Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ranking the majors, a personal list

For the next few days, we’ll be treated to watching the British Open from Turnberry where we’ll see dozens of images of the famous lighthouse with the Ailsa Craig in the distance.

If this Open Championship lives up to its reputation, it will give us a healthy dose of weather, a lesson in links golf and a Hall of Fame champion.

It got me thinking about the four major championships and how I’d rank them in terms of my personal favorites.

1. The Masters
It’s my favorite for so many reasons. It starts with Augusta National, the perfect stage for tournament golf. The place is beautiful and no matter how often you go there, it’s still mesmerizing.

Throw in the history, the elegance, the ghosts, the 12th hole, the 13th hole, the clubhouse, the big tree behind the clubhouse, the azaleas, Sarazen’s deuce, the spirit of Bobby Jones, even the pimento cheese sandwiches, and, in my mind, there’s nothing better in golf.

2. The Open Championship
I love that it’s called the Open Championship, though we know it more as the British Open. It’s truly the world’s golf championship and more than any other major, it brings everything into play.

It challenges players physically in the wind, rain and chill. It requires imagination to play links golf. It rewards power but it also rewards creativity and doesn’t put an undue emphasis on putting.

Its history is the story of golf and the feeling of being there (I’ve been fortunate to cover two Opens) is unlike any other event. If you’ve ever considered making the journey, take my advice – do it. You won’t regret it.

3. The U.S. Open
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say the U.S. Open is fun, not that it tries to be. It’s big, mean and unrelenting. It’s golf’s version of a marathon.

I like the U.S. Open much better now that Mike Davis has taken over the course set-up, making it fairer and more interesting. The USGA loves creating what it believes to be the ultimate test of a golfer.

Too often, the courses are too hard but the U.S. Open is about handling difficulty. The last man standing usually wins.

4. The PGA Championship

It may be fourth on the list but I really like the PGA, which isn’t so hung up on score as the Masters and U.S. Open. It’s played on an outstanding course and it’s okay if the best players make some birdies.

It may not get the same respect or adulation as the others but it’s a true major championship.

It’s no secret the folks at Quail Hollow want to host a PGA Championship sometime down the road. Don’t be surprised if it happens.


Anonymous said...

You know I think if you put a damn donkey in front of a keyboard this is the kind of nonsense he'd produce.

Anonymous said...

Response to 10:57 - Good point, just look at the rubbish you managed to type!

Thanks for your thoughts Ron.

shawn said...

good article ron, major championships are great entertainment and interesting even to the casual fan, and the donkey comment is ridiculous, i think old ronny would beet the hell out of you, or in better terms "stomp your donkey" so shut your pie hole punk

Anonymous said...

Wimbledon is the best one.