Every year, golfers of all levels, look forward to the new season and there are often several key dates they need for their diaries.
They are, of course, golf’s major events, of which there are four.
From the Masters (April) to the Open Championship (July) these tournaments are steeped in history and tradition and are the pinnacle of the golfing events played around the world.
And with the first of golf’s major tournaments in 2024 fast approaching, The Social Golfer Editor, Ian Mullins takes a look at where they will be played…
The Masters is held annually since 1934 at Augusta National golf course.
The private members club is famous for its picturesque scenery and challenging course and its immaculate fairways and Greens.
The now globally famous golf course features several memorable holes, including the famous Par-3, 12th hole.
Surrounded by water it is famous for its challenging tee shot.
This short hole makes up one-third of what is known as “Amen Corner”, which also includes the Par 4, 10th hole, and the Par 5, 13th.
Fail at these three holes and it could cost you the Trophy.
Each year the tournament is ‘declared’ underway after the ceremonial striking of a ball on the first tee, by past Major Champions.
Currently, this prestigious role falls to Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Watson.
Jack Nicklaus has won the Masters more than any other golfer.
The Golden Bear won six green jackets during his career. The six wins came over 23 years, with the first coming in 1963 and the last in 1986.
Tiger Woods has the second-most Masters wins of all time. He moved within one of Nicklaus via his win at the 2019 tournament and has five to his name.
The PGA Championship is one of the four major championships in professional golf and is regarded as the most prestigious tournament of its kind.
The Professional Golfers’ Association of America organises the event, which has been held annually since 1916.
The tournament venue is rotated among different courses throughout the United States.
Some of the most iconic venues that have hosted the PGA Championship include Baltusrol Golf Club, Oak Hill Country Club, and the Atlanta Athletic Club.
The PGA Championship is known for selecting golf venues with complicated course layouts, and the tournament’s difficulty level in 2024 at Valhalla is expected to be no different.
Typically, courses are chosen based on the speed of the greens, and the difficulty of the ‘rough’, making it difficult for golfers to hit the fairways.
Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus hold the record for the most victories; both men have won the competition five times.
Since 1895, the US Open is held annually, with the world’s best golfers competing for the coveted US Open trophy.
The tournament is held at different locations across the United States each year. Organised and run by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
The oldest professional golf event in North America, the US Open is known for its challenging fast greens, and tight fairways, making it an actual golf test for even the most skilled players.
Anyone can enter the Championship by taking part in a number of qualifying events held by the USGA each year.
This adds an element of unpredictability to the event, as amateur and professional golfers have the chance to compete against the game’s elite players.
The event has been won multiple times by several of the game’s great players, with the current record of wins held by Jack Nicklaus, Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan with four victories each.
Anderson holds the record for most consecutive wins with three (1903–05).
Tiger Woods won it 3 times in 2000, 2002 and 2008.
The Open, also called the British Open (in the USA), has been organised every year since 1860.
It is THE oldest of golf’s professional major events, and arguably the most prestigious.
The tournament is hosted by some of the most famous and difficult golf links courses in Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland including the most famous of them all, St Andrews.
Historic golf courses including Royal Liverpool, Carnoustie, Portrush, and Royal St Georges are among those that have hosted the tournament in recent years.
The courses that host the event are known (and selected) for their windy conditions, deep bunkers, and fast greens.
However, not to be confused with some of the more ‘designer’ courses around the world, an ‘Open’ course is often built on fast-draining ‘links’ land, meaning an event is rarely postponed due to weather.
In addition, while many courses have been updated, The Open courses were often sculpted into the original landscape and terrain rather than built by design.
The oldest golf tournament has been won most times by Harry Vardon with six victories, followed by Peter Thomson, Tom Watson, J.H. Taylor, and James Braid all with 5 wins.
Players with four titles include Tom Morris Sr, Tom Morris Jr, Willie Park Sr, and Walter Hagen.
Three-time winners include Bob Ferguson, Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods.
The 2024 major golf tournaments are the pinnacle of golf’s great events each year.
Regardless of where each tournament is played, rarely is there an outright winner, with many events going all the way to the final ‘back nine’ on a Sunday afternoon.
Furthermore, with their prestigious nature and thrilling competition, the major golf championships are a must-watch event for every golf fan.
So, mark your 2024 calendars now, and never miss a moment of the action at the major golf championships!