The PGA Tour is perhaps one of the most, if not the most, premier membership organizations designed to help professional golfers tour and compete in various events and tournaments, including the FedEx Cup events and The Players Championship.
Given that the PGA Tour oversees a ton of different competitions, there is no doubt that it has witnessed some of the best and biggest PGA Tour winners and some of their notable achievements on the course. Up next you will about the following 10 greatest PGA players of all time:
- Samuel Snead
- Tiger Woods
- Jack Nicklaus
- Ben Hogan
- Arnold Palmer
- Bryon Nelson
- Billy Casper
- Walter Hagen
- Phil Mickelson
- Tom Watson
Otherwise called The Slammer or even Slammin’ Sammy, Sam Snead is still at the number one spot when it comes to the PGA Tour – and rightly so. After all, Snead boasts of 82 wins under his name, 11 of which he won in the year 1950 alone. He also placed second or tied for the U.S. Open a number of times.
Throughout his career, Snead managed to snag seven majors. To date, he still continues to hold the title of being the oldest man to win the PGA Tour at the age of 52 during the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open. He had numerous PGA awards, including being the leading money winner in 1938, 1949, and 1950.
Snead also won the Greater Greensboro Open a total of eight times, which led to many sportswriters of the time to call the competition a Sam Snead Open instead. Even during his sixties, Sam Snead continued to be a formidable player, even obtaining second place in the Los Angeles Open.
When it comes to golf, it seems that the sport has already become synonymous with the likes of Tiger Woods. He has, after all, successfully permeated the field with his impressive record at such a young age, bringing with him style and culture unlike anyone ever before, making him a part of pop culture.
Woods has undoubtedly made golf cool, and he has the record to prove it. As of writing, Woods is now tied in first place with Sam Snead, with both having 82 PGA Tour wins under their name. This is nine more compared to the legendary Jack Nicklaus’ record of 73.
Woods is slated to eclipse Snead’s achievements at his relatively young age. Some of his greatest achievements include having the lowest scoring average in the PGA Tour history and winning all the four major Grand Slam Championships.
When it comes to gold, Jack Nicklaus perhaps set the gold standard, making him one of the greatest golfers throughout history. He even earned the nickname “The Golden Bear.” Still, at the number three spot, he has 73 PGA Tour wins and 10 Championships to his name.
Nicklaus has had the privilege of winning all of the major championships not just within the PGA Tour, but also on the Championships Tour, the latter of which he won twice in his career. At the peak of his career, he won seven times in a year in 1972.
On average, however, Nicklaus won an average of four times per season. Apart from this, the Golden Bear himself was the first of the PGA Tour players to set marks in career earnings, making him a leader from 1973 to 1988.
Ben Hogan had many nicknames thanks to his prowess. From The Hawk to Bantam Ben and The Wee Iceman, Hogan clocks in at the number four spot by having a total of 64 PGA Tour wins. From 1940 to 1942, he was even the leading money winner, and again in 1946 and 1948.
Apart from Hogan’s impressive wins in the PGA Tour, this golfer seems to have a lot more to take pride in. After all, he won the U.S. Open four times.
Hogan fell victim to an unfortunate car accident while at the prime of his playing years, leaving him with numerous limitations. However, Hogan surpassed all of these, even returning to the course in just 11 months and bagging second place in the 1950 Los Angeles Open.
An Arnold Palmer is not just a refreshing and tasty drink. It is an homage to its namesake, the great American golfer Arnold Palmer who had a certain fondness for the beverage. Trivia aside, Palmer is quite the heavyweight when it comes to the PGA Tour, what with 62 wins under this tournament.
Palmer is not just quite the golf player. He also had a charismatic appeal to him, leading for his fans to be called “Arnie’s Army.” The cult following was solidified during the height of Palmer’s career from 1960 to 1963, where he obtained 29 PGA Tour wins during this period.
To add to his list of achievements, Palmer also won a PGA Tour every single year, starting from 1955 to 1971. Because of his impressive statistics, he won a Vardon Trophy four times. Later on, Palmer helped found the Senior PGA Tour.
Nelson saw a total of 52 PGA Tour wins. One of his claims to fame is winning 11 consecutive professional tournaments and a total of 18 tournaments in just 1945 alone.
Until this day, the successive wins of Byron Nelson are still unmatched, making years the best years of his career. These include successes across various states, including Greensboro, Atlanta, New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, and many others.
Thanks to his valuable contributions in the field of golf, the first PGA Tour named after a golfer was after him. The event was called the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Nelson also has bragging rights to being the first male in the sport to reach a total of 50 PGA Tour events.
Billy Casper enjoyed his heyday from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, especially with 51 PGA Tour wins. For 16 of these seasons, Casper actually won consecutively. This record alone is considered one of the longest streaks in the PGA Tour history, next to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus’ 17.
Due to Casper’s wins, this has allowed him to be awarded the PGA Tour Money Winner twice, once in 1966 and another in 1968. Apart from this, Casper was also awarded PGA Player of the Year in 1966 and 1970.
Besides the aforementioned achievements, Casper is said to have won 27 PGA Tours between 1964 to 1970. His stylistic approach to golf allowed many people to dub him as the best putter of his time, even earning the moniker, Buffalo Bill.
One of the most personable, stylish, and of course, decorated golf players of all time is no other than Walter Hagen. His PGA Tour saw 45 titles, with 11 of these happening in major championships. His 11 championships are considered one of the most majors in the history of the PGA Tour.
In addition to those, Hagen also won the U.S. Open twice, the Masters Tournament in 1936, and the Open Championship a total of four times.
One of his most significant contributions was to help elevate the standards for pro golfers, pushing for clubhouses to accept and provide entry to pro golfers. His stature and influence in the field allowed him to command high fees for matches, even leveraging his popularity for endorsements.
Mickelson continues to be recognized as one of the greats who managed to secure 44 PGA Tour wins. He is also a lifetime member of the PGA Tour. To date, he is considered only one of the 12 golf players throughout history who have won three out of four majors.
Aside from these said achievements, Mickelson is one of the people to win a PGA Tour in their career as an amateur, being the sixth one to do so in 1991. This is still considered the most recent win for an amateur in the PGA Tour history.
Among the tournaments that Mickelson won in his PGA Tour career include the Byron Nelson Golf Classic, the Greater Hartford Open, and the World Series of Golf tournament.
Last but certainly not least in this list is Tom Watson. Watson has won 39 PGA Tour titles, some of which he won against some of the fiercest competitors, including the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
In conjunction with Watson’s wins in the PGA Tour, he was also awarded the PGA Tour leading money winner in four consecutive years from 1977 to 1980. He was also awarded the same title again in 1984.
In addition to those accolades, Watson also has the privilege to get the PGA Player of the Year award a total of six times. For a time, Watson was considered the number one golf player in the world. Eight major titles helped him cement this, including one U.S. Open win, two Masters, and five Open Championships.
The Bottom Line
These historic golfers certainly have much to be proud of when it comes to their respective PGA Tour history. With this competition being home to the best golfers in the world, securing even one title is a feat in itself, let alone the dozens that they’ve been able to achieve.
Now that you know the prestige of the PGA Tour, you might have a deeper appreciation for these golfers and how much they have contributed to the sport today.