10 Of The Best English Golfers Of All Time

England is one of the world's best golfing nations - but who are the best English players of all time?

Best English Golfers Of All Time

England is one of the world's best golfing nations - but who are the best English players of all time?

10 Of The Best English Golfers Of All Time

England is one of the greatest golfing nations in the world with some exceptional players coming from these shores over the past century-and-a-half.

Below, we pick out 10 of the best English golfers of all time (in no particular order):

Nick Faldo

Born: 1957 Tour wins: 41 Majors: 6

Nick Faldo gets his 1989 Green Jacket from 1988 champion, Sandy Lyle

Faldo is arguably the greatest English player of all time with six Major victories in total - three Masters titles and three Claret Jugs.

Born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, he was known for his relentless approach to the game and competitive edge.

He won 30 European Tour titles (5th) and is one of the greatest Ryder Cup players in the history of the match, currently second in points with 25 from a record 11 appearances in a row.

Faldo captained Europe at Valhalla in 2008.

Henry Cotton

Born: 1907 Died: 1987 Tour wins: 30+ Majors: 3

Sir henry cotton

Cotton with the one of his three Claret Jugs

The late great Henry Cotton won three Open Championships in 1934, 1937 and 1948.

His 1934 Open win was famous for his 65 which then led to the Dunlop 65 ball.

Cotton won over 30 professional tournaments between 1930-1945, during that time he served as an RAF pilot during the second World War.

He made his final Open appearance in 1977, 16 years after his penultimate Open.

The Englishman made three Ryder Cup appearances (including one playing captaincy) and captained GB in 1953.

The European Tour named its Rookie of the Year Award after him and Cotton was honoured by English Heritage with a blue plaque on his family home in East Dulwich in South London.

JH Taylor

Born: 1871 Died: 1967 Open wins: 5

Taylor was born in Devon and began his golfing journey as a caddie at England's oldest golf course, Royal North Devon Golf Club.

He then moved up the coast to Somerset's Burnham and Berrow Golf Club before moving to the Winchester Golf Club, Royal Wimbledon and then Royal Mid Surrey.

Taylor won five Open Championships from 1894-1913 and was also known for his course design, with Royal Birkdale, Hindhead, York and Frilford Heath's Red Course in his portfolio.

He was also instrumental in the founding of the Professional Golfers Association and was the PGA's first chairman.

He captained Great Britain to Ryder Cup victory in 1933 at Southport and Ainsdale.

Justin Rose

Born: 1980 Tour wins: 24 Majors: 1

Justin Rose

Justin Rose after winning the 113th US Open at Merion

Rose has a genuine shout to be known as England's greatest player of the 21st century with a Major win, an Olympic Gold Medal, time spent as World No.1 and an excellent Ryder Cup record.

He burst onto the scene at the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale where he holed a wedge shot for birdie on the 72nd hole to finish T4th and win the low amateur honours.

However, after turning professional he would miss his first 21 cuts.

Since then, he has had an illustrious career with 24 professional victories including his first Major at the 2013 US Open.

He won the 2007 European Order of Merit, the 2018 FedEx Cup and two World Golf Championships.

He is currently 6th in the PGA Tour's all-time career money list with $54m.

Rose has played in five Ryder Cups with three victories.

Lee Westwood

Born: 1973 Tour wins: 43

Westwood with the 2009 Dubai World Championship and Race to Dubai trophies

Westwood has also been one of England's greatest players of the 21st century with wins all over the world, many great performances in Majors and time spent atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

The Englishman has won two European Tour Order of Merits in 2000 and 2009, and won 24 European Tour titles.

He has played on 10 European Ryder Cup teams with seven wins.

In 2010, he became the first English player since Nick Faldo to become World Number One, holding the position for 22 weeks.

He is known as one of the greatest golfers to have never won a Major, with 12 top-fives including three runners-up finishes.

Tony Jacklin

Born: 1944 Tour wins: 30 Majors: 2

1970: British golfer Tony Jacklin at home with the US Open trophy after becoming only the fourth non-American to win the tournament. (Photo by A. Jones/Express/Getty Images)

Tony Jacklin won two Majors and made seven Ryder Cup appearances as well as four Ryder Cup captaincies.

The Englishman was involved in the famous 'concession' at the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale where Jack Nicklaus conceded a 2ft putt on the final hole to have the match and Ryder Cup.

The pair then designed a course in Florida and called it Concession.

Jacklin won eight European Tour titles and four PGA Tour titles, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.

Luke Donald

Born: 1977 Tour wins: 17

World No.1 Luke Donald wins the 2012 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Donald is another English player to become World No.1 with the Hertfordshire man forging out a brilliant career.

He was known as one of the world's very best short game players with excellent pitching skills, bunker play, chipping and putting.

He spent 56 weeks as World No.1 and won 17 titles as a pro as well as the money lists in Europe and USA in 2011.

Donald doesn't quite have the Major record that Rose and Westwood have, with T3s in the Masters and USPGA his best finishes.

The Englishman won the NCAA Division 1 title whilst at University in Chicago in 1999 and other highlights from his career include back-to-back BMW PGA Championship wins in 2011 and 2012, a World Golf Championship and four Ryder Cup wins from four appearances.

Jim Barnes

Born: 1886 Died: 1966 Tour wins: 28 Majors: 4

Barnes was born in Cornwall before heading out to the States at the age of 20 where he would win 21 PGA Tour titles.

He is the only Englishman to have won three different Majors, with victories in the 1916 and 1919 USPGA Championships, the 1921 US Open and the 1925 Open Championship, which was Prestwick's last ever Open.

His USPGA wins were the first two playings of the event, and his nine-stroke victory at the US Open was a record until Tiger Woods' 15 shot win at Pebble Beach in 2000.

Barnes was 6'4" and known as Long Jim as well as Big Jim.

He was inducted into the inaugural PGA Hall of Fame in 1940 and was later inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.

Laura Davies

Born: 1963 Tour wins: 87 Majors: 4

Laura Davies What's In The Bag

Davies is one of the greatest female golfers of her time.

The Englishwoman has won 87 professional titles including 45 on the LET (1st all-time) and 20 on the LPGA.

She became the first golfer, man or woman, to win tournaments in five different continents during the same year.

Davies won four Majors and seven LET Order of Merits, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.

Harold Hilton

Born: 1869 Died: 1942 Status: Amateur

Harold Hilton might have played in the 1908 Olympics

Hilton won the Open Championship in 1892 and 1897 as well as four British Amateur Championships in 1900, 1911, 1910 and 1913.

He also won the US Amateur in 1911.

Hilton became the first editor of Golf Monthly, the world's oldest golf magazine, and designed a number of courses including Ferndown Golf Club in Dorset.

Other worthy mentions: Open Champion and eight-time British Amateur winner John Ball, leading amateur player Joyce Wethered (1901-1997), 17-time pro winner and Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter (Born 1976) and five-time British Amateur Champion Sir Michael Bonallack (Born 1934), 19-time pro winner and four-time Ryder Cupper Paul Casey

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV