Golf is a game as old as time itself and takes about a century to finish if you are playing poorly. But as old school as it is, it’s still a sport that sets itself apart from the rest, especially when it comes to the majors.
Just like the announcer says in those commercials leading up to the Masters “It’s a tradition unlike any other.”
In an age where cell phones and microwave results rule us, it becomes hard to appreciate the old-school game of golf. That is unless it’s a Major championship.
Those casual fans may not tune into the AT&T National while at work, but you bet your sweet behind that they will be checking that stream every few minutes when big names like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Phil Mickelson are competing in a major championship.
So this begs the question, how do the Majors compare to other major sporting events. Here’s the list of the equivalent championships that match the caliber of excitement per major.
The Masters – The Super Bowl
The Masters is truly golf’s mecca. There is nothing that compares to the feeling of spring time around the corner. Essentially the Masters is an adult’s version of the groundhog seeing his shadow. What’s intriguing is there always seems to be picture-perfect weather for this tournament. It has been a long time since the weather played a factor in this golf tournament. (unlike The Open where you can count on bad weather)
Like the Super Bowl, the Masters is the most-watched golf event of the year. It’s this way because it’s one of these most challenging golf courses on the face of the Earth. The course does not undergo significant changes from year-to-year yet players still struggle under the immense spotlight and prestige of Augusta National.
The U.S. Open/ Open Championship – World Series
The reason why these two majors compare to baseball’s World Series is the tradition behind both majors that’s comparable to the Fall Classic. Baseball has been played for nearly two centuries and for many years was deemed America’s past time.
Both majors have a timeless feel to them, especially The Open because of the courses the event is played on. Venues like St. Andrews and Royal Birkdale are old school and well-connected to golf’s roots. Some players like to get into the old-school spirit of the tournament like Justin Thomas who wore a button-up shirt, tie, and sweater on day-one of The Open this year.
The American pride that shows through these events is what makes them on the same playing field as the World Series.
PGA Championship – NBA Finals
The PGA Championship, like the NBA Finals, presents more of a progressive atmosphere. In other words, a championship that is suited for the younger generations who like fast-paced sports. How progressive can golf get? For example, the players are allowed to wear shorts during their practice rounds, something you will never ever, ever see that at Augusta National or any Open championship venue.
In addition to the dress code, the PGA has implemented a long-drive competition on the 10th hole at Quail Hollow during the practice rounds. That’s like fans coming early for a shoot around at the finals and watching Steph Curry drain shots from the stands.
Another reason this major gets the comparison to the NBA Finals is the lack of hype surrounding it. People get excited for the NBA Finals, but they don’t go all-out like one would for Super Bowl Sunday.
Non-major championships like the Players Championship (at TPC Sawgrass) and the Waste Management Phoenix Open (the one with the stadium atmosphere) seem to generate the same amount of hype as the PGA Championship…if not more at times. Hence why the PGA is the low man on the totem pole.