Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Lexi Thompson shocked the world of golf on the eve of the US Women’s Open when she announced her plan to retire aged 29.

Thompson will quit the sport at the end of the 2024 season and told fans: “While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time.”

While Thompson’s revelation came as a surprise to nearly everyone in golf spheres, the 11-time LPGA Tour winner and US Solheim Cup veteran isn’t the first high-profile player to walk away from the sport at an early age.

Here, we have listed a few more…

• Lexi Thompson announces shock retirement from golf

• Angel Cabrera set for Masters return

Golfers who retired early

Victor Dubuisson

The fiercely private, enigmatic Frenchman announced his retirement at the age of 33 to pursue a new life coaching in Tenerife. Dubuisson, a Ryder Cup winner in 2014, admitted the “solitude had become extremely heavy” out on Tour.

So Yeon Ryu

Ryu, a two-time major champion, played her final professional tournament at this year’s Chevron Championship aged 33.

“I was just so tired of traveling and then I feel so grounded at home,” the South Korean star said. “And then I started think about like when is the happiest moment in my life. Literally right after I wake up from my own bed and go to the kitchen to make coffee, that’s my happiest moment.”

Bobby Jones 

Jones, the greatest amateur golfer ever, won 13 majors in eight years before quitting aged 28 in 1930. He was fairly busy in retirement too, devoting time to his family, law practice, and founding Augusta National Golf Club in 1932.

• Wayne Rooney shocked during round of golf with Donald Trump

• Lee Westwood blasts R&A and DP World Tour

Lorena Ochoa 

The Mexican stunned the women’s game when she bowed out as world No.1 back in 2010. Ochoa was the same age as Jones when she quit to focus her time on her family. She was later inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.

Johnny Miller

Miller, who won 25 times across his garlanded career, suffered from burnout and then got the dreaded putting yips. The two-time major champion turned to a broadcasting career aged 42.

Bryon Nelson 

In 1945, Nelson won 11 times in a row. He ended the year with 18 trophies. Now that is true dominance. Nelson, who won the Masters twice, officially retired from golf after the 1946 season at the age of 34 to become a rancher in Texas.

Hunter Mahan 

In an interview with which you can read here, the six-time PGA Tour winner candidly discussed why he stepped away from playing professionally aged 39. Mahan has since relocated with his family to a sleepy Texas suburb, where he has taken up a position teaching the boy’s golf team at Liberty Christian, a tiny private school in the area.

Anthony Kim

Nobody saw Anthony Kim’s return coming in 2024. It looked like the charismatic American had disappeared from the public conscience forever after stepping away 12 years ago. But after his shock return from apparent retirement, he is now looking to re-build a game that he deserted completely for over a decade on the LIV Golf League.

author headshot

Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses