Can you tell Sam Snead from Ben Hogan, or Annika Sorenstam from Nancy Lopez? Sure, everyone knows who Tiger Woods is, but could you recognize this legendary golfer from just a single image? Step up to the green and prove your pro golfer IQ with this quiz!
Anyone can swing a golf club or score under par at the putt-putt course, but it takes significant skill to keep up with the world's best golfers. These pros not only have the physical talent and finesse required to sink a shot, but also maintain a mental toughness to remain in the zone through 18 holes. There's a reason why Tiger is such a legend - in a sport that typically takes years to master, skewing the average age upward - a young pro like Tiger or Michelle Wie is an extreme rarity.
Of course, you don't need to be a phenom or devote an entire lifetime to golf to reap the benefits and joy of the sport. A 2016 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine estimates that even recreational golfers can burn 500 calories playing a typical game. Players also enjoy improved cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health, along with social and mental health benefits. Above all, despite its many challenges, the game offers plenty of fun.
Think you know everything there is to know about the best players in the game? Take our quiz to find out!
Jack Nicklaus, "The Golden Bear," is one of the most iconic names in golf. Nicklaus holds the record for the most majors won (an incredible 18 triumphs) including six U.S. Masters. Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are the only players to claim three career grand slams.
Hailing from Hawaii, Michelle Wie burst onto the women's golfing scene at an early age. By the time she finished her rookie professional season at the age of 17, she had earned around $20 million. Wie even played in a number of men's tournaments, coming close to making the cut in a number of them. Wie's career has never been plain sailing, with injuries (and a resultant loss in form) affecting her for long periods of time.
Phil Mickelson started golf at a very young age and won numerous tournaments as a junior. In 1990, while still at college, he became the first left-hander to claim the U.S. Amateur title. Mickelson turned pro in 1992. He has won 51 tournaments, including five majors. In 2014, Mickelson was implicated in an insider trading case investigated by the FBI, but was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Arguably the greatest golfer of the modern generation, Tiger Woods burst onto the scene in 1997. He won the U.S. Masters by an incredible 12 strokes, making him the youngest champion ever. Woods has won 14 majors in total. Only Jack Nicklaus, with 18, has more. Unfortunately, a serious back injury has stalled Woods' career. Although he has made a comeback, it remains to be seen whether he can reach the same heights as before.
Hailing from Fiji, Vijay Singh spent hours practicing golf growing up. He turned professional in 1982, then joined the PGA Tour in 1993. He went on to win three majors. He was the first golfer to earn over $10 million in one season!
One of golf's all-time greats, Arnold Palmer won 95 tournaments along with seven majors during the course of his career. Palmer, nicknamed "The King," fought some epic battles with two other greats of his era, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Palmer was known not only for his great golfing abilities, but also for his incredible personality. He is the only golfer to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the Congressional Gold Medal. Palmer died in 2016.
With 50 European Tour titles, Seve Ballesteros was one of the greatest golfers of the 70s, 80s and 90s. He won 91 titles over the course of his career, including five majors. Ballesteros was known for his short game.
After turning pro in 1960, Lee Trevino went on to win 29 times on the PGA Tour. He also won six majors, although he could never win the Masters. Interestingly, Trevino was struck by lightning THREE times in his lifetime. The odds of been struck by lightning are an incredible 300,000 to 1!
Germany's best golfer ever, Bernhard Langer, was a force on the European Tour in the 1980s and 90s, where he won 42 tournaments. He had less success in the United States, winning 3 PGA Tour titles and capturing the Masters twice. Langer made 10 Ryder Cup appearances for Europe and captained the team in 2004. He currently plays on the Champions Tour for senior players.
In a career dogged by controversy, John Daly never lived up to his undoubted potential. During the course of his career, Daly has had problems with alcohol, as well as gambling, but still, he won two majors -- the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship. Interestingly, Daly has also released two albums and even collaborated with musicians Kid Rock and Willie Nelson.
The most famous sportsman to come out of South Africa, Gary Player is the only golfer not from the United States to have won all four majors. Player won 165 times on six different continents and went on to claim nine majors. His charity, the Gary Player Foundation, raises money for underprivileged children around the globe.
One of the most successful female golfers of all time, Annika Sorenstam of Sweden won ten majors. In 2001, she shot the lowest round ever recorded in LPGA history, a 59 at the Standard Register Ping tournament. Sorenstam was named LPGA Player of the Year on a record eight occasions.
Considered the first great American golfer, Bobby Jones won 33 tournaments, including 13 majors. He is the first golfer to win all four majors in a year, a feat he achieved in 1930. Jones also helped to design Augusta National, the home of the Masters. The course was opened in 1933. Jones is famous for his old rusty putter, nicknamed Calamity Jane.
As a youngster, Raymond Floyd won the National Jaycees Junior golf title in 1960. After turning professional in 1961, Floyd won his first victory on tour as a 20-year old in 1963 by claiming the St. Petersburg Open Invitational. He went on to win four majors. Interestingly, his sister Marlene was also a professional golfer on the LPGA Tour.
Tom Watson was one of the leading golfers in the world during the 1970s and 80s. In fact, during a nine-year stretch from 1975 to 1983, he claimed eight majors, including The Open on five occasions. In 2009, at the age of 59, Watson once again led The Open before losing to Stewart Cink in a playoff.
An avid golfer from an early age, Jason Day was further inspired when reading a book about the feats of a certain Tiger Woods. Day reached number one in the world in 2015 for a brief period and also recorded his only major triumph at the U.S. PGA Championship during the same year.
With a father who was a pro golfer, it was inevitable that Davis Love III would make a success of the sport. Love won 21 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1997 PGA Championship, his only major. He captained Team USA at the 2012 and 2016 Ryder Cups.
Frank Urban Zoeller, or Fuzzy as he was known, turned professional in 1973, but only joined the PGA Tour in 1975. He became only the third golfer to win the Masters on his debut. Zoeller added another major, the U.S Open, in 1984.
Hale Irwin had an extremely successful golfing career, winning 20 times on the US PGA Tour, including three majors. He seemed to get better with age, however, and his 45 wins on the senior Champions Tour have set a record. Irwin was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team on five occasions and was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.
Lee Westwood has had success all around the world, with 42 professional wins. A major, however, eludes him. He has won tournaments on five different continents -- a feat very rarely achieved.
Dustin Johnson, the 2017 world number one, has 17 professional wins to his name along with the 2016 US Open, his only major to date. Along with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, he is one of three players to win an event in his first ten seasons on tour. He is married to Pauline Gretzky, the daughter of hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky.
Rory McIlroy turned pro at the age of 20 and became the youngest to rank in the top 50 golfers in the world. McIlroy became the face of the EA Sports golf gaming franchise after they dropped Tiger Woods.
With a career spanning three decades, Walter Hagen was one of the pioneers of the sport in the United States in the early 20th century. He captained the Ryder Cup team in six tournaments. Hagen is largely credited with turning golf into the professional sport it is today.
Fred Couples was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. In 1992, he won his only major, the U.S. Masters. Couples played on five U.S. Ryder Cup teams and also captained the team. With the advent of golf rankings, Couples became the first American to receive the number one ranking.
"The Great White Shark," Greg Norman, hails from Australia. For a period during the 1980s, he was one of the top golfers in the world. He claimed two majors during his career, winning The Open in 1986 and again in 1993, but also lost in playoffs at all four majors. Along with Craig Wood, he is the only golfer to achieve this unlucky feat. Norman held the number one ranking for 331 weeks.
One of the new breed of popular young golfers, Rickie Fowler turned professional in 2009 and immediately was noted for his bright colored clothing, especially orange, a nod to his former state team. Fowler, however, had to wait for success out on the course and only won his first tournament in 2012.
One of the most famous golfers America has produced, Ben Hogan was known not only for his meticulous approach to the sport, but for the hours of practice he would put in, particularly in refining his swing. Hogan won 63 titles in his career, which included nine majors.
Hailing from South Africa, Ernie Els is known as the "Big Easy." Els, who turned professional in 1989, is famous for his excellent swing as well as his down-to-earth, good-hearted nature. He has also won the World Matchplay Championships on seven occasions. Els was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Johnny Miller had a brief period of brilliance, with 12 tournament wins in 1974 and 1975. He sometimes made putts with his eyes closed! He has gone on to become a successful analyst for televised golf.
'Lord Byron' compiled 52 PGA Tour wins and 5 majors during his career. He captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1965. He retired to his Texas ranch at the age of 34. He was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Bubba Watson is one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, averaging over 300 yards off the tee. This has helped him win two Masters, one in 2012, and the other in 2014. He's a golfing lefty. Watson, a committed Christian, gives much of his time and money to charitable causes.
With six majors, Nick Faldo was one of the world's top golfers in the 1980s and 1990s. Faldo turned to golf at the age of 13 after watching Jack Nicklaus on television. Within two years, he was winning as an amateur. He turned professional and at the age of 20 was picked to play in the Ryder Cup. This made him the youngest European player ever selected. Faldo was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1997.
With 11 PGA Tour victories and three majors under his belt, Payne Stewart's life was tragically cut short at the age of 42 in an aircraft accident. Stewart was a talented golfer, known for playing in his "plus four" pants, a golfing fashion throwback. In 2000, Stewart’s name was attached to an award given annually to golfers who uphold the traditions of the game. It was first awarded to Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Adam Scott hails from Australia and briefly was the world's number one golfer in 2014. Scott plays in Europe, the United States and Asia, and has won on all three major tours. He won the 2013 Masters after a playoff against Angel Cabrera.
One of the golfing greats, Sam Snead's 82 wins on the PGA Tour remain a record to this day. This included seven majors. Snead had a long career in golf, playing his first tournament after turning professional in 1931. He is the oldest player to win a PGA event, at the age of 52.
Another famous golfer from the early part of the 20th century, Gene Sarazen claimed 39 PGA Tour victories as well as seven majors during his career. He became the first golfer to record a career grand slam by winning all the majors. Sarazen is credited as the inventor of the modern sand wedge. Interestingly, his real name was Eugenio Saraceni.
After making the cut in a PGA Tournament at the age of 16, Jordan Spieth went on to win his first professional tournament three years later. This made him the first teenager to win on the tour in over 80 years. In 2015, at the age of 21, he had won two majors, the Masters, and the U.S. Open. He holds many records for his early achievements in the sport.
Born in Northern Ireland, Darren Clarke turned pro in 1990. Clarke has won 22 tournaments all around the world. His most notable triumph, however, was the 2011 Open Championship. Clarke formed part of the European Ryder Cup team several times.
Tom Kite had a brilliant short game, which made him a formidable opponent during the course of his career. Kite won 19 times on the PGA Tour, including the U.S. Open of 1992. Kite was named PGA Player of the Year in 1989 and was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.
A respected golfer from the early 20th century, Tommy Armour claimed three majors in the 1920s and '30s. Armour is said to have coined the golfing term, "yips."
Known on tour as "Buffalo Bill," Billy Casper started playing golf at the age of 5. He claimed 51 tournament wins, including two U.S. Open victories and the Masters. He also participated in eight Ryder Cups and captained the U.S. team in 1979. Casper won the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award twice, in 1966 and 1970.
A charismatic golfer from Puerto Rico, Juan "Chi-Chi" Rodriguez made his professional debut in 1960. He claimed his first tour title in 1963 and went on to win eight in total. He was a fan favorite, known for his positive approach to golf, as well as his unique "sword dance" celebration.
Considered to be one of the pioneers of women's golf, Patty Berg went on to win an incredible 15 major women's championships in her career, a record that still stands today. Other than playing golf professionally, Berg conducted golf clinics throughout the United States. Berg estimated that she held over 10,000 of these clinics during her lifetime. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Corey Pavin claimed 15 PGA Tour victories during the course of his career, including the 1995 U.S. Open. He captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2010. Pavin still holds the record for the lowest 9-hole score on the PGA Tour, a staggering 26, shot at the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. She excelled at a range of sports, including track and field, javelin, basketball and many others. When she took to golf, she quickly racked up 41 LPGA victories, including 10 professional majors. In 1945 she even played in three events on the PGA Tour.
The only six-time winner of the British Open Championship, Harry Vardon was one of the greatest golfers of the early 1900s. He is known to have made the overlapping grip (or Vardon Grip) popular. Vardon was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Born in Australia, Peter Thomson has the incredible record of five wins at major tournaments, all of which came at The Open Championship. Three of these came in consecutive years in 1954, 1955 and 1956. He is considered one of the best links golfers ever, hence his excellent displays at The Open. After his career was over, Thomson began designing courses. To date, he has designed over 100 found across the globe.