Just how good do you have to be in order to be number one? Or maybe you’re just curious about who history’s greatest golfers are. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 men’s PGA record holders, in descending order, along with some biographical information about each of the golfers.
So get practicing—as you’ll see, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
- Cary Middlecoff, 1921-1988, was an American golfer with 40 PGA wins and three majors. His winning span lasted from 1945-1961, for a total of 17 years.
- Phil Mickelson, born in 1970, is an American with 42 wins, including five majors. His streak was from 1991-2013, 23 glorious years.
- Walter Hagen, a golf player of yore who lived from 1892-1969, was a great American golfer with 45 wins and 11 majors. His span was from 1914-1936, equaling Mickelson’s 23 years.
- Billy Casper, an American who was born in 1931 and died earlier this year, had 51 wins with three majors, from 1956-1975, 20 years.
- Byron Nelson, also an American who was born in 1912 and died in 2006, had 52 wins with 5 majors. His span was 1935-1951, which, compared to the other golfers, was a relatively short 17 years.
- Arnold Palmer, an American perhaps equally famous for the iced tea-and-lemonade mixture that bears his name, was born in 1921 and is still alive today. He ranks at Number 5 on this list for his 62 wins, with seven majors. His span was 1955-1973, 19 years.
- Ben Hogan, an American who lived from 1912-1997, had 64 wins with nine majors, in a 22-year span that lasted from 1938 to 1959.
- Another famous golf name, American Jack Nicklaus, born in 1940, had an astonishing 73 wins and 18 majors in his career. His winning span lasted from 1962 to 1986, 25 years.
- Perhaps the most famous golfer alive today, American Tiger Woods clocks in at Number 2 with 79 wins and 14 majors. His most recent winning span was 1996 to 2013, 18 years. Since he’s still playing, he has a chance to overtake Number 1…
- Sam Snead, 1912-2002, was an American with 82 wins and seven majors. He might not resonate in the public consciousness like Tiger, but his 30-year winning span, from 1936 to 1965, makes him one of golf’s greatest.
Do you notice anything about this list? They’re all Americans! Americans have established themselves as the world’s best golfers, and the first non-American to make the rankings is Vijay Singh of Fiji, at number 14.
A Canadian doesn’t make an appearance until George Knudson, who lived from 1937-1989 and is tied for 123 with eight wins.
Non-Americans do a bit better in the women’s LPGA Tour, particularly South Koreans. Sun-Young Yoo of South Korea won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2012 and Inbee Park, also of South Korea, won the Women’s PGA Championship in both 2013 and 2014.
Now it’s time for the Canadian men of golf to step up and challenge America’s record. ‘Til next time, keep it in the short grass!