Legendary golf coach Butch Harmon believes that golf's four majors should stay the way they are, and where they are
Does Golf Need A Fifth Major?
It is Players Championship week which means there is the usual chat about it becoming golf's fifth major championship.
Everybody has their opinion on it. 'It's a major already', 'Men should have a fifth major like the women', 'We need a major abroad' etc.
These points are all valid.
It basically is a major already in terms of prize money, world ranking points and exemptions, except it doesn't count on a players major tally.
Should the men have a fifth major as well? There's no real reason to say they shouldn't barring the fact that all the historic records will be muddled up, although every sport changes through the years, this is an issue golf probably could get round. For example, major records would begin to contain the asterisks *before five majors*.
And on golf needing a major abroad, this is perhaps the most valid of all the points, in my opinion. If The Players Championship were to become the fifth major, that would mean four of the five would be in the USA. That would be very worrying for a game as global as golf.
Compare it to other sports like tennis which has a major in London, Paris, Melbourne and New York.
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Should golf have a fifth major? Legendary golf coach Butch Harmon believes it shouldn't.
“They talk about The Players being the fifth major but we’ve always had four majors and I think we should keep it that way," he said.
That means if golf were to have a major abroad, it would probably be the USPGA. Although Butch doesn't think that would be very wise either.
"I think it would be strange to have the PGA not in the US, given that it’s the Professional Golfers Association of America," he said.
"I think they talked about it, we have world events that move around the rest of the world, but the four majors have always been the four majors and I can’t see them making a fifth.
"I think what the PGA does is the least of the four in terms of credibility, you’ve got the Masters which is always the Masters, the Open, the US Open and then the PGA is the fourth one.
"If they went abroad it wouldn’t bother me but it would be rather strange calling it the Professional Golfers Association of America and having it abroad.”
Butch is right that it would be odd for the 'US' PGA to move away from its homeland. As things stand, it's more realistic for golf's fifth major to become The Players than one of the current ones moving abroad.
As always with this time of year, the talk of The Players becoming golf's fifth major is rife but it will go away as we enjoy the US Open next month, the Open in July and the USPGA in August.
Golf needs another major abroad a lot more than The Players needs to become the fifth.
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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