In the history of golf, only one player has won a golf Grand Slam, while just five players have won a career Grand Slam. In this piece we look at who has achieved the feat, as well as how they went about it
In the history of golf, only one player has won a golf Grand Slam, while just five players have won a career Grand Slam. In this piece we look at who has achieved the feat, as well as how they went about it.
Just to recap, a golf Grand Slam is the unofficial term used to describe a golfer who wins all four major championships in a calendar year. In the modern era, the Grand Slam requires victories at the US Masters, the US Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
Prior to the creation of The Masters, the US and British Amateur Championships were considered major championships, meaning a golf Grand Slam comprised of consecutive victories at the US Amateur, British Amateur, US Open and The Open.
Only Bobby Jones has ever completed a true golf Grand Slam, while no man has ever won a modern era Grand Slam. The term Grand Slam was actually first applied to Bobby Jones’ achievement after he won the 1930 Open Championship, 1930 US Open, 1930 US Amateur and the 1930 British Amateur. Until then there was no term to describe such a feat because no one had thought it possible.
Tiger Woods has come closest to a modern era golf grand slam, winning what is commonly known as the ‘Tiger Slam’. This was when the American won all four major events consecutively within a 365-day period, but spread over two calendar years in 2000 and 2001. In total Woods has racked up enough majors for three career golf grand slams.
The Golden Bear has also won a career Grand Slam three times, first achieving the feat when he won The Open in 1966. Notching up a total of 18 majors, Nicklaus was just one Open Championship short of a fourth career golf Grand Slam.
Sarazen became the first man to win the modern era career Grand Slam in 1935, when he added The Masters to his final tally of seven majors.
A winner of nine majors, Gary Player completed his career Grand Slam in 1965 when he won his only US Open title.
In 1953 Ben Hogan won the Masters, US Open, and Open Championship, but it was impossible for him to win all four as the PGA Championship clashed with The Open. Thankfully he’d already won that back in 1946. Hogan remains the only player to have won the Masters, US Open and Open Championship in the same calendar year.
A number of famous golfers have failed to achieve the career Grand Slam. Sam Snead and Phil Mickelson are both missing a US Open, while Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson failed to win a PGA Championship. Both Lee Trevino and Rory McIlroy need a green jacket at The Masters to complete the set, while Byron Nelson and Raymond Floyd failed to win The Open Championship.
Next career golf Grand Slam member?
Of the current crop, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are likeliest to join the club, both sitting just one major shy. Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Angel Cabrera then all sit halfway there on two majors each.