The grand slam in golf is when professional golfers win all four major tournament events in the same calendar year. The four tournaments that qualify a golfer for a grand slam are The Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and The Open Championship.
Major Golf Tournaments Required For a Grand Slam:
- The Masters is the first golf major for every golf season. This tournament takes place in Augusta, GA, and was created by Bobby Jones, the first person to achieve what will be known as a grand slam in golf.
- Golfing’s PGA Championship is the second major golf tournament in a professional golf season. The PGA Championship typically takes place in May. The Professional Golfers Association holds this tournament, and winning provides a significant advancement to a golfers career. PGA Championship winners secure their spot to golf at the other three major tournaments for the next five seasons.
- The U.S. Open is the third major tournament that professional golfers can compete in every season. Hosted by the United States Golfing Association (USGA), the U.S. Open is a 72 hole tournament played over four days. The U.S. Open is significant since it has the largest purse out of four major tournaments at $12.5 million.
- The fourth and final major golf tournament that a golfer needs to win to complete a grand slam is The Open Championship. The open is open to all amateur and professional golfers. It is the oldest golf tournament and is also considered the most prestigious to win. Golfers have a significant challenge to end their path to a grand slam.
How Many Golfers Have Won the Grand Slam
Only one golfer, Bobby Jones, has ever completed a grand slam of winning all four major golf tournaments in the same year. A career grand slam is when a golfer wins all four major golf tournaments throughout their career.
The five golfers who have accomplished career grand slams are:
- Jack Nicklaus
- Tiger Woods
- Ben Hogan
- Gary Player
- Gene Sarazen
Only two of the five golfers who have gotten career grand slams have done it more than once. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods both have achieved three grand slams throughout their golfing careers.
Seeing how only five golfers have ever won all four major golf tournaments in a season, it is awe-inspiring to do it more than once.
Jack Nicklaus won 18 major golf titles throughout his golfing career, more than any other player. Tiger Woods has won 15 so far in his career.
History Of The Grand Slam in Golf
Golfing’s Grand Slam was first coined when Bobby Jones won all four major golf tournaments in a single year.
When Bobby Jones was playing in the 1920s and early 1930s, the National Amateur Championships were considered a major golf tournament. In 1930, Bobby Jones won all four major golf tournaments in a single season, the only golfer to ever do this. It was a fantastic feat and still is to this day. People were in awe and were looking for a way to encapsulate how amazing it was for Jones to have done this.
In 1930, baseball was the most popular sport in America. It only makes sense that this golf achievement’s name was based on one of the most significant ways to score in baseball.
When The Master’s tournament started in 1933, it was considered a major golf tournament, ushering in what will now be known as modern-day grand slams.
Other Types of Grand Slams
Women’s Grand Slam
With men’s golf being the most popular golf event, there are grand slams for women’s golf and senior golf. Both women’s golf and senior golf have their own set of major tournaments, and both have their grand slams for winning all of them.
The major tournaments have changed significantly over time in women’s golf, which men’s golf has yet to experience. Right now, there are five major women’s golf tournaments:
- ANA Inspiration
- U.S. Women’s Open
- KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
- The Evian Championship
- The AIG Women’s British Open
Seven women have accomplished a career grand slam in golf. One of the most outstanding achievements in golf, these seven women are:
- Karrie Webb (Only one to win five major tournaments)
- Louise Suggs
- Mickey Wright
- Pat Bradley
- Juli Inkster
- Inbee Park
- Annika Sörenstam
Senior Grand Slams
In addition, to having gender differences in golfing events, there are also specific major golf tournaments for those golfers over the age of 50. This only makes sense since age is a defining factor in athletic ability. Golfers have won major golf tournaments at the age of 19; let’s face it, aging only reduces athletic ability, so having separate tournaments for older golfer’s keeps a fair playing field.
For seniors (over age 50), there are five major golf tournaments:
- The Tradition
- Senior PGA Championship
- Senior Players Championship
- U.S. Senior Open
- The Senior Open Championship
Out of these five tournaments, only two golfers have ever accomplished the feat of a golf grand slam.
Bernhard Langer and Jack Nicklaus are the only two golfers to have the bragging rights of a career grand slam in senior golf.
To accomplish a grand slam, a golfer must be consistent in all areas of golf and comfortable with any golf club. Without a doubt, a grand slam, is one of the most prestigious tasks that a professional golfer can accomplish. Just go back through this list and see how many names you recognize. I am sure it’s more than a few! Their legacy is forever ingrained in the sport by winning all four major golf tournaments throughout their career.