From overcoming impossible odds to make a comeback and to making shots that shouldn’t have been logically possible to do—the sport of golf has seen its share of breathtaking moments.
The names Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Arnold Palmer, to name a few, has blessed us with these instances. With all the great players in the game, though, we know that it’s difficult to come up with a definitive list of the greatest shots ever, but these 8 below should come pretty close.
Feel free to voice out your comments if you think there are other shots that should be included in this list.
1) Justin Leonard makes a long putt to complete golf’s most incredible comeback ever.
Where: the 1999 Ryder Cup, Sunday singles matches, 17th hole.
Heading into the final leg of the matches, the American team found themselves down 10-6, a deficit that has never been overcome in the history of the Ryder Cup—until that day, that is.
Led by Captain Ben Crenshaw, the American squad strung together seven wins to give themselves a chance to make a spectacular comeback.
The last shot came down to Leonard against a match versus Jose Maria Olazabal, which he made and won the entire thing for his squad, triggering the most infamous celebration in the sport’s history.
2) Tom Watson steals the trophy from Jack Nicklaus with an impossible shot.
Where: The 1982 U.S. Open, final round, 17th hole.
It was all up to Watson at that point. Nicklaus was in the clubhouse and was all set to win the tourney, seeing that Watson had to make a shot that looked impossible at the 17th hole at Pebble Beach.
The rough was so thick that it’s difficult to make it to the green, much less a birdie. But that’s what Watson did, defeating Nicklaus.
3) Bob Tway hits bunker shot for the birdie.
Where: 1986 PGA Championship, final round, 18th hole.
Tway found himself in a literal rut that day. His shot found the deep greenside bunker—a place no golfer wants to find himself in when tied with an opponent like Norman on the 72nd hole.
He needed a miracle, and that’s exactly what he got. He got the birdie and defeated The Shark.
4) Jack Nicklaus hit the ball—and just knew it was going in.
Where: 1986 Masters, final round, 16th hole.
Jack Nicklaus hit many magnificent shots that year at Augusta, but the one at the 16th hole shows just how much it was truly his day.
He hit the ball and didn’t even watch the ball fly to the end. He picked up his tee and smiled at his son. He knew it was a good shot—a once-in-a-career shot, we must say.
5) Tiger Woods at the 2005 Masters
Where: 2005 Masters, final round, 16th hole.
This is the legendary Tiger at his magical best, with the stuff that gets you calling your friends on the phone to tell them about it.
6) Ben Hogan’s iconic one-iron shot
Where: 1950 U.S. Open, final round, 18th hole.
Hogan’s one-iron shot on this hole is one of the most iconic scenes in golfing. This shot helped him make par force sudden death, which he eventually won.
7) Larry Mize and the greatest chip in golf history
Where: 1987 Masters, playoff, 11th hole
Mize hits the most amazing chip in golf history. If he hit the shot harder than he did in the clip, the ball goes in the water. But he hit it just right, and the ball goes in—truly amazing!
8) Jack Nicklaus
Where: 1972 U.S. Open, final round, 17th hole.
The legendary Nicklaus decisively put his battle with Arnold Palmer to an end with a one-iron that had the ball landing mere centimeters away from the hole. Nearly a hole-in-one but just as breathtaking.
Golf has seen so many incredible shots and actually, it comes down to your personal preference as to which shots are the absolute best.
What other moments do you have in mind?