What Are the Majors?

By George N Root III

There are thousands of golf tournaments played all over the world by players with various skill sets each year, but the four tournaments that get the most attention are the four major tournaments of the PGA Tour. Together, these four tournaments are known as the Majors. The four major tournaments on the PGA Tour are the Masters, the United States Open Championship, the British Open and the PGA Championship. Each has its own story, and each holds its own significance in the world of professional golf.


The Masters

The Masters is the first major tournament of the year, and it is usually held in early April. The tournament is played at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The Augusta National Golf Club was designed by legendary golfer Bobby Jones in 1930, and it was Jones' idea to hold a championship tournament at the course. The first Masters was held in 1934, and it has always been played at the Augusta National Golf Club. The tournament is unique in that the winner is awarded a special green jacket to signify his status as Masters champion.

United States Open Championship

The United States Open Championship got its start on a small nine-hole golf course in Newport, Rhode Island in the summer of 1895. In the early days of competitive golf, the amateur championships were considered much more prestigious than the professional tournaments, so for many years the United States Open Championship took a back seat to the United States Amateur Championship. The professional Open started to take on significance around the 1910s when American golfers began to become dominant throughout the world. The United States Open Championship is held each year in June, and is played in some of the best golf courses that the United States has to offer.

The British Open

The British Open is the oldest of all of the major professional golf tournaments, and it still ranks as one of the highest achievements in any golfer's career. It began in Prestwick, Scotland in 1860 as the British Amateur Golf Open. Since that time it has been commonly referred to as simply The Open, and it is circulated through several of the more prominent links golf courses in England and Scotland. The most famous British Open venue remains The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. The Open was played there for the first time in 1873, and has been played there 26 more times since.

PGA Championship

The first PGA Championship was played in 1916, and it coincided with Walter Hagen and a small group of other professional golfers creating the Professional Golfers' Association of America. When the PGA Championship was first introduced it was played as match play where competitors played each other one at a time as opposed to matching scores with the entire field. In 1958 the format was changed to stroke play, and that is how the PGA Championship has been played ever since.


About The Author

George N Root III is a writer that is located in Lockport, NY. Publishing credits include a weekly column in the Lockport Union Sun and Journal along with published articles at BrightHub.com, the SUNY at Buffalo Spectrum, Niagara Falls Gazette, Tonawanda News, Watertown Daily News and the Buffalo News. He has a degree in English from SUNY at Buffalo.

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