It’s easy to view a superstar as a god with everything figured out and a life akin to a rollercoaster. However, most stars have not received success on a silver spoon but have had to work harder than the rest of the pack and withstood challenging phases without giving up. Although some golfers came from favorable backgrounds where a parent or guardian motivated them to pursue a golfing career, others have dealt with disability, devastating accidents, or painful memories and kept the dream alive. Below, we list ten inspiring stories of golfers who were so determined to succeed that no challenge could stop them.
Most Inspiring Golfers & Their Touching Stories
Legendary golfer Ben Hogan rightfully earned his spot among golf’s elite, but the journey to the top wasn’t a walk in the park. In 1949, he was driving his car when he collided with a Greyhound bus and nearly lost his life. Hogan broke his rib, pelvis, collarbone, and ankle, and doctors were doubtful he would ever walk again, let alone play golf. Nonetheless, the stubborn golfer worked tirelessly on rehabilitation and stunned the world when he clinched the 1950 U.S. Open.
Annika Sörenstam is among the most influential and inspirational figures ever to emerge in women’s golf. She held her own on the course with ten incredible major championship wins. What stood out, however, was Sörenstam’s determination to challenge gender barriers, which saw her compete in a PGA TOUR event in 2003, becoming the first woman to do so in nearly 50 years.
Billy Hurley III
PGA TOUR star Billy Hurley III’s story is a touching one. In 2015, he was teeing it off at the Quicken Loans National golf tournament when he received alarming news that his father was missing. A frantic search aided by the public unearthed his dad’s lifeless body. He then returned to the same event in 2016, with everyone empathizing with his painful experience the previous year. To their surprise, the golfer emerged from the ashes to record his maiden PGA TOUR victory.
Tiger Woods’s story is one of pure resilience and unmatched success. After turning pro in 1996, Woods scooped his first Masters trophy in 1997. By age 24, the golfer was the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam while breaking numerous other records and tournament wins. Like most stars, Woods struggled with fame, dealing with personal issues and injury setbacks, before staging a mighty comeback and winning the 2019 Masters Tournament.
Lee Trevino was among the most outstanding golfers in the sixties and seventies before a lighting strike in 1975 during the Western Open completely changed his life. The star suffered severe leg and back injuries that led to multiple surgeries. Although he was no longer the same physically, the star determinedly kept playing on tour, winning eight times after the accident.