Welp, that was quick. The 2021 major golf season has come and gone. With a dash of the 2020 season sprinkled in, we’ve enjoyed six men’s majors since September 2020.
With The Masters 256 days away, expect withdrawal symptoms to kick in anytime now.
Although written in stone, one wonders how the modern Grand Slam’s major events came to be:
- prehistorically, the major events were the Opens and Amateurs of Britain and the USA
- when pros were just slightly less repugnant than the sheep that cut the course’s grass
- Bobby Jones “stormed the impregnable quadrilateral of golf” in 1930, winning all four
We can thank Arnold Palmer and his cronies for the modern day major designations:
- Palmer, after winning the 1960 Masters & US Open, departed for St. Andrews
- en route, he and writer Bob Drum envisioned the Grand Slam as we know today
Timing is everything; prior to this plane ride, issues would have ruined this plan like Monty soiling his shirt at the 1994 US Open playoff:
- PGA was match play until 1958, and ran during or right after the Open
- Open qualifying fell during the PGA’s 36-hole semifinal and final matches
- The Masters wasn’t a thing until 1934 (and took a while to gain traction/notoriety)
- even in Hogan’s magical 1953 year, The Masters didn’t carry the cache it does now
Basically, professional golf’s current majors were decreed as such by a self-serving King and his court jester while tippling back more than a few drinks in a tin can criss-crossing the Atlantic - How Regal!
Although no arguments over the current major events exist, there’s a renewed vigor to include the The Players Championship a major:
- precedent for five majors exists (both LPGA and Champions Tour)
- some players and those who cover golf seem resistant to adding a major to the “rota”
- main argument - it dilutes the historical significance of major winners
Is adding a Fred Funk, Craig Perks, KJ Choi, Tim Clark or Jody Mudd alongside actual major winners like a Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton, Shaun Micheel or a Rich Beem really going to soil the sanctity of being a “major winner”?