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AGE, PRESTIGE, DIFFICULTY AND POPULARITY: What is golf’s top men’s major championship?


Golf is a sport that has many prestigious tournaments, but none more so than the four men's major championships. These are the most coveted titles in the game, and the ultimate test of skill, nerve, and endurance for the world's best golfers. But what are the four majors, and which one is the biggest of them all?


The four majors


The four majors are:


The Masters: The first major of the year, held in April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA. The Masters is an invitational event, with a limited field of about 90 players. The winner receives a green jacket, a gold medal, and a lifetime exemption to the tournament. The Masters is known for its tradition, history, and iconic course design, featuring the famous Amen Corner and the azalea-filled holes. The Masters was first played in 1934, and the most recent champion is Jon Rahm, who won in 2023.


The PGA Championship: The second major of the year, held in May at various locations in the USA. The PGA Championship is hosted by the Professional Golfers' Association of America, and is open to all professional golfers who meet certain criteria. The winner receives the Wanamaker Trophy, a large silver cup, and a five-year exemption to the tournament. The PGA Championship is known for its challenging courses, diverse venues, and strong fields, featuring the top 100 players in the world rankings. The PGA Championship was first played in 1916, and the most recent champion is Brooks Koepka, who won in 2023.


The U.S. Open: The third major of the year, held in June at various locations in the USA. The U.S. Open is hosted by the United States Golf Association, and is open to both professional and amateur golfers who qualify through sectional and local tournaments. The winner receives the U.S. Open Trophy, a gold medal, and a 10-year exemption to the tournament. The U.S. Open is known for its difficulty, fairness, and unpredictability, featuring narrow fairways, thick rough, and fast greens. The U.S. Open was first played in 1895, and the most recent champion is Wyndham Clark, who won in 2023.


The Open Championship: The fourth and final major of the year, held in July at various links courses in the UK. The Open Championship is hosted by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and is open to both professional and amateur golfers who qualify through regional and final tournaments. The winner receives the Claret Jug, a silver trophy, and a 10-year exemption to the tournament. The Open Championship is known for its tradition, prestige, and weather, featuring windy conditions, deep bunkers, and undulating greens. The Open Championship was first played in 1860, and the most recent champion is Brian Harman, who won in 2023.


The biggest major


While all four majors are highly regarded and sought after by golfers and fans alike, there is no definitive answer to which one is the biggest of them all. Each major has its own unique characteristics, history, and appeal, and different players and observers may have different preferences and opinions. However, some possible factors that could influence the ranking of the majors are:


Age: The Open Championship is the oldest of the four majors, dating back to 1860, and is considered by many to be the original and most historic major. The Masters is the youngest of the four majors, dating back to 1934, and is considered by some to be the most modern and innovative major.


Difficultly: The U.S. Open is widely regarded as the toughest of the four majors, with the USGA setting up the courses to challenge the players to the limit. The PGA Championship is also known for its difficulty, with the courses often featuring long holes, thick rough, and water hazards.


Prestige: The Masters is often seen as the most prestigious of the four majors, with its exclusive invitation-only field, its iconic green jacket, and its status as the first major of the year. The Open Championship is also seen as very prestigious, with its rich history, its global appeal, and its status as the oldest major in the world.


Popularity: The Masters is arguably the most popular of the four majors, with its high television ratings, its large fan base, and its recognisable course and traditions. The Open Championship is also very popular, especially in Europe and Asia, with its large crowds, its international coverage, and its varied venues.


Ultimately, the question of which is the biggest major in men's golf is a subjective one, but for First Look Golf it's between The Open and The Masters... and it's very close!


Being British we'll go with the history and the challenge links golf offers. But, what I'd give to play just one hole at Augusta.