10 Greatest Women Golfers of All Time

greatest female golfer

Golf is a sport for women as much as it is for men. In fact, many female players have also made significant impacts throughout the sport’s history. From golf tips for women to some of the best golfing equipment out there, much of the things we know about golf today are largely thanks to them, too.

So who are these women golfers, you might be asking? Take a look at ten of them below!

Key Takeaways

  • Golf is a great sport for women as much as it is for men, if not more.
  • Throughout golf’s history, there have been female players who made a lasting impact.
  • Among these players, there are 10 women who stand out from the rest.

Mickey Wright

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As the top female golf player in the world and the ninth greatest golfer overall, Mickey Wright has a lot of achievements under her belt. Her 82 LPGA victories (including 13 major championships) is just a few wins shy of Kathy Whitworth’s.

During the 1964 Tall City Open, Wright managed to shoot a 62 during the final round. As the lowest score in LPGA Tour history back then, this was no mean feat considering even male golfers only managed to reach 66.

Wright’s swing was also notable for being both technically innovative and aesthetically pleasing, setting the standard for future WGT golf tips. Ben Hogan reportedly even remarked one time how it was one the best moves he’d ever seen! 

Kathy Whitworth

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Kathy Whitworth isn’t just the female golfer with the most total wins. She also happens to be the first woman player to earn $1 million throughout her LPGA Tour career.

From her first victory at the Kelly Girls Open, Whitworth won a total 88 LPGA tournaments, including six major championships. She also participated during the Orange Blossom Classic (better known as the St. Petersburg Open back then), winning five times. Only three other LPGA players managed such a feat.

For her achievements, she was named LPGA Player of the Year seven times between 1966 and 1973, and was later inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She retired from competitive golf in 2005 after participating one last time at the BJ’s Charity Classic.

Annika Sörenstam

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With 90 international tournaments to her name (72 of which are official LPGA tournaments), Sörenstam is widely celebrated as the first European female player to dominate women’s golf. Even as a kid, Annika Sörenstam has always been an all-round athlete. Aside from golf, she played tennis and football. She was even a good skier, so much that the Swedish national ski team suggested she move north to hone her skills. In the end, though, Sörenstam chose golf.

Sörenstam started playing golf at the age of 12, going pro only ten years later. Despite not making the cut at the final qualifying tournament of the LPGA Tour card in 1992, she still managed to kick off her career at the Ladies European Tour (LET).

Sörenstam was relatively a minor player until 1995, when won her first LPGA Tour title in the U.S. Women’s Open. From that point on, her career sky-rocketed. Aside from topping the Money List and winning the Vare Trophy (the first non-American to do so), she earned the Jerringpriset, the most prestigious award in Sweden for sports people.

Patty Berg

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Patricia Jane Berg had a very interesting golfing career. She started playing golf at 13 years old, before eventually starting her amateur career in the sport in 1934. She started playing pro after winning 29 amateur titles, but a car accident disrupted her career in late 1941.

Despite recovering, adhesions developed in Berg’s leg, raising concerns that her golfing career would end before it even began. However, a minor mishap at the locker room broke the adhesions, allowing her to make a comeback by winning the Women’s Western Open in 1943.

From there, it was smooth sailing for Patty Berg. Between 1946 and 1963, she gained a total of 60 wins, 15 of which are major title victories. Aside from being inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame, she also won the LPGA Tour Money Winner thrice, the LPGA Vare Trophy thrice, and the Bob Jones Award. The Patty Berg Award is named in her honor.

Louise Suggs

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Like Patty Berg, Louise Suggs had a very successful career as an amateur golfer before going pro. In her teens, she won the Georgia State Amateur twice, the first in 1940 and the other in 1942. She also won the North and South Women’s Amateur multiple times, as well as the Women’s Western Amateur and the Women’s Western Open. 

Suggs would go on to start her professional golfing career, bagging 58 victories in pro tournaments (including 11 majors). Her win at the 1957 LPGA Championship was especially noteworthy, as this victory made her the first ever LPGA player to complete a Grand Slam (i.e., win all of the major golfing championships within a single calendar year).

Louise Suggs is also one of the founders of the LPGA, alongside Patty Berg and Babe Zaharias (more on her in a bit). Today, she is highly regarded as one of the pioneers for women’s golf. The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award is named in her honor.

Betsy Rawls

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Before she embarked on her golfing career, Betsy Rawls was pursuing a Physics degree at the  North Texas Agricultural College (now UT-Arlington). In fact, faculty and department heads consider her as one of the rising stars in the field. But Rawls was already passionate about golf even during that time. And a year after she got her degree, she started participating at professional tournaments.

At age 17, Rawls was already competing in amateur tournaments. She won the Texas Amateur twice, the Trans-National in 1949, and the Broadmoor Invitational in 1950. She even managed to finish second during the 1950 U.S. Women’s Open.

When Rawls turned professional in 1951, the first thing she did was join the LPGA Tour. She went on to dominate women’s golf in the subsequent years. With 55 wins at LPGA Tour events (including 8 major championships), she’s the first player with lowest scoring average to earn the LPGA Vare Trophy.

Nancy Lopez

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Nancy Lopez is probably the youngest player who won an amateur golf tournament. At age 12, she won the New Mexico Women’s Amateur in 1969. A couple of years later, she won the U.S. Girls’ Junior twice, the first when she was 15 and the second when she was 17. By the time she started college, Lopez was already participating in the U.S. Women’s Open.

After two years at the University of Tulsa, Lopez left college to pursue professional golf. By 1978, Lopez had already won nine tournaments (five of which are consecutive victories). She earned eight victories again the following year, then proceeded to win multiple times from 1980 to 1984. In total, Lopez won 48 LPGA Tour events, including three major championships.

For her achievements, Nancy Lopez was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987. She’s also the only female player to win the Vare Trophy, the LPGA Rookie of the Year award, and the Player of the Year award in the same year. Today, she has a company (Nancy Lopez Golf) that makes various women’s clubs and accessories. She also makes television commentaries from time to time, providing insights, WGT golf tips, and what-not.

Babe Zaharias

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Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias wasn’t just one of the best female golfers of all time; she was also one of the best athletes the world has ever seen. Aside from golf, she also took up basketball, baseball and track and field. She even joined the track and field team during the 1932 Summer Olympics, winning two gold medals in the process.

It was only in 1935 when Babe Zaharias started playing golf. At 24, she was considered a latecomer to the sport, so she was denied amateur status. Even so, she managed to make headlines by participating in the Los Angeles Open, competing against male players. And though she missed the cut, her participation marked the beginning of her successful golfing career. As an added bonus, she met her future husband George Zaharias there.

By 1950, Babe Zaharias was at the top of her game. She not only completed the Grand Slam that year, but she did it 10 wins faster than any other previous golfer. Sadly, she died six years later from colon cancer. But her legacy and WGT golf tips still live on today.

JoAnne Carner

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Born JoAnne Gunderson in Kirkland, Washington, she was known as “The Great Gundy” for her skills as an amateur golfer. From 1956 to 1968, she was the dominant female player in amateur golf. With five U.S. Women’s Amateur titles to her name, she was only second to Glenna Collett Vare.

But Carner’s best performances happened during two of her two U.S. Women’s Open games. During the 1971 Open, she led each round easily, eventually beating Kathy Whitworth  by seven shots. In the 1976 Open, has to square off against Sandra Palmer in an 18-hole match. In the end, though, Carner managed to stay on top.

JoAnne Carner is the only female golfer to earn all USGA titles (U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Amateur, and U.S. Women’s Open). This is no mean feat as only a handful of male players managed to do the same to this day.

Karrie Webb

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As Australia’s best female golfer, Karrie Webb is mainly notable for her LPGA Tour performances. With 41 wins under her belt (including 7 major championships), she shares the top tenth spot with Babe Zaharias as one of the golfers who has the most career LPGA tournament wins.

Today, Karrie Webb serves as a role model for many aspiring female golfers, inspiring many WGT golf tips. With an average driving distance of 241.63 meters and a driving accuracy of 75%, she is one of the hardest hitters on women’s golf.

At age 30, she was the youngest female golfer to join the Hall of Fame until Se Ri Pak’s induction in 2007. Some of her other awards include the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year, the LPGA Tour Money Winner, and the William and Mousie Powell Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered the greatest female golfer of all time?

Mickey Wright is widely considered the greatest female golfer of all time, having won 82 LPGA Tour titles, including 13 major championships.

Who are the top 10 women golfers of all time?

For us, the top 10 women golfers of all time, in no particular order, are Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Annika Sörenstam, Patty Berg, Louise Suggs, Betsy Rawls, Nancy Lopez, Babe Zaharias, JoAnne Carner, and Karrie Webb. These golfers have won numerous LPGA Tour titles, major championships, and have had a significant impact on the sport of golf.

Who are the top 5 women golfers?

As of 2022, the top 5 women golfers according to LGPA are Celine Boutier, Jin Young Ko, Georgia Hall, Nelly Korda, and Lilia Vu. These rankings can fluctuate based on tournament results and performances.

Which female golfer has won the most majors?

The female golfer who has won the most majors is Patty Berg, with a total of 15 major championship wins. Some of her notable wins include the U.S. Women’s Open and the Women’s Western Open.

Enjoy Golf Like These Ladies

You may not know this, but playing golf can be very empowering to women. So if you haven’t yet, whip out your drivers and try out those WGT golf tips you saw online. Oh, and learn how to play and enjoy golf like the women listed above.

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