2024 Golf Calendar
It is the start of another year and everything is ahead of us. Golf is no different as we try to imagine how the season will take shape. Here at AMERICAN GOLF, we have picked out some of the highlights and key weeks to put in our diaries for 2024.
Not much time for some of the leading players on the PGA Tour to build their way into the new golfing year. World number one Scottie Scheffler and Norway’s Ryder Cup hero, Viktor Hovland, headline the field at The Sentry in Hawaii. It is the first of eight ‘designated’ events on the PGA Tour this year, tournaments with limited fields and big purses that have been created to stave off the threat of LIV Golf.
The first full-field event of the DP World Tour year is the ever-popular Dubai Desert Classic. Players will have arrived in the Middle East for some warm weather practise eager to hit the ground running. Rory McIlroy will be present to defend his title and aim for a record fourth title at the Emirates Golf Club. One of his closest challengers could be local resident, England’s Tommy Fleetwood.
There will be much anticipation ahead of the first event of the new LIV Golf season – LIV Mayakoba in Mexico. Jon Rahm will make his debut in one of these 54-hole shotgun events in an as-yet unnamed team and with three unknown team-mates. The identity of that trio will surely generate plenty of speculation in the weeks ahead.
Always one of the biggest events outside of the Majors, the WM Phoenix Open, Arizona, is a golfing party like no other. More than 600,000 golf fans will turn up across the week to provide an incredible atmosphere. It’s not to every professional’s taste, but watching players at the par-three 16th is an experience in itself!
The PGA Tour will undoubtedly make a huge play of the biggest tournament they run but while it does not have quite the same lustre following the defection of so many leading names to LIV Golf, the Players’ Championship remains an event to savour.
If nothing else, enjoy four days of watching the pros face the jeopardy of hitting into the island green at Sawgrass’ iconic par-three 17th. Will their tee-shots end up dry or wet?
The second Sunday in April means only one thing in golf – The Masters. Clear the diary, make sure you are sat in front of the sofa from about 8pm and settle down to watch possibly the best annual day of golf on those famous last nine holes in the pristine surrounds of Augusta.
Jon Rahm will be defending his Green Jacket after his commanding performance in 2023, but as ever, attention will fall on Rory McIlroy. Can the Northern Irishman complete his Grand Slam and end that ten-year wait since his last Major victory?
The start of an incredible summer for women’s golf begins with the Chevron Championship in Texas. Throw in five Majors, the Olympics and the Solheim Cup between now and mid-September and it will be a special time for any player to find their best form.
Will anyone be able to stop US PGA specialist Brooks Koepka at Valhalla? The American has won the Wanamaker Trophy three times in the last six years and was second on one of the other occasions. He now only has three men above him in the list of winners – Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – so that shows the illustrious company he is keeping.
A possible lucky omen for Rory McIlroy’s army of fans, though, is that Valhalla is the scene of Rory’s last Major triumph, in this event ten years ago.
It is the week when the best male players have to be prepared to scrap for dear life as they gather for the US Open. The No.2 course at Pinehurst resort in North Carolina will be set up to challenge and bemuse and to make sure that a par score should be cherished. For golf fans, it will actually make a nice change from the birdie barrage we see at most tour events these days.
Of the last 15 US Open winners, it has been a first Major for 12 of them, showing how ‘Open’ the event is. If unsuccessful in the first two Majors of 2024, it could be the stage for Norway’s Viktor Hovland to make the jump into the winner’s circle.
For the 152nd edition of The Open, the event is heading back up to Scotland and Royal Troon. The last time the tournament was played at the Ayrshire venue, Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson produced one of the great Open duels. Stenson eventually won with a record 20-under par total as the Swede and Mickelson produced golf from another planet.
American Brian Harman is the defending champion this year, while his fellow countrymen will be confident of following in his footsteps. Of the nine previous Opens played at Troon, six have been won by stars-and-stripes golfers.
1-4 + 7-10:
For the third time since its readmission, golf will take its place in the sporting jamboree that is the Olympic Games. 60 players will don national colours and compete for those three precious colours of medal. The men will compete first before the women a few days later, at the famous Le Golf National outside Paris, venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
The Americans had a golden double in Tokyo last time with Xander Schauffele and Nelly Korda the singles winners, but who will emulate them in Paris? While in the men’s competition in Tokyo, there was a seven-man play-off just to decide the bronze with not a single pound or dollar at stake. Competing for glory should be a refreshing change in this money-driven sport at the moment.
The leading female players in the world will all have one week circled in their diaries for 2024 more than any other – the AIG Women’s Open.
That’s because for only the third time the tournament will be staged around the Old Course at St Andrews. After a ten-year gap since the second staging, many of today’s leading players will not have competed at the Home of Golf. Expect big crowds and heightened competition with players like English duo Charley Hull and Georgia Hall and US stars like Nelly Korda and defending champion Lilia Vu realising what is at stake.
After all the excitement of the first ever draw in the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin in Spain in 2023, we do not have long to wait for the next instalment.
In order to avoid a clash with the Ryder Cup moving forward, the women’s match between Europe and the USA has been brought forward and will now be played in even years, with the Ryder Cup played in odd years.
The Americans will look to win back the Solheim Cup at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia. The captains, Stacy Lewis for the US and Suzann Pettersen for Europe, will be the same and most of the same players will probably make the teams, so let’s hope for the same amount of drama and excitement.
Despite being pushed back later and later every year, the BMW PGA Championship remains one of the most popular golf tournaments around. From the star-studded celebrity pro-am to four days of elite competition around Wentworth’s West Course, this event rarely disappoints.
The 2023 edition featured all 12 of Europe’s Ryder Cup team, whereas whoever wins this one (if European) can go a long way towards securing qualification in Luke Donald’s side for the 2025 match in America.
No Ryder Cup in 2024, but the Americans will be on duty for the Presidents Cup, the biennial match between them and players from the rest of the world (not including Europe).
The USA have won the last nine matches with the Internationals not victorious since their sole triumph in Australia back in 1998. Jim Furyk is the man tasked with maintaining American dominance, while Canadian Mike Weir will aim to inspire a huge upset on home soil at the Royal Montreal Golf Club.
The week in the sun for the Challenge Tour as their biggest event of the season is staged in Mallorca. Promotion to the main DP World Tour is guaranteed for the top-20 players on the season-long money list as the battle between young guns and players seeking a return to former glories reaches its climax.
7-10 + 14-17:
It will be all eyes on the UAE as the DP World Tour season finishes in style with hopefully all the big names showing up to compete. Firstly, the Abu Dhabi Championship has been shifted from January back to November and the penultimate event of the season. But it still retains its Rolex Series status with a prize fund of $9 million.
From there, the leading 50 players will make the short trip to Dubai for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship where the winner of the Race to Dubai will be crowned. Will Rory McIlroy make it three-in-a-row, and six in total, and edge ever closer to Colin Montgomerie’s record of eight?
As professional golf winds down in December, focus turns towards the new year. With Tiger Woods’ tournament in the Bahamas and then the PNC Championship (the event for Major winners playing with a member of their family), golf fans tune in for an update on how Tiger is looking and then playing with his son Charlie in the PNC, we get the latest glimpse of whether Charlie is set to follow in his father’s footsteps!