9 Predictions For The 2023 Golf Season

Rory to win The Masters? Norman to stand down as LIV CEO? The Masters to invite the women's Major winners? Here's what the Golf Monthly team predicts...

Montage of golfers to illustrate different predictions
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The 2023 golf season is set to be yet another memorable one, after what has been a year like no other for the sport.

We have a Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup in successive weeks to look forward to as well as everything else we're used to like the nine men's and women's Majors, and that's without even mentioning the continuation of golf's civil war as the LIV Golf League gets fully up-and-running.

It's set to be an historic year, and a fantastic one for fans. But what can we see happening? Here, nine members of the Golf Monthly team select their predictions - from bold, out-there scenarios that might just be pipe-dreams to scenarios that look very likely...


Augusta National announces that female pros will play in the 2024 Masters

the masters weather forecast 2022

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With the continued controversy surrounding the PGA and LIV golf tours, Augusta National and chairman Fred Ridley have been rather backed into a corner, hence the announcement recently that LIV golfers would be able to tee it up at the 2023 Masters.

With the need for some good golf headlines, Augusta could announce an incredible step: inviting the Women’s Major winners from 2023 to play in the 2024 Masters. With the continued spotlight on Women’s sport and the continued success of women in what were previously thought of to be “men’s” tournaments - look at snooker and darts as examples - this could be the good news story that golf needs.


Shane Lowry will break into the world's top 10

Shane Lowry kisses the BMW PGA Championship trophy

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A lot is made of how good his short game is (chipping in particular) but in truth, the Irishman has the all round game to compete on any golf course in the world - his ball striking display at Wentworth this year was imperious.

So far, Shane Lowry has shown an impressive ability to get over the line in big events (most notably the 2019 Open Championship) without winning as consistently on Tour as those ahead of him. This will change as he has the game, the experience and the mentality to compete alongside the world's very best week-in, week-out. With a Ryder Cup on the horizon, 2023 could be his year!


Europe to win the Ryder Cup convincingly

Donald holds the Ryder Cup outside the clubhouse

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It seems to be a foregone conclusion that America will roll to back-to-back Ryder Cup victories at Marco Simone GC next September. Granted, they destroyed Europe at Whistling Straits, but that felt very much like a transitional year.

Despite boasting impressive strength in depth, the Americans have lost a host of key players to LIV Golf and Europe's next generation have really stepped up of late. Robert MacIntyre, Adrian Meronk, Seamus Power and Guizo Migliozzi have all won recently, and the Hojgaard twins look poised to make an impact in 2023.

What's more, the European core looks very strong, with McIlroy, Rahm, Fitzpatrick, Hovland, Hatton, Fleetwood and Lowry. If the likes of Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari can find re-capture their best form in 2023, the side will look very strong indeed. Oh, and the Americans haven't won on European soil since 1993 – 30 years come next September.


Europe to win the Solheim Cup

Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Martens, Suzann Pettersen and Dame Laura Davies pose with the Solheim Cup

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The Solheim Cup won’t disappoint, especially with feisty characters Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis going head-to-head as captains for Europe and USA respectively. Like the last two editions of the match, it will be a close nail-biter at Finca Cortesin in Spain, but with the help of a home crowd, I predict that Europe will make it three in a row.   

Lexi Thompson was back in the winning circle in October after a three-year drought and she's on track to win a major title, as well as this year's three-time LPGA winner Jennifer Kupcho. Ireland’s Leona Maguire is steadily creeping up the world rankings and she has the game and gutsy mentality to win big. As for LIV Golf for women, like the men's game, it's a hot subject that won't go away! 


Four first-time Major winners in the men's game

Zalatoris strikes an iron shot

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My prediction is that we will have four first time men's Major winners in 2023. To really push the boat out though I am going to say Will Zalatoris will win The Masters, Xander Schauffele the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, hometown guy Max Homa will win the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club, and finally Tommy Fleetwood will win the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

I am not sure this is as rare as I think it is but I am very confident in Homa in particular as he won the Pac-12 Championship at LACC in college and shot 61 on the North Course, which will host the Major.


Rickie Fowler to win again

Rickie Fowler holding the Waste Management Phoenix Open trophy

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The former World No.4 has been far too quiet lately and come February it will be four years since his last win at the 2019 Phoenix Open. Rickie Fowler is back with Butch Harmon and looks to have made some big swing changes, particularly with his backswing that has always been flatter than most of his peers.

The American, still one of the game's biggest names, came close to winning again at Japan's Zozo Championship in October, where he finished one back of Keegan Bradley. A win or two and perhaps even some late Sunday tee times at Majors in 2023 for Rickie Fowler is just what the game needs.


Greg Norman to stand down as LIV Golf CEO

Norman stares on with a LIV Golf hat on

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The launch of LIV Golf made 2022 an unforgettable year for golf. My prediction for 2023 is that the animosity between LIV and the other Tours will begin to simmer and that will start with Greg Norman standing down (or being ousted) from his position as CEO.

With the Masters already confirming that LIV players will be able to play in the tournament if they qualify, it feels like the hostility between the golfing powers is calming and the removal of Norman will allow golf’s leadership figures to finally get around the table with one another. 

Elsewhere, Rory will win the Open at Hoylake, Tiger Woods will secure a top-five finish at one of the Majors and I’m going to have a hole-in-one. 


No American male Major winner for the first time since 1994

Rahm and Rory with their trophies

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They might have a wealth of talent but I predict the male American contingent are going to draw a blank in next year's Majors for the first time in nearly three decades. The Masters is going to pit Rory McIlroy against Cam Smith in the showdown we all want to see between arguably the two best players in the world for the right to don the Green Jacket.

That will set the tone for the year, with an inspired Jon Rahm to pick up his second US Open and another European to scoop the PGA Championship - Viktor Hovland would fit the bill here. McIlroy will then end the summer in style and dominate at Royal Liverpool to lift his second Claret Jug.


McIlroy to win The Masters

Rory McIlroy celebrates after bunker shot at the Masters

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With a stupendously good final round 64 (-8) at Augusta National to secure a 2nd place finish last year, I truly believe that in 2023 Rory McIlroy wins The Masters and finally completes the Grand Slam.

Rory sits at the top of the world rankings going into the new year and with LIV Golf players recently confirmed to play in next year's event, I’m sure he will be fired up more than ever to clinch the title. I don’t believe it will be as simple as wire-to-wire win, but providing McIlroy is within three shots of the lead going into the final round and navigates the 10th hole without any drama, I see him putting on a Green Jacket come Sunday evening.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer 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. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, 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 2-6. 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: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x