Golf tournaments – an insight

Once upon a time, the world’s best golfers were all British – usually Scottish. Since the early twentieth century, though, most of the leading golfers have been American.

For this reason, the biggest golf tournament in the world is the PGA (Professional Golf Association) Tour, a series of events held on many different American golf courses. This is where the world’s best golfers play, for a top prize of almost a million dollars, along with hundreds of smaller prizes (‘purses’, in the golf jargon). There are very few golfers in the world who play golf full-time, but the top players can make millions, and the top few hundred can all at least make a modest living, thanks to the way golf prize money is divided up.

As the PGA Tour is held mostly in America, the European Tour has been gaining ground with non-American golfers in recent years, and is now widely considered to be the number two tournament.

The other important tournaments are the Opens, including the US Open and the British Open. While Tours are only open to professional golfers, Opens can be entered by anyone who pays the entrance fee, which means that thousands of people can try their luck every year, and the next generation of golfers can easily get their start. The winners of the Opens each year will be invited into the Tours, to compete at the next level, but there is nothing stopping the Tour pros from entering the Opens, and most do.

These are only the most famous of the golf tournaments: there is no shortage of smaller, independent tournaments, and each of the big golf playing countries has its own. Golfers who are not American or British will often progress by first playing in their home country’s smaller Open tournament, and then moving on to the bigger Opens, before hopefully being accepted into one of the big Tours.

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