Winning even one out of the four golf majors can take your golfing career to a whole new level. And you’re sure to become a legend if, by the stroke of luck, talent, and hard work, you manage to win all four in the same year. Then you become a highly celebrated figure in the sport of golf. For example, Bobby Jones.
So how about we tell you all about these four major golf championships. And how each one is important in terms of prestige.
Table of Contents
4 Major Golf Championships
1. The Masters (held in April)
It’s the first major golf championship that takes place every year. And it’s also the most distinguished. The first-ever Masters major was played in the year 1934 at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, United States. And the location remains the same even now.
The winner of the tournament receives a trophy and a green jacket. The latter is awarded to signify the winner’s honorary membership to the golf club.
So who won the first 1934 Masters championship? It was Horton Smith. And the winning prize was $1,500. This seems like such a small amount in comparison to what Tiger Woods won in 2019 ($2,070,000). Speaking of which, he has been awarded the green jacket 5 times so far. After all, he is a true living legend.
Now it’s time to tell you other important stuff about the event itself. The participating caddies don a white-colored jumpsuit, green-colored Masters cap, and white-colored tennis shoes. As for media coverage, the cameras are plugged onto each hole and the TV cables buried below the fairways. So the picturesque charm of the golf course doesn’t get compromised.
And here’s the most unfortunate news that maybe not all golfers might like. The club where the major is hosted is just for private members. And the list includes personalities like Condoleezza Rice, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates. But you can obviously buy tickets to the tournament to be a part of the beautiful greens and fairways even if it’s just for a short while.
2. PGA Championship (held in May)
The next major golf tournament of the year is the PGA Championship. Unlike The Masters, it’s conducted on multiple golf courses around America. Not many golf lovers know this but PGA Championship is the only tournament that accepts only those golfers that have won the other 3 Majors. Or those that have won a different version of a PGA Tour tournament.
It’s only natural to assume that the winning prize now is much higher than what it was in 1916, that’s the year of the very first PGA Championship. It was held in New York at the Siwanoy Country Club. And $500 was the prize money back then, which is only a fraction of 11 million dollars of the current PGA Championship payout.
As for the Rodman Wanamaker trophy of the PGA Championship, its weight is not less than 34-35 pounds. And the handle itself has a diameter of 27 inches. The original is now a part of the PGA gallery located in Florida.
And who was the first and is the latest PGA champion? In the year 1916, it was Jim Barnes. And Brooks Koopeka won the 2018 as well as the 2019 PGA Championships.
3. U.S. Open (held in June)
The one and only major tournament put together by the USGA, U.S. Open attracts tons of controversy. And that’s because many golfers find the setting of the turf extremely difficult. This means it’s the most difficult event in comparison to the other 3.
Not only is the U.S. Open the most difficult but it’s also the most generous in terms of the prize-winning money. Professional golfers may have to put in more effort and work harder to get their hands on a whopping $12,500,000.
The U.S. Open is also the oldest of the three Majors. The first one was staged in the year 1895, the winner of which was Horace Rawlings who won a gold medal, the U.S. Open trophy, and $150.
Here are some fun, interesting facts you might want to know. A total of 4 players have managed to win this tournament 4 times. The list includes Willie Anderson, Ben Hogen, Jack Nicklaus, and Bob Jones. Also, the youngest golfer ever to win the U.S. Open trophy is 19-year-old John J. McDermott. And the oldest golfer was 45-year old Hale Irwin, who won the event back in 1990.
4. The Open Championship (held in July)
Needless to say, it’s the final professional golfing event of the year. The Open Championship is also known as The British Open or simply The Open. The only golf major not held in America, The Open Championship is conducted across a rotation of 10 different golf courses sprawled throughout the country.
The tournament, unlike the ones already discussed, is open to ALL. And ALL means amateur and professional golfers. Even then, it’s only a fraction of leading amateur golfers that are likely to win over $10 million.
Whoever wins the championship is known as the Champion Golfer of the Year. And receives the Claret Jug trophy and a gold medal. And here’s a little known fact - Walter Hagen was the first US-born golfer who won The Open major in the year 1922. Before that, the winners were either from England or Scotland.
The various link golf courses a part of the tournament are quite popular for their tough conditions, including windy weather. In fact, the direction of the wind changes so much throughout the 4-day competition that every participant has to adopt a different playing strategy on each day.
Since the wind conditions are unfavorable, the pace of play is also not in the favor of golfers. It’s quite slow, which makes the game even more challenging for players not well-acquainted with slow green speeds.
What Is the Most Sought After Prize In Golf
There’s no denying that every golf major win is special for every golfing professional. But not every player has the same preferences. Meaning every player has his/her own favorite tournament or tournaments that they would like to win.
Golfers that have won all four championships, Grand Slam, are Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, and Gary Player. This list of Major Champions is short and sweet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has Any Golfer Ever Won All 4 Golf Majors In One Year?
Surprisingly, YES. And that player was Bobby Jones, and the year was 1930.
Tiger Woods, however, came the closest in 2000.
Which Golfer Has Won the Most Majors In Golf?
The first is American Jack Nicklaus with a total of 18 major championship wins. Then is Tiger Woods (15), Walter Hagen (11), Ben Hogan (9), and Gary Player (also 9).
What Are the 5 Majors In Women’s Golf?
These tournaments are ANA Inspiration, The Evian Championship, Women’s PGA Championship, Women’s British Open, and U.S. Women’s Open.
Who Is the Oldest Golfer to Win A Major?
That would be Tom Morris Sr. at the age of 46 years. And he won The Open Championship in 1867. The oldest PGA Championship winner was Jerry Barber (45 years, in 1961). And as for U.S. Open and The Masters, the names are Hale Irwin (45 years, in 1990) and Jack Nicklaus (46 years, in 1986).
What Golf Majors Will Be Held In 2020?
Here’s the schedule for the current year of 2020…
- PGA Championship between August 6 and August 9.
- The U.S. Open between September 17 and September 20.
- The Masters between November 12 and November 15.
- With The Open Championship getting canceled for the year.
Now you know which one is the most prestigious, the most difficult, the oldest, etc. The goal here was to get you acquainted with the sport’s top 4 professional tournaments. One that competent golfers train so hard for whenever they’re not competing.
It goes without saying that winning all 4 in a year makes you a force to be reckoned with. But that doesn’t mean those who win all 4 across their career are no legends. We have great examples like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Walter Hagen, etc. And even Bobby Jones, who secured the Grand Slam of golf by winning all 4 in the same year.