The criteria utilized emphasized conduct both on and off the course.
Golf is a game of sportsmanship which is the primary reason it has survived the test of time. The selections are in no particular order. Comments and criticisms are not only invited, but welcomed.
Here we go.
1. Bobby Jones: The greatest amateur golfer ever. In 1930, he won the “grand slam”. Played in 31 majors, winning 13. Founded Augusta National and the Masters. Retired at age 28. Made his living primarily as an attorney.
2. Walter Hagen: Nicknamed “Sir Walter, The Haig”. Won 11 majors including the PGA five times. First native-born American to win the British Open. Died in 1969 at age 77.
3. Byron Nelson: “Lord Byron” won 11 consecutive tournaments in 1945 and 18 total. The HP Byron Nelson Championship was the first PGA event to be named for a professional golfer. Nelson, Hogan and Snead were all born within seven months of each other in 1912.
4. Ben Hogan: “The Hawk” won nine career majors. One of five golfers to win all four majors. Hogan died in 1997 at age 85. He was known as one of golf’s greatest instructors.
5. Sam Snead: “Slammin’ Sammy” holds the PGA record for 82 tour wins plus seven majors. He never won the US Open although he was runner up four times. Died in 2002 at age 90.
6. Gene Sarazen: “The Squire” won all four majors. Winner of 48 tournaments including seven majors. Famous for his double eagle in the 1935 Masters. Died in 1999 at age 97.
7. Tom Watson: Winner of eight majors including five British Opens. At age 60 in the 2009 British Open, led most of the tournament, losing in a four hole playoff. Has 39 PGA tour wins.
8. Gary Player: “The Black Knight” won all four majors and the only non-American to do so. Has won nine majors overall and 165 tournaments over 6 continents.
9. Jack Nicklaus: “The Golden Bear” holds 18 majors, the Alltime record. Has 115 professional wins and 73 PGA tour victories. Member of the 1960’s big three of Player and Palmer.
10. Arnold Palmer: “The King” made golf the great game it is due to being the first superstar of sports on television. Arnie won seven majors among 95 professional wins. The consummate gentleman remains an inspiration today for generations of golf enthusiasts.
There you have it. Counting down to the 2016 Masters.
Special recognition to Wikipedia for its tremendous resource of information.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at email@example.com or call him at 985-852-7745.