Swinging into golf season
A beginner’s guide to the PGA tour’s four majors
I have a confession. I’m a girl who loves watching golf.
Yes, it isn’t all that common especially since I’m 22 and have only picked up a club once or twice. But, to me watching golf is just as relaxing as a Sunday morning yoga class or a walk in the park. You can even eat your brunch while watching it.
Plus, between April and August, golf is at its best because of the four PGA major championships that just so nicely fit into the season. So you’re just in time to start paying attention to this thrilling sport.
I jumped for joy when I realized the Masters was being played April 5–8. Over the Easter long weekend no less.
Set on the gorgeous Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The course features the smell of magnolia trees as you watch the sweeping pans of this luscious course. You can most definitely feel the excitement.
This tournament is so deeply rooted in tradition that I can already give you the play by play of the last round: anticipation will start to build as the leader rounds Amen Corner and plays holes 11 through 13. Players will so gracefully cross Hogan and Nelson bridges while leading up to Sarazen bridge on hole 15 where the “shot heard round the world” took place.
As the golfers finish their round they’ll head to the picturesque clubhouse while they wait to see if the green jacket will become theirs in Butler Cabin.
Are you relaxed yet? I am.
The U.S. Open
A day on the couch with the U.S. Open is all my Dad wants on Father’s Day every year. With the final round always coinciding with the celebration, it’s an easy gift to give.
This year’s tournament falls on the weekend of June 14th to 17th and is the 112th edition. As a rotating competition, the 2012 U.S. Open will be played at San Francisco’s Olympic Club. I always find the U.S. Open to be a little lackluster in comparison to the Masters, but its still a must-watch golf event.
One of the major differences between the Masters and the U.S. Open is that while you have to be invited to play at the Masters, any amateur or professional golfer with a USGA handicap of 1.4 or lower and who finishes high enough in qualifying rounds can play. Want to play? Register here: champs.usga.org/index.html.
The British Open
Don’t make a rookie mistake and call the U.S. Open “the Open” or you’ll probably get kicked off the golf course (or the couch). The British Open-more commonly known as the Open Championship only garners that title.
In contrast to the Masters and the U.S. Open, the British Open is played overseas in what might not always be the most idyllic conditions. I wouldn’t count on seeing pretty flowers and leaves dancing in the breeze here as you’re more likely to witness sand blowing into the player’s faces. The type of golf course is also extremely different in that it is a links style course played. Links courses are usually near the coast and have few trees with a much rougher feel to them.
This year’s championship will be played at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England from July 19th to 22nd.
The PGA Championship
If Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major this year by now, expect the veins in his arms to be pulsating when the PGA championship kicks off August 9th at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
The last major of the season, the PGA always has an interesting atmosphere to it. Depending on how the top tier of golf does in the first three, the PGA championship either offers them a chance at redemption or the possibility that we will all be saying they really sucked this year. Sweat might be dripping for another reason too as hot weather has played a factor in many recent PGAs.
Overall, watch for the battle of Tiger Woods versus Rory McIlroy but don’t be surprised if we have four different winners for each tournament this year. With big names like Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Bubba Watson all contending, you can place your bets pretty much anywhere. I’m pulling for Sergio Garcia to finally win one too – the guy tries so hard.