Happy New Year, fellow golf enthusiasts!
With the men’s golf world remaining in a state of flux, I wanted to look forward to some of the key events in men’s golf throughout 2024.
I personally am pretty fed up with the state of the pro game at the moment, but I’m hopeful a resolution can be found and harmony can be restored.
My personal view is the players and tours have overvalued the sport, which I think is understandable given the astronomical figures being thrown around for some of the worlds greatest stars to join LIV.
It will be interesting to see how the PGA Tour’s elevated events play out. But I want to see bigger fields over 4 rounds, WITH a cut!
So that leads me to the majors! Although it’s too early to get an idea as to picks for each tournament, it’s nice to have something to look forward to isn’t it?!
🌸 The Masters (April 11-14, Augusta National, Georgia)
Newest (and possibly last?!) LIV rebel, Jon Rahm stormed to victory in 2023. A fitting tribute on the anniversary of Seve's last Masters victory and his Birthday. I often wonder how he would have felt about the fractured nature of his (our!) beloved game!
The mecca of golf geeks! What a venue. I for one love Masters week. It marks the start of the golf season in the UK. As evenings start to get longer and (fingers crossed) the weather improves, the Masters at Augusta National is something I cling on to during the cold, wet and dark winter months.
I had the fortune of going to Augusta in 2017 and I can assure you, it’s everything you imagine and more. The 10th hole is one of the most breathtaking holes I’ve ever seen! The 5th is a beast of a hole, which I’m delighted now gets more air time than it used to. 6 is a wonderful par 3. The tier back right is absolutely tiny!! The whole place is mind-blowing! It’s the toughest walk I’ve ever had on a golf course.
One great memory I have is being able to get into one of the cabins and out front they have a putting green which is a mini replica of the 18th green. I remember having a quick putting competition with a pal and turned round to see Bernhard Langer having a putt with one of his sons, whilst wearing his green jacket!
All can change on the back 9 on Sunday. WIth Big Rahmbo defending this year… will the reduced schedule on LIV be a help or a hindrance?!
⛳ The PGA Championship (May 16-19, Valhalla GC, Kentucky)
The LIV schedule certainly helped out last years winner, Brooks Koepka, who edged out Viktor Hovland amongst others in 2023.
This year will be played at Valhalla Golf Club, the 4th time the venue has hosted this championship. It also hosted the 2008 Ryder Cup, but we won’t go into that too much…. Europe took a solid beating!
Rory McIlroy will be returning to the scene of his last major win. I’m hoping by the time he arrives this year, he’ll have completed his slam!
🌲 The U.S. Open (June 13-16, Pinehurst No. 2, North Carolina)
LACC was a winner in 2023 (bar the corporate crowds and zero atmosphere!!). It was a really cool layout. Wyndham Clark showed some real stones with a strong final round to edge out Rory.
This year will be at the Pinehurst resort and the brutal No. 2 course hosting it’s 5th US Open and only the second since the re-design by Coore and Crenshaw back in 2011, bringing it back to the original Donald Ross design.
Kaymer was the victor there last time out, who remarkably chipped and putted around the bunkers due to his chipping woes.
This place is a bucket list location for me. It now has 9 (!) 18 hole courses and a 9 hole course which looks incredible! One day I’ll get there and I’ll look forward to telling you all about it!!!
🏴 The Open Championship (July 18-21, Royal Troon, Scotland)
A soaking wet Royal Liverpool saw Brian Harman take the Claret Jug last year. I played the course a few weeks after and it’s a solid test of golf, but not my favourite of venues. I also had a similar experience with the weather though!
This year, one of my favourite and I think under-rated Open venues, Royal Troon, will host the 152nd Open Championship.
Yes THE OPEN, NOT The British Open!!
Famous for its 'Postage Stamp' 8th hole (can be a sand wedge or a 5 iron on any given day!), will challenge the runners and riders.
Six consecutive Opens at Troon were won by Americans, from 1962 through 2004, ended by Henrik Stenson of Sweden in 2016. Who can forget that last Open there?! Henrik Stenson shot a final round 63 to edge out Mickelson on the final day. The golf played by those two that day was remarkable!
I sincerely hope 2024 will be mark the point where normality returns in professional golf. I hope The PGA Tour and LIV finally agree a deal to reunite the golfing world. I hate the squabbling, the greed and the lack of events where the best play against the best. Without this, the game will suffer and people will turn off.... Let that be a warning to you!
Stay tuned for more insights, more news and be sure to leave a comment on what you’d like to see from us throughout 2024!
In the meantime, I hope you can avoid the weather and get some early reps in!