Skip to main content

What are the four men’s golf major championships?

minute read

    The four PGA major championships are the premier events in the men’s game and also a treat for golf fans. Professional golf can be an intensely competitive sport requiring a multifaceted skill set and immense powers of concentration. But there’s no other feeling in sports like the hush turning to roars from the crowd at the 18th hole when a pro golfer sinks a putt to win their first major championship.

    The four majors are the highest purse tournaments which can define a sportsman’s career, played at some of the most prestigious courses in the country, such as Oakmont, Pine Valley, Pebble Beach and Southampton.

    Read on to learn about the legends of the game who’ve won the most major championships, as well as the tournament venues for the 2024-2025 seasons.

    What’s the calendar order of the golf majors?

    The four tournaments chronological order are as follows:

    • The Masters, which takes place every April at the famed at Augusta National club in Georgia
    • The PGA Championship in May, which was previously held at the end of the season, rather than in mid-spring
    • The U.S. Open in June
    • The British Open in July

    The Masters

    The Masters touts itself as the most prestigious golf tournament in the world. Both the Augusta Country Club and the Masters tournament were co-founded in the 1930s by golf legend Bobby Jones. Retired South African pro Gary Player holds the record for the most Masters competed in, making the tournament cut 52 times between the 1950s and the 2000s—a record unlikely to be broken.

    Jon Rahm Rodriguez, who hails from Spain’s Basque country, won The Masters green jacket in 2023. Rahm bested Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson to win the jacket and gold medal.

    The PGA Championship

    The PGA Championship purse is usually the second-largest of the four major men’s tournaments. It is considered among the most difficult tournaments, played on some of the most challenging courses in the world. Pros frequently encounter tough tee shots through narrow fairways situated between bunkers and water obstacles. In May 2023 Brooks Koepka claimed his third career PGA Championship title at western New York’s Oak Hill Country Club.

    The PGA Championship rotates between some of the most prestigious courses in the country, and will be played at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, KY, May 13-19, 2024 and Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC, in May 2025

    The U.S. Open

    The U.S. Open is usually the third-largest purse of the four major men’s tournaments. Brooks Koepka is the most recent back-to-back winner, taking the championship in 2017 and 2018. Denver, Colorado-native Wyndham Clark, a former classmate of San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and the son of a pro tennis player, won in 2023 at the Los Angeles Country Club. Clark outlasted one of the best in the game, Rory McIlroy, to win a championship-record $3.6 million payout.

    The U.S. Open will be played at Pinehurst Country Club, NC, from June 13-16, 2024 and Oakmont Country Club, PA, from June 12-15.

    The British Open or simply The Open

    First played in 1860, the British Open is the oldest professional golf tournament in the world. It is formally referred to as The Open, because it was the first tournament of its kind in the United Kingdom before the U.S. and other countries established their own major tournaments.

    The Open is played the third weekend every July, rotating between English and Scottish courses, so summer rains in England and Scotland can often make this the most rain-soaked of the four major tournaments. Brisk winds and soggy fairways can often challenge even the meticulous driving and putting games of the best pros.

    In 2023, Georgia’s Brian Harman won at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Holyoke, England.

    The next British Open tournaments will be played July 14-21 at the Royal Troon in Scotland and at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, July 13-20, 2025. The Royal Portrush was the venue for the Open in 2019 and 1951.

    What is it called if a golfer wins all four major championships?

    A golfer winning all four major tournaments is known as a Grand Slam, named after a bases-loaded home run in baseball. Interestingly this is also the same name given to winning all four major tournaments in professional tennis (both men and women).

    Only one player, the legendary Bobby Jones, won all four major golf tournaments in a single season, back in 1930. Jones subsequently retired from professional golf to practice law but returned to the game as a player-host at the inaugural Masters in 1934.

    Who has won the most major championships?

    Only five players have won all four tournaments: the list starts with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who have won 18 and 15 major titles respectively, joined by Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen.

    The “Tiger Slam” named for Tiger Woods involves winning four consecutive major titles, but not in the same season.

    There are 12 players who have won three out of four majors but were unable to complete a grand slam: Among them are golf legends Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Tom Watson.

    Phil Mickelson has finished second at the U.S. Open six times only to miss out on completing a Grand Slam.

    Among the notable younger players on the tour, North Texas-native Jordan Spieth won three legs of the Grand Slam before the age of 24.

    In conclusion: the majors champions class of 2023’s prospects for 2024

    Brooks Koepka has won 5 majors in the last 6 years, and the Florida native is carrying that win streak into a promising 2024 season. Koepka is one to watch as he and other 2023 majors winners are well positioned to build their championship legacies at Augusta, Valhalla, Pinehurst and Royal Troon in 2024.

    What to read next