Golf Career Grand Slam Winners - Which Players Have Achieved The Feat?

Just one player has won a Grand Slam, while five have won a career Grand Slam - here are the details

Tiger Woods receives the Green Jacket from Vijay Singh after the 2001 Masters
Woods completed the "Tiger Sllam" at the 2001 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Most golfers dream of winning a men's Major, but who has won all four - The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and The Open? 

There are actually two types of Grand Slam. The most common is the career Grand Slam. That's the achievement of winning all four Majors at least once during a player's career. Even rarer is the Grand Slam, which is when a player claims all four Majors in the calendar year.

In the game's history, only one player has won a Grand Slam, while only five players, so far, have a career Grand Slam. 

Bobby Jones

A 1930 image of Bobby Jones taking a shot

Bobby Jones is the only play to win a Grand Slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before The Masters began in 1934, the US and British Amateur Championships were considered Majors. That meant that in order to win a Grand Slam, a player would need to have consecutive victories in the US Amateur, British Amateur, US Open and The Open. 

The one player to achieve the Grand Slam did so across those pre-Masters tournaments, American Bobby Jones. The year was 1930, and Jones' achievement was so unthinkable that before he managed it, the term "Grand Slam" didn't even exist. Why? Quite simply, no one thought it would be possible. 

In total, Jones won 13 Majors in a seven-year period between 1923 and 1930, but it's his Grand Slam year for which he will be forever remembered, with wins over Roger Wethered at The Amateur, Leo Diegel and Macdonald Smith at The Open, Smith again at the US Open and Eugene V Homans at the US Amateur.

Gene Sarazen

Gene Sarazen at the 1935 Masters

Gene Sarazen won the 1935 Masters for his career Grand Slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

American Sarazen won seven Majors in his career, and became the first player to win the modern-era career Grand Slam in 1935, when he won The Masters in its second year (one of Augusta National's three historic bridges is named after him for a shot he played at that tournament, which resulted in an albatross). 

Sarazen's achievement took some time, though. That Augusta National triumph came 13 years after his first Major win in 1922. Overall, Sarazen won the US Open in 1922 and 1932, the PGA Championship in 1922, 1923 and 1933, The Open in 1932 and finally that 1935 Masters win to complete the set.

Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan takes a shot in a qualifier for The Open

Ben Hogan completed the career Grand Slam in 1953

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 1953, Ben Hogan won The Masters, US Open and The Open, but it was impossible for him to win all four as the latter tournament's dates overlapped with the PGA Championship. 

Thankfully, he'd already won that tournament back in 1946, giving him a career Grand Slam. Hogan remains the only player to have won The Masters, the US Open and The Open in the same calendar year.

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus with the Claret Jug in 1966

Jack Nicklaus won the Claret Jug in 1996 at The Open to complete a career Grand Slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even Jack Nicklaus, with the all-time record haul of 18 Majors, only ever won two of golf's most prestigious tournaments in a calendar year (albeit on five occasions). 

However, the Golden Bear won a career Grand Slam three times, and he achieved the first of those with his win in the 1966 Open.

By the time he retired, Nicklaus fell just one more Open win short of a fourth career Grand Slam, with his final Claret Jug win coming in 1978, eight years before his last Major title in the 1986 Masters. 

Gary Player

Gary Player takes a shot at the 1965 US Open

Gary Player won the 1965 US Open to claim a career Grand Slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

South African Player won nine Majors in a trophy laden career, with his first coming in the 1959 Open.  Six years later, he completed his career Grand Slam with his 1965 win in the US Open. 

Overall, as well as that victory, Player won The Masters and The Open three times, and the PGA Championship twice. However, despite coming close to a second US Open win (he finished tied for second in 1979) another eluded him, leaving him with only one career Grand Slam. 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods with the Claret Jug after his 2000 Open win

Woods completed the Tiger Slam in 2001, but his career Grand Slam came with The Open title a year earlier

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To say it's proved tricky for someone to join Jones since would be an understatement. However, one player in the modern era has come close - Tiger Woods. 

In 2000, Woods finished fifth in The Masters, but then won the year's remaining three Majors.  He then won the 2001 Masters, which completed an achievement unique to him: victories at all four Majors within 365 days. That became known as the Tiger Slam, and is regarded as the modern-era equivalent of Jones' one-off feat. 

By that point, Woods had already completed his career Grand Slam, with his win in the 2000 Open adding to his 1997 Masters triumph, 1999 PGA Championship win and 2000 US Open victory. In total, Woods has won enough of all four Majors for three career Grand Slams.

Missing Majors

Phil Mickelson reacts after missing the chance of a playoff at the US Open in 2006

Phil Mickelson has finished second at the US Open on six occasions

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A number of golfers have failed to achieve the career Grand Slam, despite coming close. 

Sam Snead was one. He won every Major at least once except the US Open, where he finished runner-up four times. Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson also each won three of the Majors, but failed to win a PGA Championship, while Lee Trevino missed out on The Masters title for his career Grand Slam. Byron Nelson and Raymond Floyd also missed out by one after failing to win The Open.

It's not too late for Phil Mickelson to achieve his career Grand Slam, but he'll have to overcome his US Open hoodoo to do it. Mickelson has said he will retire if he ever achieves it. If he ever does get over the line at the Major, he'll deserve whatever he chooses to do next after finishing second at it a record six times. However, now well into his 50s, time is not on the American's side.

Next Career Grand Slam Member?

Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy at The Players Championship

Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are one Major win each from the career Grand Slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of the currently active players, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are probably the most likely to join the club, with both sitting just one Major shy of a career Grand Slam.

McIlroy's quest was close to coming to an end in 2022, but his final-round Masters exploits at Augusta National weren't enough to see him finish higher than runner-up, although he'll likely still be looking back at a final-round capitulation in 2011 when he had the lead as the one that really got away from him, despite only finishing T15,

As for Spieth, he just requires a PGA Championship, something he described as an elephant in the room before the 2022 tournament at Southern Hills. The closest he has come came was runner-up in 2015, although he also finished third four years later.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.