Women’s golf has a long history, although it might not be as long that of men’s golf. There has been plenty of great female golfers throughout its history.
Ranking the top female golfers may trigger some heated debates, with some questioning the ranking and her place in the top 20 list. Each generation offers a new depth of competitiveness so it can be truly difficult to rank them.
Still, we have taken on the challenge.
The ranks are based on the number of their LPGA victories, major championships won, achievements, and more. Bearing all these in mind, here are the top 20 best women golfers in history.
20. Sandra Haynie
Born on June 4, 1943, Sandra Haynie was a professional golfer. Her golfing career started in 1961. She started to play golf professionally and joined LPGA when she was just 18 years old.
Sandra won her first major championship a year later. Sandra finished in the top ten on the money list every year for over twelve years (1963 – 1975). On her last tour in 1982, she placed second in terms of earnings on the money list.
She was awarded as the Player of the Year by the LPGA in 1970. By 1977, she was inducted in the LPGA’s hall of fame. Haynie’s last full season tour was 1989.
Major Championships won : 4 (1965, 1974 US Women’s Open and LPGA Championship, 1982 Peter Jackson Classic)
LPGA Tour Victories : 42
19. Lorena Ochoa
A US-based Mexican Professional golfer, Lorena Ochoa started her LPGA career in 2003. A legend in the golfing world, Lorena was named the top female golfer in the world for 158 consecutive weeks on the LPGA tour records.
She was also the first golfer of either gender to be ranked as the best in the world. She won her second major championship by April 2008. She is also the first golfer to consecutively win LPGA majors.
A week later after her victory, she won again with just eleven strokes in Mexico. Lorena retired in 2010 when she was 28 years old.
Her career may be short but she has been an LPGA Player of the Year four times and stayed at the top of the money list for 3 consecutive seasons (2006 – 2008).
Major Championships Won : 2 (Women’s British Open 2007 and ANA Inspiration 2008)
LPGA Tour Victories : 27
18. Meg Mallon
An American professional golfer born on April 14, 1963, Meg joined LPGA in 1987.
After four years of playing professionally, she enjoyed a breakthrough in 1991 when she bagged four victories. Two of these were major championships.
She placed in the top ten of the money list, her highest being second place in 1991. She also won eighteen events while on tour.
Mallon represented the United States for eight years (1992-2005) in the Solheim Cup. In 2009, she became the assistant team captain and by 2013, she became team captain.
In 1996, Meg was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Major Championships Won : 4 (The Phar-Mor 1992, Sara Lee Classic 1993, Star Bank LPGA Classic 1998)
LPGA Tour Victories : 18
Photo by Wojciech Migda
17. Betsy Rawls
Betsy Rawls was born on May 4, 1928. This former professional golfer won eight major championships and fifty-five LPGA victories. She joined the professional golfing world in 1951 and bagged her first tournament in the same year.
She was also awarded the LPGA Vare Trophy for scoring the lowest average. Betsy also placed first in the money list twice (1952 and 1959) and placed in the top ten nine times.
She’s also one of the pioneers of the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Major Championships Won : 8 (US Women’s Open 1951, 1953, 1957, 1960, Women’s Western Open 1952, 1959, LPGA Championship 1959, and 1969)
LPGA Tour Victories : 55
16. Beth Daniel
Beth Daniel won one major championship and thirty-three LPGA victories. This American golfer was born on October 14, 1956, and joined the professional golfing world in 1979.
She won the Rookie of the Year award in the Patty Berg Classic when she was twenty-three years old. She won thirteen tournaments and was awarded in the LPGA Tour of Year in 1980.
Beth is also the second golfer to score an average below 71.00. Daniel won the Canadian open in 2003 at forty-six years old, making her the oldest winner in history.
Major Championships Won : 1 (Mazda LPGA Championship in 1990)
LPGA Tour Victories : 33
Photo by Wojciech Migda
15. Se Ri Pak
The South Korean golfer played professionally from 1998 to 2018. Se-ri was born on September 28, 1977. She is known for changing the face of golf.
On the same year she joined the LPGA, she won two major championships. Furthermore, at that time, she was the only Korean on tour.
Just ten years after, there were over forty-five Koreans in the LPGA tour. She qualified for the World Golf Hall of Fame at twenty-nine years old, the youngest one in history.
Major Championships won : 5 (McDonald’s LPGA Championship 1998, 2002, 2006, US Women’s Open 1998, Weetabix Women’s British Open 2001)
LPGA Tour Victories : 33
Photo by Keith Allison
14. Amy Alcott
Born on February 22, 1956, Amy Alcott is a course designer and a professional golfer. She joined the LPGA when she was just eighteen years old in 1975 where she won Rookie of the Year.
She got her first win in only her third start. She won four tournaments within a year three times (1979, 1980, plus 1984). Amy’s best year was in 1980.
Other than winning four tournaments she also received the LPGA Vare Trophy for scoring the lowest average.
Major Championships won : 5 (Peter Jackson Classic 1979, US Women’s open 1980, Nabisco Dinah Shore 1983, 1988, and 1991)
LPGA Tour Victories : 29
13. Juli Inkster
Juli is an American Professional golfer. She was born on June 24, 1960. She joined the professional golfing scene in 1983. Credited with having one of the longest golfing careers, she has been playing golf for over thirty-five years now.
A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Juli is the only golfer in the Tour’s history to win two major championships in 3 successive decades.
In 2019, this year, she will serve as the team captain for the third time at the US Solheim Cup.
Major Championships won : 7 (Nabisco Dinah Shore 1984 and 1989, du Maurier Classic 1984, McDonald’s LPGA Championship 1999 and 2000, US Women’s Open 1999 and 2002)
LPGA Tour Victories : 31
Photo by Wojciech Migda
12. Louise Suggs
One of the founders of LPGA Tour, Louise Suggs was born on September 7, 1923. She joined the professional golfing scene in 1948 and won fifty-eight tournaments and eleven majors.
Her prowess in golfing was proven by the fact that she was out of the top three in the money list only once from 1950 to 1960.
Louise was one of the first inductees in LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1967. Twelve years after, in 1979, Suggs was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Major Championships won : 11 (Titleholders Championship: 1946, 1954, 1956, 1959 Women’s Western Open: 1946, 1947, 1949, 1953, US Women’s Open 1949, 1952, LPGA Championship: 1957)
LPGA Tour Victories : 61
Photo from LPGA
11. Patty Sheehan
Patty’s excellent professional golf career started when she was awarded as the Rookie of the Year in 1981 when she bagged her first victory in the Mazda Japan Classic.
Sheehan won four times from 1983 to 1984. She was also awarded as the LPGA Player of the Year in 1983.
In 1992, Sheehan made a mark in golf history. She became the first woman to win the Women’s British Open and US Women’s Open in the same season.
Major Championships won : 6 (LPGA Championship: 1983 and 1984, US Women’s Open: 1992 and 1994, Mazda LPGA Championship 1993, Nabisco Dinah Shore 1996)
LPGA Tour Victories : 35
Photo by Ted Van Pelt
10. Patty Berg
Patricia “Patty” Jane Berg was born on February 13, 1918. She began her professional career in 1940 and was one of LPGA’s founding members. This great woman holds the record of most majors won.
However, by 1941, Patty got into an accident that injured her knee and ended her golfing career temporarily.
She served as a lieutenant in 1942 to 1947 and went back to the world of golfing in 1943 even while serving as a lieutenant. On her return, she won the Women’s Western Open and the inaugural US Women’s Open.
Major Championships Won : 15 (Titleholder’s Championship: 1937, 1938, 1939, 1948, 1953, 1955, 1957, Women’s Western Open: 1941, 1943, 1948, 1951, 1955, 1957, 1958, US Women’s Open: 1946)
LPGA Tour Victories won : 60
Photo from www.startribune.com
9. Pat Bradley
A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Pat Bradley was born on March 24, 1951. In 1974, she joined her LPGA tour and won the Girl Talk Classic.
1978 was her breakout year, she won 3 times. In total, Pat was able to bag 31 tournament victories in LPGA Tours.
She was also the third woman to finish the LPGA Career Grand Slam, just after Louise Suggs and Mickey Wright.
She represented the US in the Solheim Cup in 1990, 1992, and 1996. In 2000, she became the team captain.
Major Championships won : 6 (Peter Jackson Classic 1980, US Women’s Open 1981, du Maurier Classic: 1985 and 1986, Nabisco Dinah Shore 1986, LPGA Championship 1986)
LPGA Tour Victories : 31
Photo from www.onthisday.com
8. Betsy King
Betsy King was born on August 13, 1955. In 1977, This American golfer joined the LPGA Tour. She was able to win her first tournament seven years later in 1984.
After her first victory, she won at least once in every LPGA event in a span of eleven succeeding seasons. Her high tide came in 1989 where she won six times.
Along with that, Betsy was awarded as the Player of the Year and Top of the Money List thrice, plus, she scored titles twice. Betsy King’s last LPGA victory was in 2001.
Major Championships won : 6 (Nabisco Dinah Shore: 1987, 1990, and 1997, US Women’s Open: 1989 and 1990, Mazda LPGA Championship 1992)
LPGA Tour Victories : 34
7. Karrie Webb
Born on December 21, 1974, this Australian golfer joined the professional golf scene in 1994.
By the following year, she became the youngest golfer to win Weetabix Women’s British Open and was named the European Rookie of the Year.
In 1996, she was finally qualified to join the LPGA Tour and won her first tournament. On the same year, Webb was also awarded as the Rookie of the Year.
Plus in that same season, she became the first ever LPGA player to reach the one million dollar mark in just one season which made her the top on the money list.
Her last LPGA victory date was in 2014 on the JTBC Founders Cup.
Major Championships won : 7 (du Maurier Classic 1999, Kraft Nabisco Championship: 2000 and 2006, US Women’s Open: 2000 and 2001, McDonald’s LPGA Championship 2001, Weetabix Women’s British Open 2002)
LPGA Tour Victories : 41
Photo by Wojciech Migda
6. JoAnne Carner
Known as the Big Mama, JoAnne was born on April 4, 1939. JoAnne is the only woman to win the US Girl’s Junior, having stayed an amateur golfer until she was thirty years old.
JoAnne was also the first person to hold three USGA titles, Tiger Woods being her only equivalent.
Winning the Women’s US Open was a breeze for her. JoAnne finished seven shots less than her opponent. She was also the second woman to reach the one million dollar mark.
Having an exceptionally long career, at the age of 65, she became the oldest player to join the LPGA Tour.
Major Championships won : 2 (US Women’s Open 1971 and 1976)
LPGA Tour Victories : 43
5. Nancy Lopez
This American professional golfer was born on January 6, 1957. She joined the LPGA Tour in 1978. Her first season was remarkable. She came out victorious nine times and even won a major.
What’s more, Nancy was named LPGA Player of the Year, Rookie of Year, and awarded with the Vare Trophy, all in the same year.
Her career has seen pauses, but her winning streak did not wane. She continued to have multiple wins and was named Player of the Year again in 1988.
Major Championships won : 3 (LPGA Championship: 1978, 1985, and 1989)
LPGA Tour Victories : 48
4. Kathy Whitworth
The first team captain for the first Solheim Cup in 1990, Kathy Whitworth was born on September 27, 1939. She holds the record of the most LPGA victories with over 88 Tournaments under her belt.
She was also named Player of the Year seven times from 1966 to 1975. This extraordinary golfer also snagged the Vare Trophy seven times from 1965 to 1972.
Kathy was inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame by 1975 and was named “Golfer of the Decade.”
Kathy was the first player in all of LPGA History to reach the one million dollar mark. She was able to win the St. Petersburg Open five times and is one of the four LPGA players to do so.
Major Championships won : 6 (Titleholders Championship 1965 and 1966, LPGA Championship: 1967,1971, and 1975, Women’s Western Open 1967)
LPGA Tour Victories : 88
Photo from http://www.americaslibrary.gov
3. Babe Didrikson Zaharias
An all American athlete, Babe started out playing other sports before she joined the world of golf. Born on June 26, 1911, was an Olympian who won two gold medals for track and field.
Babe joined LPGA in 1945. Five years later, in 1950, Babe was able to finish the Grand Slam with three major tournaments, the Titleholders Championship, US Open, and Women’s Western Open.
This feat made her the top of the money list. In that same year, she won ten tournaments in just a span of twenty days, a record that she still holds today.
She was also the fastest player to snag 30 victories in a span of five years and twenty-two days.
Major Championships won : 10 (Women’s Western Open: 1940, 1944, 1945,and 1950 Titleholders Championship 1947, 1950, and 1954, US Women’s Open 1948, 1950, and 1954)
LPGA Tour Victories : 41
Photo by ACME
2. Mickey Wright
Born on February 14, 1935, Mickey is a retired professional golfer and a part of the World Golf Hall of Fame. In 1955, Mickey joined the LPGA Tour.
In her golf career, she was able to win 82 victories, just placing second behind Kathy Whitworth who won LPGA tournaments eighty-eight times.
In just a span of eight years from 1958 to 1966, Wright won all the majors she competed in. She is also the only LPGA golfer to hold four titles simultaneously.
Major Championships won : 13 (LPGA Championship: 1958, 1960, 1961 and1963, US Women’s Open: 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1964, Titleholders Championship 1961 and 1962, Women’s Western Open: 1962, 1963, and 1966)
LPGA Tour Victories : 82
Photo from wikimedia
1. Annika Sorenstam
Born on October 9, 1970, in Stockholm, Sweden, Annika is the top golfer of this list.
She is a record holder, being named Golfer of the Year eight times, being awarded the Vare Trophy six times, and for scoring the lowest average of 68.69 in the 2004 season.
She is also the only woman who was able to achieve 59 shots.
Right after winning eight times in the 2001 LPGA tour, Annika continued her winning streak with a total of eleven victories in 2003. She also played against men in the PGA Tour’s Colonial Tournament, making her the first woman to play in the event since it was founded on 1946
Major Championships won : 10 (US Women’s Open: 1995, 1996, and 2006, Nabisco Championship: 2001, 2002, and 2005, McDonald’s LPGA Championship: 2003, 2004, and 2005, Weetabix Women’s British Open 2003)
LPGA Tour Victories : 73
Photo from Keith Allison
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