Golf Majors

Your Guide To The Four Golf Majors

Golf tournaments are a great opportunity to see some of the best players in the world compete. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out learning at somewhere like this san diego golf academy, these tournaments are a useful way to watch the pros at work and pick up on ways to improve your own game. You can learn from the best and see how they handle different situations on the green.

When it comes to golfing tournaments, there are four in particular which have attained an unmatched level of prestige within the golfing calendar, and which professionals seek to win above all other tournaments. Let’s take a look at them now.

The Masters

Starting off these highly regarded tournaments is The Masters, which is held in April at the highly exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA. Unlike the other major tournaments in this article, The Masters is the only one that is played at the same venue every year. The course is a par 72 and stretches over 7,435 yards. And it’s not just the players who play a part in what makes this tournament so renowned – even their caddies have a uniform to wear throughout the tournament.

In order to win The Masters, players must see off both amateur rivals and the world’s best professionals, but the prize for winning is a sweet one. In addition to a green jacket signifying honorary membership of the Augusta Club, the winner receives millions of dollars in prize money – a far cry from the $1,500 that the very first winner of the tournament, Horton Smith, took home in 1934.

The PGA Championship

Next, we come to the PGA Championship, which has been a fixture of the golfing calendar since 1916 and is seen as the most important event of the PGA Tour schedule. Taking place each year the weekend before Memorial Day in May, this tournament offers players a chance to win the infamous Wanamaker Trophy (well, a replica, as the original is on show at a gallery in Florida). The PGA Championship is played on courses across the USA, with the majority being on the East Coast.

Unlike the other three tournaments that make up the majors, the PGA Championship does not invite amateur golfers to compete, unless they have won one of the other majors, or another PGA tour event while on a sponsor’s exemption.

Winning this tournament is a big deal; those who come out on top are automatically invited to play in the other three majors for the next five years, are able to enter the PGA Championship for the rest of their life, regardless of whether they are still playing professionally or not, and receive membership on the European Tour for the next seven seasons, and the PGA Tour for the following five.

The US Open

The third major on the calendar is the US Open, which takes place in June on the same weekend as Father’s Day, and no doubt makes up a large part of the weekend for many across the country. Whereas the PGA runs the other major tournaments, the US Open is run by the USGA, and is the oldest major in the USA, having started in 1985. Though this tournament changes locations within the States each year, the courses for this tournament are notorious in the golf world for being very challenging, with narrow fairways and difficult greens.

Until recently, one of the most unique things about the US Open was its playoff system in the event of a tie; rather than a full 18-hole playoff, with the potential of going to sudden death if needed, since 2018, the playoff is now a two-hole aggregate format, with sudden death still played if the playoff also results in a tie.

The Open Championship

The fourth and final major on the calendar is The Open Championship (previously known as the British Open), which is the oldest golf tournament in the world, having started in 1860. This event takes place in July each year and invites both professionals and amateurs to come and play on the coastal links course that is chosen each year. These courses are shaped by nature, rather than being man made, and the lack of trees means that the windy conditions force players to play each round slightly differently and anticipate slower speeds than they’re used to on a regular golf course.

In addition to prize money and a medal, the infamous Claret Jug is presented to the winner of the Open Championship each year as the trophy, and the winner is also exempt from needing to qualify for many tournaments. Once they turn fifty, the winner will be automatically invited to three of the five senior tournaments and receive lifetime invitations to the Senior PGA Championship and Senior Open Championship.

Final thoughts

Whether you watch on screen or are lucky enough to get tickets to watch in-person, golf tournaments offer fans a chance to witness history being made, and they provide players with an opportunity to test their skills against the best in the business. 

Whether you’re a golf fan or not, there’s something special about watching these tournaments unfold. What do you think makes them so captivating? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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