Golf's Major Championships: Glory on the Greens

Nathan Chandler

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About This Quiz

Each year, there are hundreds of four-day golf tournaments held around the world. But players covet the major championships, the ones with hefty paychecks and the legendary status that can turn workaday golfers into worldwide stars. How much do know about golf's major championships?

How many championships comprise golf's major championships?

There are four golf championships that make up "the majors," the most prestigious tournaments in professional golf. The majors are golf's biggest prizes.

Which major is played in April?

The Masters is played each year in April amid the spring greenery and lushness that is Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

U.S. Open courses are now typically played on courses that have which par?

Most tour events are played at courses with par 72. U.S. Open courses are usually par 70, making them significantly harder.

Which pro golfer has won the most majors?

Jack Nicklaus, known by his nickname Golden Bear, won 18 majors during his legendary career. Tiger Woods, with 14 major titles, is second.

How many of the four majors are played in the United States?

Three of the majors are held in the U.S. The British Open, of course, is always played in the United Kingdom.

The majors feature golf's biggest cash prizes.

There are other tournaments with bigger cash prizes. Players want to win majors for the prestige, fame and resulting endorsements.

Which major is often simply called "The Open"?

The Open Championship is often called simply "The Open" or the "British Open." It is always played in the middle of July.

Which major is the last to be played during the golf season?

The PGA Championship is the fourth and final major tournament of each season. It is played in the middle of August.

How many of the majors are played at the same course every year?

There's only one major played at the same course each year -- it's The Masters, which is always played within the luxurious confines of Augusta National.

Which golfer has won the third most major titles?

Between 1914 and 1929, Walter Hagen snagged 11 major titles. He won the PGA Championship five times.

Walter Hagen never won which major?

Hagen was a brilliant golfer who was incredibly successful, particularly at the British Open and the PGA, but he never did manage to win The Masters.

Which state has hosted the most PGA Championships?

With 12 PGAs to its credit, New York has hosted the most PGA Championships. It is followed by Pennsylvania, with nine.

In what year were players finally permitted to bring their own caddies to The Masters?

Until 1983, players were forced to use one of the club's local caddies, who were invariably black, a fact that did not sit well with some human rights activists.

If a golfer wins any one of the major tournaments, he gains a qualifying exemption for all four majors. How long does that exemption last?

Golfers that win a major get free passes to all four major tournaments for five years. Each of the majors has its own additional rules regarding exemptions.

As of 2016, the British Open changes locations each year. How many courses are part of the Open's rotation?

There are currently nine courses in the British Open's rotation. The most famous is the Old Course at St. Andrews, in Scotland.

Most of the majors allow the same number of players to compete. How big are the fields?

The major tournaments typically allow 156 players to compete. Some of those players must qualify; others have earned exemptions through other means.

Which major is often characterized by incredibly difficult rough?

U.S. Open planners tend to be sadistic -- they make the courses very difficult, with especially tall rough that punishes errant shots. Players often complain loudly about the unfairness of Open rough.

What year was the British Open added as an official PGA tour event?

The British Open has been around forever, but it wasn't added to the official PGA tour event list until 1995. This change allowed the Open's winner to add his prize money to his overall winnings for the season.

The PGA Championship is almost always played in which part of the country?

The PGA was first played in New York and since then has almost always been featured at Eastern courses. However, it will be played in San Francisco in 2020.

Which of the majors is oldest?

The British Open has been around since America's Civil War era. It was first played in 1860, making it by far the oldest major.

When was the first U.S. Open played?

The first U.S. Open was played in 1895, at a short course in Rhode Island. The 36-hole tournament lasted just a single day.

The British Open occasionally ends in a tie. How does this major determine a winner?

The British Open uses a four-hole aggregate playoff to break a tie. If there's still a tie after the playoff, the golfers move to a sudden-death format.

At which major is the winner awarded with a coveted green jacket?

The Masters has all sorts of weird (and somewhat stifling) traditions. Each winner receives a custom-fitted green jacket, and only the current champ can wear his jacket off of club property.

If there's a tie on Sunday, which major is the only one to feature a full 18-hole playoff on Monday?

If there's a tie when the four-day tournament ends, only the U.S. Open holds an 18-hole playoff the following day to determine the winner. This fact makes the Open a potentially grueling affair.

Women may play in the men's U.S. Open.

There are no restrictions on women playing in the U.S. Open. Any professional or amateur golfer can attempt to qualify -- but whether you're a man or women, it's not easy.

In what year was the first Masters tournament played?

The Masters debuted in 1934. The tournament was suspended during World War II years -- farmers used the course to grow livestock for the war effort.

How many times has Jack Nicklaus won The Masters?

Nicklaus has more Masters wins than any other golfer -- he has six green jackets to his name. Tigers Woods and Arnold Palmer both have four.

How much money did the Masters winner claim for his 2014 tournament victory?

For winning the 2014 Masters, Bubba Watson received a $1.6 million prize. It's big money, but it paled in comparison to prizes at some less prestigious events.

What's the lowest winning score ever at the British Open?

In 2016, Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson won the British Open in spectacular fashion -- he set a tournament record of -20 at Royal Troon. It was his first major title and the first ever by a Swede.

How many amateurs have won the British Open?

Pro golfers obviously have the upper hand at all majors, including the British Open. However, six amateurs have won this major. The last amateur winner was in 1930.

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