Every Golf fan across the world has heard names like PGA Tour, Masters, Open, St. Andrews and Ryder Cup, but have you ever wondered which tournament or tour is the most prestigious amongst the above? In this article, dedicated to the wonderful sport of Golf, I will explain the different so called majors, the PGA Tour and the Ryder Cup.
The two major Golf Tours are the American PGA Tour and the European Tour. Both tours along with the less important Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and the South African Sunshine Tour are organised and governed by the International Federation of PGA Tours. Furthermore, Golf is one of the few professional sports that have lucrative and prestigious competition for older, as well as younger players. Whereas professional golfers over 50 play the U.S. based Champions Tour, promising young golfers play on the American Nationwide Tour or the European Challenge Tour. Both tours are developmental tours for the PGA and European Tour.
All participating golfers are eligible to earn points for the Official World Golf Rankings, which currently headed by Golf`s living legend – the American Tiger Woods. The ranking was introduced in 1986 when the German Legend Bernhard Langer became the first ever ranking leader. Since than 12 different players have occupied Golf`s top spot. Since 1997, Tiger Woods dominated the ranking with brief interruptions by Ernie Els, David Duval and more importantly Vijay Singh.
Besides the discussed Golf Tours, there are 4 highly anticipated yearly events in Golf – the Majors. The first Major of the season is The Masters; this celebrated event is played at the stunningly beautiful Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia since its inception in 1934. The other three Majors are the U.S. Open, The Open Championship in the U.K and the PGA Championship. Opposed to The Masters, the other Majors are held at various Golf Clubs throughout the U.S and the U.K. All four Majors promise the fame and fortune and valuable World Golf Ranking points to the winner.
The most successful Golfer of all time is the American Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 professional Majors in his career. The only living Golfer likely to challenge this outstanding achievement in the foreseeable future is Tiger with his up to date 14 Major victories, furthermore he is the only player in recent history to hold all four Major titles at the same time. Only 5 players in history have won all four titles in their career, which is known as a Career Grand Slam.
Another biennially highlight on the golfing calendar is the famous Ryder Cup. The Trophy, donated by the British Entrepreneur and Golf enthusiast Samuel Ryder, is handed to the winners of the so called Ryder Cup matches since 1927. In early years, this competition was played out between a team of American Golfers and players from Great Britain and Ireland. Since 1979, golfers from all European countries are eligible for selection. The Ryder Cup Matches take place over 3 days and include a total of 28 matches and are alternated between the U.S. and Europe biennially.
Last but not least, I have to mention St. Andrews in Scotland. St. Andrews is considered to be the home of Golf, because Golf is played there since the 15th century. Today it is home to some of the best known and widely loved Golf Clubs and courses, St. Andrews Links consists of seven stunning Golf courses and another Golfing landmark is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, one of two rule making authorities of Golf.
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