Below is a list of, what I think, are the ten best seasons in golf's history.
1930 Bobby Jones---The Grand Slam
With the world quaking from the beginning of the Great Depression and stock market crash of 1929, Bobby Jones
gave the country and the world something positive to think about. The first major of the year was the British
Amateur Championship. Jones had never won this title before and was pushed into a playoff in the fourth round
of this match play event. Jones ended up winning this tournament and the first leg of the slam and called this
tournament the toughest challenge of his career. The next leg was The Open Championship. He ended up
winning this title in record fashion despite some stiff competition and became the first man in 40 years to win both
the British Amateur and Open in the same year. At the US Open in Interlachen, Jones executed some beautiful
displays of golf including holing a 40 foot putt on the 18th hole on the final day to seal his 2 shot victory and third
major in a row. When the US Amateur started, which was the fourth and final major of his day, the entire country
was involved in the chase and the pressure was immense. Nevertheless, Jones remained focused and dominated
the match becoming the only player in the history of golf to win the calendar year grand slam. Jones himself is
quoted as having said the following; "the accomplishment of the Grand Slam assumes more importance as an
example of the value of perseverance in the abstract than as a monument to skill in the playing of a game."
Perseverance and skill are both needed to pull off what Jones did in 1930.
2000 Tiger Woods---Beginning of Tiger Slam
Jones may have won the calendar year grand slam in dramatic fashion, but Tiger Woods' "Tiger Slam" was not far
off in terms of great accomplishments in golf. Tiger annihilated the competition in the US Open at Pebble Beach
to win the first leg of the Tiger Slam by 15 shots. He took his hot streak to the home of golf and won The Open
Championship by 8 strokes over Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn. Next he was pushed to the brink by Bob May in the
PGA Championship, requiring a playoff to finally overcome the feisty May. The final leg in the Tiger Slam wouldn't
come until 2001, when he took down the field in the Masters. Nevertheless, 2000 for Tiger Woods will go down as
one of the greatest seasons in golf, in addition to his 3 majors he won 6 other tournaments.
1953 Ben Hogan---3 out of 3 majors after accident
Ben Hogan's finest season came in 1953. Given the fact that this came after Mr. Hogan's terrible accident, the
total number of tournaments he played was not up to his usual heroic level. Nevertheless, when he played he
played well and he played in the biggest tournaments. In fact, he played in 6 tournaments and won 5 of those. 3
of those wins were at the majors. "The Hawk" won the Masters, the US Open and The British Open. He was
unable to compete in the PGA as the British and the PGA were held on overlapping days. Given his high win
percentage in 1953, it is very likely he would have tied Bobby Jones' grand slam record…but alas we will never
know for sure. However, without any doubt Mr. Hogan's 1953 season is one of the greatest of all-time.
Often overlooked in all this grand slam talk is Babe Zaharias' 1950 season. During that year, the LPGA tour had
3 majors (The Titleholder's, The US Open, and The Western Open). In fact, Babe entered them all and won them
all; completing what I have dubbed "Le Femme Slam."Tiger has the "Tiger Slam", Hogan has "The Hogan Slam",
Bobby Jones has "The Grand Slam" and Babe has her slam. Oh yeah…she won 5 other titles in 1950. Frankly, I
wish Babe would get more attention. The more I study her the more and more appreciation I have for what she
1945 Byron Nelson---11 straight wins and 18 total wins including a major
Lord Byron is remembered as a truly great player…but I think he got hosed in 1945. The world was at war, so not
all the greatest players played in all the tournaments in 1945…so people downgrade his 18 wins that year. But
more importantly, only one major was played that year…and he won it. Given the fact we won 18 times that year
and 11 straight at one point, it is almost a foregone conclusion that he would have won the grand slam that year.
This would have put him above Bobby Jones on my list, if he would have done it. But just like Ben Hogan not
being able to play the 1953 PGA, we will never know what would have happened. Regardless, 18 total and 11
straight wins is simply ridiculous and it is, in fact, a record which I don't think will ever be broken…and will never be
challenged (in my opinion).
2002 Sorenstam---2001-2005 dominance '02 11 wins and a major
Putting Annika Sorenstam on this list for her 2002 season is really just recognition for how she dominated the
LPGA tour from 2001-2005. In 2002, she won 11 times including a major…which is a truly fantastic season. But
from 2001 though 2005 she won 43 times on the LPGA tour including 7 majors…and, oh yeah, she won 8 more
times in non-LPGA events and was invited to play on the PGA tour. WOW!!!!! Complete and total domination of
1963 Mickey Wright---13 wins and two majors
Much like Annika's dominance in the 2000's, Mickey Wright ruled the 60's. Her 1963 season registered 13 LPGA
wins (15 in total) and 2 majors. But in the entire decade she won 68 times on the LPGA tour including 10 majors.
In addition to her LPGA victories, she won 7 other tournaments. She was a dominant player who, in the opinion of
Ben Hogan, had the best swing in the game of golf.
1948 Hogan---10 wins 2 majors
Ben Hogan is the only player to be on this list twice. Man, I wish he didn't have that accident…his
accomplishments would have been even more prolific, but maybe not as historic. Anyway, in his best season pre-
accident he put up 10 wins and 2 majors. In the US Open he beat Jimmy Demaret by 2 shots. In the match play
PGA, he beat Mark Turnesa 7 & 6 in the finals. Who knows how many victories and majors WWII and his injuries
1962 Palmer---8 wins 2 majors
"The King" is just as important as Ouimet, Jones, and Woods concerning the popularity of golf in the States and
he is one of the best players the game has ever seen. His 1962 season is perhaps the best season of his career,
even if he did lose the US Open to Jack Nicklaus that year in an epic battle that has gone down in history.
Nevertheless, he did win 8 times that year including 2 majors. That year he won The Masters in a playoff over
Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald and he won The Open Championship by 8 strokes. Looking at his track
record, he was a truly dominant player in the 60's.
1967 Whitworth---8 wins 2 majors
As Mickey Wright began to fall off her historic pace due to foot problems, Kathy Whitworth continued to plug
along. Her "plugging along" resulted in her winding up being golf's all-time leader in wins with 88. Perhaps her
most prolific season came in 1967 when she won 8 times on the LPGA tour including 2 majors. To be fair it is
hard to pick Mrs. Whitworth's best season, as she won 10 times in 1968, but had no majors. She won 9 times in
1966 but only had one major. In all, she had seven seasons with 7 or more total victories and 5 seasons which
included a major championships. Consistent and dominant…those are two words to describe Kathy Whitworth's
1972 Nicklaus---7 wins 2 majors
Much like Kathy Whitworth, Jack Nicklaus was consistent and dominant. I have listed his 1972 season as his best
due to his 7 total PGA wins and 2 major championships. But overall he had 17 season in which he had multiple
wins on the PGA tour included in that number are the 5 years in which he won multiple major championships.
Currently, Jack stands #2 on the all-time wins list with 73 and #1 in total major titles with 18.