Golf’s Grand Slam: Who’s Done It, and Who’s Close?

By Ryan Watson


Golf has long had 4 majors, currently the Open Championship (sometimes called the British Open), U.S. Open, Masters and the PGA Championship. In the past, the U.S. Amateur and the Amateur Championship (sometimes referred to as the British Amateur) were considered major championships, though with the full professionalization of golf they are no longer considered majors. The holy grail remains the hope of winning all 4 major championships in a calendar year, known as the Grand Slam, but in the modern era no golfer has achieved this. Tiger Woods did manage to win 4 majors in a row, spanning 2 seasons, a feat that had never happened and has been sometimes dubbed the “Tiger Slam”. In the pre-Masters era, arguably the best amateur golfer in history Bobby Jones did pull off a Grand Slam, the only of its kind, in 1930 when he won both American and British Opens and Amateurs. 


Career Grand Slam

Outside of the usual Grand Slam, golfers also acknowledge achieving a so-called Career Grand Slam. This involves winning each major championship at least once during their career. So far only 5 golfers have pulled this off: first was Gene Sarazen in 1935, followed by Ben Hogan in 1953, Gary Player in 1965, Jack Nicklaus in 1966 and finally Tiger Woods in 2000. Remarkably, Woods and Nicklaus have won 3 Career Grand Slams and are the only golfers to claim multiple Career Grand Slams. 


Active Golfers with 3 of 4 Majors

There are currently 3 active golfers who lack 1 major championship to claim their Career Grand Slam. Phil Mickelson, nearing the end of his amazing career, is looking to add the U.S. Open to his impressive haul of 5 majors. Rory McIlroy lacks the Masters to complete his Career Grand Slam. And the youngest player, Jordan Spieth, managed to win the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship all by age 24. Only the PGA Championship remains in his quest to join the game’s greatest players. 


About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.


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