02 February, 2018: Patience is a virtue, amplified in golf, due to the importance of a calm mind around the meandering path on a golf course. Women are a natural fit to the game, with their natural affinity and ability to stay calm under duress. Over the past century, golf has seen several extra-ordinary women pursue glory with a single minded devotion to excellence. In this special feature, we bring you potentially, the best women to have played golf, ever.
Kathy Whitworth & Babe Zaharias
Kathy features on every list ever made about the greatest women golfers of all time, mostly at the top. But we opted to weigh greatness on major performances and that made it impossible to ignore Zaharias. So we have two women at 5th on our top 5 list.
Kathy stands atop the winners list, having accumulated 88 LPGA titles during a career that had a winning span of 23 years. The great American though had to be content with just six major titles in her illustrious career.
Zaharias scores on that count, taking 10 trophies home in the majors. The serial winner was good in everything she touched. Competing with her maiden name, Didrikson, she won two gold medals in the 1932 Olympic Games, before turning her attention to golf.
The great heroine met with an untimely end though, falling victim to colon cancer after spending an eventful 45 years on the planet.
The matriarch of women’s professional golf, was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour. The great lady lived a wholesome life of 92, before walking into her final sunset in 2015. Louise collected an impressive 61 titles on the LPGA and won eleven major titles to etch her way into golfing immortality.
She was a hallmark of consistency, locking up a top three place in the money list on all but one occasion during the period from 1950 through 1960.
Louise had a great and memorable rivalry with Patty Berg and Babe Zaharias, featured on this list of great golfers. In fact the latter two were also part of the small group of women that co-founded the LPGA in 1950.
The 15-time major winner stands alone on the peak of the mountain made up of major winners. Her early interest was American football, before golf caught her fancy at the onset of teenage. The choice would prove to be a fortuitous one.
Berg won as many as 60 LPGA titles over her career. A massive collision shattered her knee in 1941, but she returned to golf a couple of years later to go on and produce a record-breaking career.
Incidentally, the first three of her fifteen major victories came as an amateur at the Titleholders Championship in 1937, 1938 and 1939.
She won her last major in 1958, when she successfully defended the Women’s Western Open, 21 years after her first title.
Wright was a golfer in a tearing hurry. Over a prolific fifteen year span, the American pocketed 82 LPGA titles and 13 major victories. She retired from the game at just 34 years of age, making many wonder what she may have accomplished if her feet did not betray her at such a young age.
She is the only woman player in the history of the game to have held all four major titles at the same time. Naturally, many would rank Wright at the very top of their lists.
Ben Hogan was so impressed with Wright, he proclaimed her swing the best he had ever seen. The 82 year old legend is a breast cancer survivor.
The Swedish golfer is in a class of her own. She may have won only 72 titles on the LPGA and 10 major titles – both numbers lower than some of the women on this list – but they came in an era where women’s golf came of age.
The levels of professionalism in women’s golf scaled newer peaks during the reign of Annika as she took the game to a new realm on her broad shoulders.
Sorenstam is the only woman to shoot a 59 in professional competition. She owns a host of scoring records against her name. The great lady retired in 2008, having collected eight Player of the Year awards and six Vare Trophies for the woman with the lowest scoring average.