The elite world of golfing has spread all across the globe and gained immense popularity in the last few decades. It may not be as thrilling as football or as action-packed as basketball, but the upper-class sport had a unique sense of fun to it. It attracts more and more players through the years. We have seen several golfing legends born within the decade as well.
As golfers converge in some famous golfing championships such as the Masters Tournament, the Open Championship, the U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship, you may have seen and heard some famous golfers. Golfing superstars like Tiger Woods, Bryan Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Walter Hagen, Gary Player – the list goes on – have graced the world with their incredible strokes and shots. But, have you ever wondered which countries are notable for being top golfing nations? Well, you have come to the right place. You can read on below to explore a few of the top golfing countries.
As the birthplace of modern golf, it is no surprise that Scotland arguably sits on top (if not on the second) golfing nations on the planet. With 614 golf courses scattered across Scotland, there is no doubt that golf is an integral part of Scottish heritage, breeding outstanding golf players that shone in the international championships. Scotland is smaller than other golfing nations, which makes it more astonishing given that they have amassed over 55 title wins with such a small population. James Braid is Scotland’s most valuable golfer, having clinched five major championship wins in his prime.
Who would suspect that the small island lying between England and France ranks one of the top golfing nations in the world? Yep, that’s right. With more or less 107,800 people, this tiny nation is a force in golfing tournaments, claiming nine major championship wins. Two of this nation’s greatest golfers are Ted Ray, having two championships in his record, and Harry Vardon, with an incredible seven championship titles!
3. NORTHERN IRELAND
Another top-lister in golfing is Northern Ireland, which, like the small island of Jersey, also has a tiny population, yet an impressive number of wins in the sport. Northern Island is home to two of the world’s greatest golfers, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Mcllroy can take pride in his four major championship titles – winning the U.S. Open (2011), PGA Championship (2012), Open Championship (2014), and PGA Championship (2014). Moreover, he is one of the three golfers who won four majors by the age of 25, alongside Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
4. THE USA
If the number of wins is the basis of being a top golfing nation, the United States of America (USA) will win by several folds. The USA currently has a whopping 278 major championship titles, which we can pretty much expect from a country with a vast population. The USA is home to the most top-notch golfers of all time, including the legendary, Tiger Woods who still holds the record of most weeks being in number 1 (683 weeks). Other American golfing legends worth mentioning are Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan. Currently, the USA secures seven spots in the world’s top 10 golfers, with Dustin Johnson coming second only to Spain’s Jon Rahm.
England is another golf powerhouse, home to 17 of the world’s top 200 golfers, four of them in the top 25. It comes not as a surprise that England makes it on this list., though. According to a survey, about 8% of the English population enjoy golf at least once a year. The golf-loving nation currently has 35 wins and ranks third in the most number of championships won – with U.S. and Scotland as first and second, respectively. Nick Faldo and Rory Mcilroy are among England’s most decorated golfers, with Faldo racking up nine PGA Tour Championship wins, including six majors. Mcilroy might as well be one of the world’s most successful athletes, boasting 18 PGA Tour Wins, including four Major wins.
The world is yet to see what Australians can achieve in the world of golf. The country currently ranks fifth in terms of the number of major championships won. Although there were several accounts of how golf started in Australia during the 1830s, one fact remains – the Aussies have a real knack for the sport, winning a total of 17 major championships and producing remarkable golfers. Adam Scott is one notable Australian golfer who landed in the top 3 in early 2007. In 2013, he returned as number 3 after becoming the first Australian golfer to win the U.S. Masters. Jason Day is another decorated Aussie golfer, who won the 2015 PGA Championship, and ranked World No. 1 (March 27, 2016, to February 18, 2017).
7. SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa comes fourth in terms of the number of major championships won. With a record of 22 wins, South Africans proved that they love golfing and are pretty good at it. Two of South Africa’s national golfing heroes were Gary Player and Ernie Els. Player is the only non-American ever to win a Grand Slam. On the other hand, Els always sits in the top 10 during his prime. Currently, South Africa’s pride, Louis Oosthuizen, ranks 8th in the world’s top 10.