The 5th Major
By bkuehn1952 on 10/19/11
The man needs no introduction by now, but at oob we believe those who deserve to be recognized should be recognized. Therefore, it's is my greatest pleasure to share with you Brian "bkuehn1952" Kuehn's latest submission. And in case you missed any of his 26 previous posts, I've linked them out here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Enjoy!

Lee Westwood and others have suggested creating a 5th major. Maybe the time has come to create another major. After all, there is nothing sacred about 4 majors. In fact, we did not always have 4 majors.

Prior to 1934, one could argue there were only 3 professional majors (The US Open, The Open and the PGA). Certainly there were tournaments that the players considered “major” because of the prize money but you don’t see anyone today counting wins at the Western Open as major victories. When Bobby Jones won his Grand Slam, two of the victories were amateur events not open to the top-ranked professionals of the day (the US and British Amateurs). In Jones’ day they were majors but no one counts the Amateurs as majors anymore. If we did, Tiger would only be 3 away from tying Jack.

The first year The Masters was played no one considered it on the same plane as the US Open. It took time for the prestige of winning the Masters to be fully acknowledged as a “major win”. The Open Championship was largely ignored by US professionals for several decades with Hogan playing once and Snead only a few times. It was not until Arnold Palmer went to St. Andrews in 1960 that the US public once again came to view The Open Championship as a major.

If Lee Westwood and others want a 5th major, probably the best place to start is China. While the Chinese do not have the tradition, they certainly have the money and population. Here is what they need to do:
  1. Have the tournament sponsored by their national golf organization or a similar body of national or international stature (e.g. the PGA, Augusta National Golf Club, etc). China needs to create a People’s Republic of China Golf Association (PRCGA) if they have not already. The PRCGA could adopt the role of the USGA and R&A for all Chinese golf along with conducting the PRCGA Open Championship.

  2. The PRCGA Open can’t have a sponsor or presenting sponsor. No “Coca Cola-PRCGA Open brought to you by Gillette.”

  3. A strict qualification process should be used with exemptions given out to those in the top tiers of various golf tour money lists or world rankings. No sponsor’s exemptions, please. Maybe make it truly an open championship by allowing both men and women to attempt to qualify.

  4. A giant silver trophy must be part of the winner’s prize along with 7.5+ million Yuan. It would be even better if the trophy had a clever nickname (e.g. claret jug) or was named after someone (e.g. Wannamaker Trophy). The “Mao Cup” doesn’t really have the right ring to it but they have time to work on the name. Maybe give the winner a red Mao suit?

  5. Maintain the championship for at least 25 years and then wait for the sports writers and public to anoint the tournament as a “major”.

  6. Finally, if all else fails, pass a law that requires all Chinese citizens to consider the PRCGA Open as a major. At least they will have ¼ of the World’s population on board with the idea.
So what have I missed? Should we have a 6th major in Australia or India? Let’s hear from everyone!

This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by Keith Allison

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
The whole concept of "majors" is overblown. Tourneys like US Open, Masters and Open are prestigious based on their own merits and histories, whether or not these terms "major" or "Grand Slam" were ever coined.

I think Tiger's pursuit of Jack's record is, in the current age at least, responsible for the media's fixation on majors. I cringe when some run of the mill pro pontificates about how players' careers are defined by their majors wins. I would tend to think that total wins is ultimately a more meaningful stat than major wins. Sam Snead is one of the top four or five golf legends of all time who did astounding things over the span of his pga tour career but he is forgotten by the golfing public today because he didn't clean up at the "majors", shameful. Meanwhile John Daly is considered an icon because he showed up for two big tourneys, never mind that his overall record as a pro is so poor that he's now reduced to selling tchotchkes in Hooters parking lots to make ends meet.
jrbizzle says:
Yes and no. The reason the majors are treated as such today is because of the quality of competition at said events. You can argue chicken and egg, because so many of the top pros nowadays build their schedule leading up to and following a major that it effects the field of 8 events per year (week before and after) but nonetheless, the competition at majors is unlike pretty much anything else you see.
mjaber says:
I actually think there should be 6 majors. 2 in the US, 2 in Europe, and 2 "floaters" that move throughout the rest of the world.

In my scenario, after the merging of the PGA and European Tour, the PGA Championship is relocated to continental Europe. This creates 2 halves for the PGA Tour season. The first half of the season is played in the US, culminating with the US Open in June. The second half is played in Europe. The final 2 majors are used to open and close the Tour season. The first is played at a randomly chosen location. The last is played either on a different continent than the first, or in the same country as the President's Cup, depending on the year.
ajbaird90 says:
I would like to see something like the WGC Match Play later in the year on a course set up for a major.
jwilder78 says:
Ha, I like the idea of the red Mao suit

Figures that Westwood would push for a 5th major, he'll take all the chances he can get to win one!
Banker85 says:
I would like to see a match play event as well for a major.
mmontisano says:
i'll say it again, if your tournament is over 100 years old, it should be a major. But then that would mean dropping the Masters and PGA Championship, but it would include the South African Open, Australian Open and Canadian Open.

that's sounds "global," right?
joe jones says:
Rather than having another major why don't we start a new tournament called the Old Game Classic. Tee the ball up and don,t touch it until you take it out of the hole. Play it as it lies all the way. No relief from any objects. No cleaning the ball. No marking the ball on the green. Bring back the stymie. Make today,s pro's play the game the way it was invented. Several of my friends and I have done this and had a blast. I play to a 14 and tho I can't hit the ball very far I can keep it in play most of the time. My long knocker buddy's had to concentrate on hitting straight.Good chippers had fun chipping over a ball on the green. Bad chippers had to putt around it. I think this would be a great event on TV if the pro"s buy into it and don't let ego get in the way.
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