The Grand Slam in men's golf is an unofficial concept,
having changed over time. The Grand Slam is taken either as
holding the championship of all four of the major championships
simultaneously, or by the more strict winning the four major
championships of a calendar year.
In annual playing order the modern majors are:
- April - The Masters
- June - The US Open Championship (referred to as the "US Open")
- July - The Open Championship (referred to as the "British Open" to
distinguish it from the US Open)
- August - PGA Championship
The term "Grand Slam" was first applied to Bobby Jones' achievement of
winning the four major golfing events of 1930: the U.S. and British Opens, and
the U.S. and British Amateurs.
The modern definition could not be applied until at least 1934, when The
Masters was founded, and still carried little weight in 1953 when Ben Hogan,
after winning The Masters, the US and British Opens, could not compete in the
PGA Championship; the nearly concurrent PGA Championship and the British Open
and the state of cross-Atlantic travel made completing the Grand Slam
impossible. Hogan is the only player to have won The Masters, and the US and
British Opens in the same calendar year.
Tiger Woods has come closest to meeting the modern definition of golf's Grand
Slam by holding all four modern major championships simultaneously — the 2000
U.S. and British Opens, the 2000 PGA Championship, and the 2001 Masters —
although not in the same calendar year. This has been referred to as a
Consecutive Grand Slam or, after the only player to achieve it, a Tiger
Only five golfers have won all four of golf's modern Majors at any time
during their career, an achievement which is often referred to as a Career
Grand Slam: Gene Sarazen, Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Woods.
Nicklaus has three Career Grand Slams, having won each major at least three
times, while Woods has two, having won each major at least twice.
A number of dominant players of their eras have failed to achieve the Career
Grand Slam because of their inability to win a particular major. Sam Snead
failed to win a U.S. Open; Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson failed to win a PGA
Championship; Lee Trevino failed to win a Masters. This has been attributed to a
particular major being ill suited to the player's game, to the player's
inability to fully adapt to that major, and to just sheer bad luck.
The Women's Grand Slam
Women's golf also has a set of majors. No woman has completed a four major
Grand Slam, but Babe Zaharias won all three majors contested in 1950 and Sandra
Haynie won both majors in 1974.
Six women have completed the Career Grand Slam by winning four different
majors. There are variations in the set of four tournaments involved as the
players played in different eras, and the women's tournaments defined as
"majors" have varied considerably over time in a way that has not been
paralleled in the men's game. The six are Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Annika
Sörenstam, Louise Suggs, Karrie Webb, and Mickey Wright.