Golf is a year-round sport and that’s one of the reasons why it attracts a loyal following. Aside from a small break around the festive season, there are tournaments played right through the calendar.
Some of those events attract a mixed-quality field while others are packed with the finest golfers from around the world. Here are the biggest tournaments on the circuit and the ones that every golf fan will want to watch.
This is the first Major of the year and, for that reason alone, the US Masters will always showcase the top players in the game. Some months ahead of the 2023 edition, the masters odds are headed by the top golfers in the world rankings, with Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler leading the way.
The US Masters was first held in 1934 and it’s the only one of the ‘Big Four’ to be held on the same course each year. The Augusta National in Georgia is the venue with its lush surroundings and testing 18 holes.
The Masters is popular in its own right, but it also provides a gateway to a great summer of sport in North America and Europe, where golf is most popular. The long winter nights are coming to a close and it’s time to look ahead to more top tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Open Championship
Golf has four Major Championships in the same way that tennis has four Grand Slams. There are events held throughout the year, but all players are aiming to land one of the four biggest prizes.
The Open Championship is the oldest of those Majors and it’s the only one to be held outside of the United States. While the tournament originated in Scotland in 1860, the Open has been hosted by a number of venues in the United Kingdom.
Even those golf fans in the United States will acknowledge that Scotland is the home of the sport. The Open alternates between locations, but the tournament is at its best when it returns to the iconic Old Course at St Andrews. Golf has been played here for over 600 years and the scenery here is some of the most familiar in the sport.
Wherever the Open Championship is played, a strong field will always be guaranteed.
The US Open
Golf returns to the United States for the third Major tournament of the year. The US Open was first held in 1895 and is, therefore, the oldest of the three Stateside events.
It’s another competition to be held on a range of rotating courses and each one provides a different challenge. The US Open attracts another strong field and we’ve seen some dramatic results over the years.
Players from Europe have enjoyed some success in recent editions. England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick will defend his US Open title in 2023, while Spain’s Jon Rahm claimed the title by one shot in 2021.
Home golfers will be looking to reverse that run when the US Open heads to the Los Angeles Country Club in 2023.
The PGA Championship
Completing the list of four Majors is the PGA Championship. It may be considered as the less prestigious of the ‘big four’ but a strong and competitive field will always be in action across the four days.
The PGA Championship was first held in 1916 and, in recent years, it’s been switched from a traditional August start to May. Chronologically, it is now the second major of the year and, in 2023, the tournament will take place at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
It’s a tournament steeped in history and some of the biggest names in the sport have won the PGA Championship. With five overall wins, the great Jack Nicklaus jointly holds the record for most tournament victories, alongside Walter Hagen.
The Players Championship
There are a number of events on the PGA Tour that are referred to as the ‘Fifth Major’, but The Players Championship has the best claims of them all. This event has two main factors in its favor; it’s played on a fiendishly testing course which provides a backdrop of stunning scenery.
As a result, The Players Championship will always attract a big viewing audience, and a strong field will follow. It takes place on the spectacular TPC Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The island green on the 17th can end a challenge for any player who drifts into the water, and this hole is widely considered to be the most recognizable in golf.
Those are the big five events, but there are many more on the PGA Tour and also the DP World Tour. In most weeks, top golf tournaments will be taking place on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, but these five are the biggest and the best.