

Ballesteros holds the European Tour record with 50 wins. He inspired the next generation of European golfers to pick up their clubs and start playing.

Winning the Open Championship three times and the Masters twice, Ballesteros proved that he was more than just a dominant European golfer. Golf Digest and CBS Sports named Ballesteros the greatest Continental European golfer of all time.

Seve Ballesteros Winning Resume

  • 4 PGA Tour Wins (5 Majors)
  • 50 European Tour Wins
  • 6 PGA of Japan Tour Wins
  • 1 PGA Tour of Australia Win
  • 29 Other Wins

Golf Tips from Steve Ballesteros

  • “Confidence comes by practice. It doesn’t happen overnight. Nothing happens without hard work.”
  • “Hitting thoughtless shots is the fastest way to defeat.”
  • “Bad shots do not always result solely from bad swings. They also stem from indecision or doubt.”

9. Tom Watson

Best Swing Guide
Tom Watson: The Timeless Swing
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07/23/2024 04:11 am GMT

Tom Watson was an intense rival with Jack Nicklaus. Watson got the best of Nicklaus in several major championships, notably the 1977 Masters, 1977 Open Championship, and the 1982 US Open.

Watson was known as being the greatest links player of all time, claiming five Open Championship victories on the links-style course.

Noted for his longevity, Watson nearly won the Open Championship at age 60. He lost in a four-hole playoff to Stewart Cink after missing an 8-foot putt.

Tom Watson Winning Resume

  • 39 PGA Tour Wins (8 Majors)
  • 8 European Tour Wins
  • 4 PGA of Japan Tour Wins
  • 4 Senior Wins

Golf Tips from Tom Watson

  • “My golf swing is a bit like ironing a shirt. You get one side smoothed out, turn it over and there is a big wrinkle on the other side. Then you iron that one out, turn it over and there is yet another wrinkle.”
  • “Golf is a game of ego, but it is also a game of integrity: the most important thing is you do what is right when no one is looking.”
  • “Confidence in golf means being able to concentrate on the problem at hand with no outside interference.”

10. Greg Norman

Golf & Business
The Way of the Shark: Lessons on Golf, Business, and Life
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07/23/2024 03:23 am GMT

Greg Norman is an Australian golfer known as “The Shark”. Norman ranked World #1 for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.

He won two majors and was runner up eight times throughout his career. Some call his string of runner-up finishes unlucky, but his aggressive play often got him in trouble.

His dominance over the field, despite losing major championships, is demonstrated in the world rankings.

Norman is now famous for being CEO of LIV Golf, the breakaway tour from the PGA.

Greg Norman Winning Resume

  • 20 PGA Tour Wins (2 Majors)
  • 14 European Tour Wins
  • 2 PGA of Japan Tour Wins
  • 33 PGA Tour of Australasia Wins
  • 21 Other Wins

Golf Tips from Greg Norman

  • “Play the shot you’ve got the best chance of playing well.”
  • “Setting goals for your game is an art. The trick is in setting them at the right level – neither too low nor too high. A good goal should be lofty enough to inspire hard work, yet realistic enough to provide solid hope of attainment.”
  • “If you’re serious about improving your play, be brutally honest with yourself.”

Final Thoughts

It would be amazing to possess the golf knowledge that the all time greatest golfers have gained over their careers. All we can do is marvel at their accomplishments and try to take their advice.

This list of the all time greatest golfers is subjective, so feel free to do your own research! There are thousands of incredible professional golfers you could gain knowledge from.

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