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What are golf’s four major tournaments? When and where are they played?

To the old adage about death and taxes, we could add as another certainty that a win in one of the four Major tournaments will set you up for life as a pro golfer.

The PGA has four Major Golf Tournament events during the season: The Masters Tournament, The U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and The PGA Championship. Like tennis, the Grand Slam in professional golf means winning all of golf’s major championships. Until now, nobody managed to win the classic Grand Slam, and Tiger Woods was the closest to achieving that. He won all four major events within two years (2001-2002), called the Career Grand Slam. Just five men have won all four Majors throughout their careers – known as the career grand slam. They are Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods.

Jack Nicklaus is the undeniable GOAT of the Major tournaments, with 18 major tournament wins. He was also a runner-up on 19 occasions while playing in the premier-tier games. Most golfing fans consent that Nicklaus’s golf career is one of the best, if not the all-time greatest.

The Masters Tournament

The Masters tournament at Augusta National, Georgia, is unique because it is the only major tournament conducted by a private club rather than a national golf organization like the PGA. The Masters is also the first major championship of the year, and the only one played at the same golfing course yearly.

The golf course was formerly a plant nursery, and each hole is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated.

Since the first edition in 1936, the Masters gathered numerous traditions, like the green jacket awarded to the champion, who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his victory, although it remains his personal property. Also, the famous Champions dinner is held on the Tuesday before each tournament and is open only to past champions and certain Augusta National Golf Club board members.

Horton Smith won the first Masters, while Jack Nicklaus has the most Masters wins, with six between 1963 and 1986. Tiger Woods won five between 1997 and 2019. Palmer won four between 1958 and 1964.

The U.S. Open

Also known as The United States Open Championship, it’s regarded as the most difficult tournament in the world. It’s caused by challenging conditions in the golf courses, primarily conditioned for the tournament. The playing surface is uneven, numerous obstacles encircle the holes, and the way of directing them is very long and limited. This is the most lucrative golf tournament, with a $17.5 million prize pool.

The first U.S. Open was played on October 4, 1895, on the Newport Country Club course in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a 36-hole competition and was played in a single day. It was won by Horace Rawlins, who received a $150 award. Nowadays, the championship takes place in June, and the final is held on Father’s Day.

U.S. Open is dedicated to both amateur and professional golfers with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4.

Throughout history, four golfers managed to the U.S. Open on four occasions. Willie Anderson 1901, 1903-1905; Bobby Jones 1923, 1926, 1929-30; Ben Hogan 1948, 1950-51, 1953; Jack Nicklaus 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980.

The Open Championship

The Open Championship, or just The Open or British Open, is the oldest tournament of the Grand Slam. It’s considered the most prestigious as it’s held in the birthplace of golf. The only one of the four men’s Major Championships to be played outside of the United States of America, with the tournament moving between a select number of links golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland. Always decided by British climate and nature and held on traditional courses with a harsh and punishing surface. Usually situated by the coastline and uncovered to wind, that very often impacts the match’s score.

The winner of the British Open receives the honorary title: The Champion Golfer of The Year. Nailing the title at St. Andrews, the oldest golf course in the world, is considered the greatest accolade in golf. The first British Open took place in 1860, and it professional-only tournament. It was won by Wille Park Sr., who received 25 pounds in prize compensation. Just a year later, the championship was opened for amateurs. Now, any player with a handicap Index not exceeding 1.5 can take part in the tournament.

Harry Vardon is the most successful player in Open history, having won the event six times, with James Braid, J.H. Taylor, Tom Watson, and Peter Thomson having five victories.

The PGA Championship

Better known as The PGA Championship or U.S. PGA. The tournament is managed by the Professional Golfers” Association of America. The first edition took place in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, and it was bested by Jim Barnes, who obtained a 500$ reward and a gold medal with brilliants. Subsequently, the winners received a trophy founded by Rodman Wanamaker, who became the symbol of the U.S. PGA. Established in 1916 and played on 103 occasions, the US PGA was originally a matchplay event, becoming a strokeplay event in 1958. It is an official money event on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and Japan Golf Tour, with a purse of $15 million.

The tournament is reserved for professional players who meet very demanding criteria. Fans can admire the highest level of rivalry and sophisticated technique. Winning U.S. PGA guarantees numerous privileges, including participating in three other Grand Slam tournaments for the next five years and a lifetime possibility to participate in U.S. PGA.

The player with the most U.S. PGA victories is Jack Nicklaus, who won five times between 1963 and 1980, followed by Tiger Woods, who won his first Wanamaker trophy in 1999 and has four victories to date.

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