Quiz – Can You Name All The Male Golfers Who Have Been World No. 1?

There have been 24 World No. 1 golfers before Scottie Scheffler. Can you name them all?

Scottie Scheffler becomes the latest in the line of World No. 1 golfers
Scottie Scheffler becomes the latest in the line of World No. 1 golfers
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can you name the World No. 1 golfers?

The first of the World No. 1 golfers was named in the first Official Golf World Ranking which was in the week before the The Masters of 1986. The man behind devising the system of rankings, Tony Greer, remembers that it “landed like a lead balloon” in the US because the top three players were European.

However the R&A adopted it for qualification for that year’s Open Championship, with the top 40 players on Official Golf World Rankings gaining exemption for that year’s Open Championship.

What the R&A started, others then copied and now the US Open and the The Masters also give exemption to the top 50 on the world rankings – as does The Open now, having upped the limit from the original 40. The top 50 in the world also qualify for three of the World Golf Championship events, and the rankings also determine Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams.

The first rankings were decided by performances over the preceding three years with a system of weighting which gave greater emphasis to the more recent performances. Originally points in the preceding year were multiplied by 3 and those from 1 to 2 years ago doubled. In 1987 this was tweaked so that points in the previous 52 weeks were now quadrupled rather than trebled.

In 1996 the ranking was changed to consider only performances over the preceding two years, with points for the most recent year doubled. The methodology for calculating the Official Golf World Rankings has continued to be tweaked

In March 2022 Scottie Scheffler became the 25th different person to be the World No. 1 golfer. Can you name the previous 24 World No. 1 golfers? You have six minutes to do so. You need only enter the player’s surname to answer.

We have plenty more golf quizzes for you to test your golfing knowledge against. Or of you fancy a further test of your knowledge of golf’s world rankings, how about taking on our quiz on the first Official World Golf Ranking. Or perhaps you may wish to challenge your friends to see if they can match your score on this quiz?

Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Roderick is the author of the critically acclaimed comic golf novel, Summer At Tangents. Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is also the author of five non-fiction books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.