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Three most unique golfers in History

Tiger Woods. © Golffile | Fran Caffrey
Tiger Woods. © Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Golf is a sport rich with tradition, yet it’s the extraordinary players who shatter conventions that truly leave an indelible mark. This article celebrates three golfers whose unique contributions have not only shaped the game but also inspired countless fans and players around the world.

Arnold Palmer: The King of the Fairway

Before Arnold Palmer became “The King” of golf, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1951 to 1954, a key period where he got better at golf. Returning to Wake Forest, he quickly made his mark by winning the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1954. Palmer’s legacy was further cemented with his 1958 Masters victory, a win not without its drama. At the 12th hole, there was a tricky situation with a stuck ball. Palmer didn’t give up, played again, and scored a par.

This helped him win his first big Masters tournament. His 1960 U.S. Open win at Cherry Hills was legendary, starting seven strokes behind and clinching victory with a record-setting final round. In 1962, Palmer won the Open Championship at Troon by six shots. This big win showed how good he was and made the tournament more popular with American players. Becoming the PGA Tour’s first millionaire in 1967, Palmer’s achievements were recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, underscoring his unparalleled impact on golf and beyond.

Tiger Woods: Revolutionising Golf

Tiger Woods has been a game-changer in golf thanks to his incredible talent and determination to win. Starting his professional career in 1996, Tiger has clinched victory in 106 tournaments worldwide, including 15 of golf’s biggest events. He’s famous for rewriting the record books and leaving his mark on the sport. Tiger is tied with Sam Snead for the highest number of wins on the PGA TOUR, each having 82 victories.

Tiger’s haul of major trophies is also remarkable, with five Masters, four PGA Championships, three U.S. Opens, and three British Opens under his belt. Back in 2001, he made history as the first golfer to hold all four major titles at the same time, showcasing his unmatched ability. Additionally, his triumph at the 2000 British Open saw him become the youngest golfer to complete the career Grand Slam.

At just 21, he was the youngest to win the Masters and the first of African or Asian heritage to win a major. His victories at the 2000 U.S. Open and the 2001 Masters were by huge margins, 15 and 12 strokes. Tiger not only leads in PGA TOUR wins among active players but also in career earnings. His ability to draw spectators and influence golf odds with his participation in tournaments showcases his lasting impact on the sport.

Seve Ballesteros: The Magician from Spain

Seve Ballesteros, known for his creativity and flair on the course, brought a new level of excitement to golf. His imaginative play and exceptional shot-making, particularly around the greens, earned him the nickname “The Magician.” Ballesteros’ success on the international stage helped to globalise the sport, making it truly international and influencing golf odds with his every move.

One of Ballesteros‘ most memorable moments was his victory at the 1979 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes. His remarkable recovery shots, including a famous car park shot on the 16th hole, showcased his ability to turn challenging situations into opportunities. This win was a proof of his innovative approach and determination, qualities that made him a beloved figure in golf.