Which of the four major championships is the best test of golf?

By Jay CoffinJuly 15, 2011, 10:59 am

The four men's major championships offer varying degrees of difficulties, but which one offers the best test of golf? GolfChannel.com editorial director Jay Coffin and senior writer Rex Hoggard weigh in with their opinions: 


SANDWICH, England – Granted, this comes nearly a month after a young lad shot 16 under to win, but the U.S. Open is still the best test of major championship golf.

The other three majors are great tests for various reasons – The Masters for short game, the Open Championship for dealing with weather, the PGA Championship for a stacked field – but the U.S. Open is the one week a year where every phase of a player’s game is tested on every hole.

Naysayers will take the stance that the U.S. Open is not the best test because there is no skill required to hack a shot out of thick rough from a fairway. The skill comes in the pressure while standing on the tee box knowing you have to find the fairway. If not you’re staring a bogey or worse square in the face.

If you do find the fairway, there is more pressure to hit the center of the green and two-putt for par. How many 8-footers for par does a player usually have to convert to win a U.S. Open? Plenty.

The pressure all elements of the game face during the U.S. Open is second to none. Thus, is the best test of major championship golf.


SANDWICH, England – As a “new feature” this year, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews began doling out course set-up sheets – grass heights, tee box locations, key pin positions, that sort of thing.

Although enlightening, the new initiative is an utter waste of time. The only report that matters at an Open Championship is the forecast, which is why the game’s oldest test is also its best.

Set-ups at the Masters, although entertaining to watch, identify a worthy champion, but are largely one-dimensional tests – dubbed in some circles the annual spring putting contest. While the U.S. Open and PGA Championship generally favor players who hit the golf ball very high and very long – see McIlroy, Rory; Kaymer, Martin; Woods, Tiger; et al.

The Open Championship, however, demands a potpourri of skill sets; which test one gets depends almost exclusively on what the weatherman says.

Early Thursday at Royal St. George’s gusts to 30 mph required solid ballstriking and a healthy grasp of the ancient ground game, yet as the morning wave set out on Friday under clear almost windless skies a more modern, aerial approach was the play.

By Sunday’s final round players will likely face everything in between. A complete test, by any definition.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.