What Are The Majors For The Professional Tours?

majors for the professional tours

What are the Majors for the Professional Tours?

Legend says that the modern concept of the golf Majors was conceived by Arnold Palmer on a plane flight to the (British) Open Championship in 1960. Palmer, who had won the Masters and the US Open was asked by Pittsburgh sports writer Bob Drum about Bobby Jones’ accomplishment in winning the US Amateur, the US Open, the British Open Championship and the British Amateur. Palmer agreed that feat would never be duplicated but suggested that a “modern” equivalent could be found in winning the Masters, the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship.

The King had spoken. The Majors were born.

It’s interesting to speculate however, about what might have been if Palmer had named another quartet. The Masters, US and British Opens were obvious accomplishments. I don’t think the PGA was. He could easily have named the Western Open, a tournament with a very long and prestigious history. Or perhaps the Los Angeles Open, which has been played since 1923 and had always attracted a stellar cast.

If he had chosen the Western, or LA Open (now the Northern Open), the PGA Tour would have been much more happy. As it is, the PGA Tour—the richest and arguably the best professional golf tour—“owns” none of the Majors. Augusta National owns the Masters, the US Open is administered by the USGA, the British Open by the Royal and Ancient, and the PGA Championship by the PGA Of America (which is NOT the same thing as the PGA Tour) That’s why the PGA Tour is so desperately trying to get the Players designated as the “Fifth Major,” in spite of its total lack of history (it was created in 1974).

The Majors for the men’s professionals are well known. But what about the other tours? The PGA European Tour recognizes the four men’s majors. Beyond that, the Dubai World Tour Championship is likely the most important event. I think that at some level, it must rankle the European Tour that three of the four majors are on US soil.

A list of Majors for the professional tours follows:

PGA TOUR and European Tour:
The Masters
The US Open
The (British) Open Championship
The PGA Championship

US Women’s Open
LPGA Championship
ANA Inspiration (formerly, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, aka the Dinah Shore)
Women’s British Open
Evian Championship

Champions Tour
Senior PGA Championship
US Senior Open
Senior PGA Championship
Senior Players Championship
The Tradition
Senior (British) Open Championship

European Seniors Tour
Senior PGA Championship
US Senior Open
British Senior Open

Ladies European Tour
Evian Masters
Womens British Open

LPGA of Japan
World Ladies Championship
Japan Open
JLPGA Championship
JLPGA Tour Championship

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2 thoughts on “What Are The Majors For The Professional Tours?”

  1. Dear Golf Blogger:

    In 1960 when Palmer spoke with Bob Drum and named the four tournaments which would become the modern majors, the Masters had only been played 27 times.  Your article says that one reason the Players Championship should not be considered as a major due to “…its total lack of history”.  The Players has been contested a total of 33 times.


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