The golf majors, also known as the Grand Slam events, represent the pinnacle of achievement in professional golf. These four prestigious tournaments, steeped in history and tradition, attract the best golfers worldwide and captivate fans with their unique challenges and iconic venues. The majors are the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship.
Collectively, these four majors define the narrative of professional golf, shaping the legacies of players and contributing to the rich tapestry of the sport’s history. Whether it’s the blooming azaleas at Augusta, the challenging links of The Open, the demanding conditions of the U.S. Open, or the diverse courses of the PGA Championship, each major offers a distinct and captivating chapter in the ongoing story of golf’s greatest tournaments. As golf enthusiasts eagerly await each major, they anticipate the triumphs, challenges, and indelible moments that continue to make these events some of the most celebrated in the world of sports.
In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on the four golf majors for 2024, along with other exciting events in the golfing world.
Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia
When: 11-14th April, 2024
Defending champion: John Rahm
2023 purse: $18 million
The Masters Tournament, held annually at Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club, is perhaps the most revered of the golf majors. Known for its lush green fairways, blooming azaleas, and treacherous Augusta National layout, the Masters is a tradition unlike any other and signifies the beginning of the golf season.
Augusta’s undulating greens and strategically placed hazards demand precision and finesse, making it a test of both skill and nerve. The iconic green jacket awaits the player who conquers Augusta’s challenges, and the tournament is synonymous with legendary moments, including Tiger Woods’ historic comeback victory in 2019.
The Open Championship
Where: Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland
When: 18th-21st July, 2024
Defending champion: Brian Harman
2023 purse: $16.5 million
The Open Championship, often referred to simply as The Open, is the oldest major in golf and is held on classic links courses in the UK. The unique seaside conditions, unpredictable weather, and deep bunkers distinguish The Open from other majors. Courses like St Andrews, Royal St George’s, and Royal Troon have hosted historic battles for the Claret Jug. The Open’s storied history includes legendary performances like Tom Watson’s ‘Duel in the Sun’ against Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and Phil Mickelson’s triumph at Muirfield in 2013.
The PGA Championship
Where: Valhalla GC, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
When: 16-19th May, 2024
Defending champion: Brooks Koepka
2023 purse: $17.5 million
The PGA Championship is played on a variety of courses across the US, showcasing the versatility and adaptability of the world’s top golfers. The tournament has undergone various format changes over the years but consistently delivers intense competition. Iconic moments include John Daly’s improbable victory in 1991 and Rory McIlroy’s record-breaking win at Kiawah Island in 2012.
The US Open
Where: Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No.2), North Carolina, USA
When: 13-16th June, 2024
Defending champion: Wyndham Clark
2023 purse: $20 million
The U.S. Open is known for its demanding courses and tough conditions. It crowns the best overall golfer who can navigate the course’s intricacies and handle the mental and physical challenges. The tournament has produced memorable moments, such as Jack Nicklaus’ ‘Bear Trap’ triumph in 1980 at Baltusrol and Tiger Woods’ incredible playoff victory at Torrey Pines in 2008.
What are the Signature events for the PGA TOUR in 2024?
Eight Signature events are taking place on the 2024 PGA Tour. The full list of these are:
The Sentry Tournament of Champions, on 4-7th January in The Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, on 29th January to 4th February at Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
The Genesis Invitational, on 12-18th February at The Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles
Arnold Palmer Invitational, on 7-10th March at Bay Hill Golf Course, Orlando
RBC Heritage, on 15-21st April, at Harbour Town Golf Links, South Carolina
Wells Fargo Championship, on 6-12th May at Quail Hollow Club, North Carolina
The Memorial Tournament, on 3rd-9th June at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Ohio
Travelers Championship, on 17th-23rd June at TPC River Highlands, Connecticut
Non-major golf competitions in 2024
In addition to the four major championships, many important golf events attract significant attention and feature top-level competition. We’ve outlined a few below, with their details for 2024.
The PLAYERS Championship
Often considered the unofficial ‘fifth major’, the PLAYERS Championship is an annual golf tournament considered one of the most prestigious events on the PGA Tour. Founded in 1974, this elite-status tournament is held at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Renowned for its challenging and iconic 17th hole, known as the ‘Island Green’, it attracts top golfers from around the world.
The tournament always takes place in March and boasts one of the largest purses on the PGA Tour, emphasising its significance in the golfing world. Winners not only secure a substantial financial reward but also receive a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
In 2024, the PLAYERS Championship will be on 12-17th March, with players looking to take the cup from 2023 winner Scottie Scheffler.
Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup
The Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup are premier team golf competitions that pit the best male and female players from Europe against those from the US. Both are celebrated for the passion and national pride they evoke, with fans from both sides of the Atlantic eagerly anticipating the fierce competition and sportsmanship that define these team events. The Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup hold a special place in golf history, contributing to the global appeal of the sport.
In 2024, the Solheim Cup will be hosted on 10-14th September at Virginia’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. This means the Ryder Cup will be back in 2025. The current cup holders from 2023 (as the alternate scheduling was impacted by Covid) are Europe.
FedEx Cup Playoffs
The FedEx Cup Playoffs constitute a series of four culminating tournaments on the PGA Tour, marking the end of the professional golf season. Introduced in 2007, this playoff system is designed to add excitement and intensity to the conclusion of the season, culminating in the crowning of the FedEx Cup champion. The playoffs consist of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the BMW Championship, the Tour Championship, and the season-opening event, The Wyndham Championship.
Here are the 2024 details:
FedEx St. Jude Championship – 15-18th August, TPC Southwind, Memphis
2023 winner: Lucas Glover
BMW Championship – 19th-22nd September, Wentworth Club, Surrey
2023 winner: Viktor Hovland
The Tour Championship – 29th August to 1st September, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta
2023 winner: Viktor Hovland
The Wyndham Championship – 7-11th August, Sedgefield Country Club, North Carolina
2023 winner: Lucas Glover
This biennial team competition features a U.S. team against an international team (excluding Europe). Established in 1994 as a counterpart to the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup follows a similar format in the spirit of international competition. It consists of various match-play formats, including foursomes, four-ball, and singles matches. Like the Ryder Cup, this contest aims to showcase the world’s best golf talent and promote goodwill and sportsmanship among nations.
The 2023 winner was Team USA. In 2024, it will take place on 24-29th September at Montreal’s Royal Montreal Golf Club.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational
The Arnold Palmer Invitational is an annual professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour, held in honour of the legendary golfer it’s named after. Established in 1979, the tournament has become one of the premier events on the PGA Tour, attracting top players and offering a significant purse. Winning this tournament holds special significance for players and it’s celebrated for its traditions, with the iconic red cardigan awarded to the winner.
In 2024, it will be held at the Bay Hill Golf Course in Orlando, with a purse of $20m.
The Memorial Tournament
Founded by Jack Nicklaus, The Memorial Tournament is held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio. It attracts a strong field of competitors, including many of the world’s top-ranked golfers, who vie for a huge payout and the prestigious title. The tournament is known for its challenging course conditions, strategic layout, and the iconic Golden Bear statue that overlooks the 18th green. The event is also praised for its charitable contributions.
In 2024, The Memorial Tournament will be played from 6-9th June, with a purse of $20m.
Wells Fargo Championship
The Wells Fargo Championship attracts a competitive field, featuring some of the top golfers in the world who’ll play for a significant purse and valuable FedExCup points. The tournament serves as a lead-up to The Players Championship and is considered an important event in the early part of the PGA Tour season. The Wells Fargo Championship has produced memorable moments and has seen renowned golfers claim victory, contributing to its status as a prominent stop on the tour.
In 2024, the Wells Fargo Championship will take place for its final edition on 6-12th May, offering its $20 million purse for the last time.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions
Established in 1953, this year-opening tournament has undergone several format changes, and the current structure invites only those players who have won a PGA Tour event in the previous calendar year. This unique qualification criterion ensures that the field comprises only the previous year’s tournament winners, creating an elite competition featuring some of the best golfers in the world.
The location at the Plantation Course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, offers stunning ocean views and challenging terrain, contributing to the tournament’s allure. The event not only serves as a competitive start to the golf season but also allows players to enjoy the picturesque setting of Maui.
What golf tournaments are in St Andrews in 2024?
St Andrews is part of the rotation for The Open Championship, though it won’t be held there in 2024. The Old Course at St. Andrews is especially iconic and has hosted The Open many times.
Additionally, St Andrews hosts various amateur and collegiate tournaments, as well as events like the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a professional tournament on the European Tour where players compete on St Andrews, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns. These are the specific events that will take place there in 2024:
Golf Guide Tour, on 25th March
Rule Trophy, on 1st June
Andrews Links Trophy, on 7th June
Junior Ladies Open, on 5th August
Junior Boys Open, on 5th August
Eden Tournament, on 12th August
Strathtyrum Tournament, on 12th August
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