5. Sam Snead was an American golfer, a professional who held his place as one of the world’s top players for nearly four decades. In his career, he has won 82 PGA Tour events, 7 majors among them. He was known for his nickname, “Slammin’ Sammy”. He was written in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 and received the prestigious PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Snead entered into the world of golf at the age of 7, when he was caddying at The Homestead in Hot Springs. He also worked as an assistant pro at the age of 19 and turned pro in 1934. His winning career began when he won $10,000 in two matches, which gave him enough money to start playing professionally. He won his first tournament, the West Virginia Closed Pro in 1936, the same year in which he joined the PGA Tour. In the following year, which was his first full year on the Tour, he won five events which was more than enough to draw attention to himself. He held, for 50 years, a PGA Tour record with a scoring average of 69.23, which was broken by Tiger Woods in 2000. On February 7, 1962, he became the only man to ever win an official LPGA Tour event when he won the Royal Poinciana Plaza Invitational. Snead passed away in 2002, in Hot Springs, Virginia, after complications from a stroke, four days before his fourth birthday, leaving much to be remembered for.
4. Ben Hogan is also an American, and he was considered one of the greatest players in the history of the game. Hogan is famous for his influence on the golf swing theory and his ball striking ability. He is one of only five players to have won all four major championships. Following his father’s suicide when he was only nine years old, Hogan was introduced to caddying, by a friend, at the Glen Garden Country Club. One of his fellow cadies was Byron Nelson, who became his rival a short time later. Both were tied for the lead at the annual caddy tournament, where Hogan won by a stroke. During the final semester of his senior year in Central High School, he dropped out and became a professional golfer at the Texas Open in 1930. His early years did not go as planned, Hogan going broke multiple times, before winning three consecutive tournaments in 1940, in North Carolina. After serving in the US Army Air Forces, he returned to the PGA Tour just in time for the 1950 season. In 1953 he won the so-called Triple Crown of Golf, by winning three major tournaments. Hogan died in 1997, at the age of 84, in Texas, and is interred at the Greenwood Memorial Park. His 1953 season is still remembered as one of the greatest in the history of professional golf.
3. Arnold Palmer is a retired American professional golfer, also one of the greatest players of all time. Known as “The King”, he has won a number of events, both on the Champions Tour and the PGA Tour. Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, he was introduced to the sport by his father , who was at the time a greenskeeper at the Latrobe Country Club. He often accompanied him when he was maintaining the course. Palmer went to the Wake Forest College on a golf scholarship, but did not finish it. He enlisted in the Coast Guard, where he had some free time to work on his golf skills. Returning to the golf course, his win in 1954 inspired him to try the pro tour. In his rookie season, 1955, he won the Canadian Open. His position as one of the leading stars in golf was cemented by his first major championship win at the 1958 Masters Tournament. In 2004, he enjoyed his last, and at the same time, 50th appearance at The Masters and two years later, in 2006, he announced his retirement. Palmer is currently living in Latrobe, with his second wife.
2. Jack Nicklaus, known by his nickname “The Golden Bear”, is a retired professional golfer, widely regarded as the best professional player of all time. He has won 18 major championships, and also has 19 second and 9 third places. Born on the east side of Columbus, he took up golf at the age of 10, when he scored a 51 on a 9 hole course. He was coached by Jack Grout, who would continue to be his lifelong golf instructor. After numerous amateur tournament wins, he begins his professional career in 1962. His first win came against Arnold Palmer at the 1962 US Open. At age 22, he became the youngest US Open champion. At the Open Championship at St. Andrews, in 1964, he set a record for a lowest score in the final 36 holes. In 1967, winning his second US Open title, he broke Hogan’s 72 hole record by one shot, with 275. His last competitive tournament was The Champions Tour’s Bayer Advantage Classic in 2005. He currently resides in North Palm Beach, Florida.
1. Tiger Woods, real name Eldrick Tont Woods, is among the most successful golfers in the world. He was a prodigy since he was a child, being introduced to golf before the age of two and shooting a 48 over a 9 hole course at the age of three. In 1991 he was named as the Southern California Player of the Year. At age 19, he participated in the 1995 Masters, which was also his first PGA Tour major. He turned professional at the early age of 20, in 1996. In that same year he became the first golfer to win three consecutive US Amateur titles, and in the next year he set a record breaking performance at the Masters, which thrust him to the number one position. In 2000 he broke Ben Hogan’s longest winning streak record by winning six consecutive times. At the 2000 US Open, his performance was rated as ‘the greatest in golf history’ by Sports Illustrated. He won the tournament by 15 strokes, and at age 24, became the youngest golfer to win the career Grand Slam. Following several dominating years in the rankings, in 2004, Vijay Singh took his number one rating, after Woods set another record, holding the top spot for 264 weeks. His record breaking career is complemented by his title of “Athlete of the decade” in 2009, as well as his multiple titles of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the year. He is one of the five players to ever win a Career Grand Slam by winning all four major championships, and he is also the youngest one to get that achievement. He has also won all four in a row, during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Woods currently lives on Jupiter Island, Florida, and is still active on the golf courses, participating in tournaments all around the world, despite his multiple injuries in the last couple of years.