The best major in golf: Masters, U.S. or British Open?
We can debate what constitutes the “best” major endlessly.
We do know what the worst one is: the identity-less PGA Championship, which is little more than a “U.S. Open Junior".
So between the remaining three events in the grand slam, The Masters, U.S. Open and British Open, each makes a convincing argument. But it all comes down to which major YOU, Mr. Joe Average 15-handicap Pencil Pusher, would win if you could only win one major.
For me, it’s unquestionably the British Open. There’s something vindicating about being handed a golf trophy by a man with a British accent.
But that’s not really the reason. It’s the oldest and most international of all the majors and is featured on mostly 19th century courses that ooze tradition far more than Augusta National can. And as I mention practically every couple weeks, these clubs also serve as a valuable reminder to the elitist clubs of America that golf was meant to be a common man’s game.
I believe even the most elite golf clubs in America should set aside a slot of public tee times once or twice a week, like the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield, considered to be the most difficult of the Open clubs to get a tee time, do.
The one thing the Masters has going for it every year is that it’s held on the same golf course. With the British Open’s rotation of venues, I could end up winning it at a lesser venue like (bleh) Liverpool. In a perfect world, I’d win the Open at St. Andrews (some of us don’t find the course “obsolete“).
Let me share with you exactly how I win my one and only Claret Jug.
On Sunday, I save par with an up-and-down out of the Road Hole bunker and arrive at the 18th tee down by one shot (Colin Montgomerie is the leader in the clubhouse). I hit a booming draw over the spectators’ heads on the right of the fairway, and the ball bounds up the fairway towards the green. It’s running too hot as it scoots onto the green, but strikes the pin and darts left and back down the Valley of Sin.
The crowd goes berserk. As I walk up the fairway, I’m so nervous, I puke over the side of the Swilcan Bridge.
From the bottom of the Valley of Sin, practically eye level with the hole I stare at my 70-footer. Out of the corner of my eye I see my girlfriend, Elaine Benes (prior to season seven while she still had curly hair and wasn’t messing around with Putty yet), and am struck with a sense of calm.
But as I set up to my ball, I hear a growing commotion: A streaker has gotten loose and is sprinting across the green. It’s my editor from my former gig as a golf writer, and he’s got a advertisement for BadGolfer.com in black ink across his back.
I panic and hit my putt. It’s headed wide left, but crosses the streaker’s path and he slips on the moving ball, falling bum first onto the green. The ball caroms straight towards the hole before falling in for an eagle and a one stroke victory.
The crowd goes wild. An inspired paraplegic in the front row rises to his feet. The ghost of Old Tom Morris emerges from the grave and offers to buy me a pint.
I retire from golf on the spot, take my winnings and open up a pet orphanage with Elaine in the Virgin Islands.
Before you write this off as an impossible circumstance, allow me to clarify I had wind at my back, so I totally could have driven the green.
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Visually Augusta is breathtaking, and not just on TV as the players rave about it too. St. Andrews is pretty rough on the eye, so I can understand the negative comments about it, but the atmosphere is spine-chilling, even for those of us who have only walked it (and fantasised).
That's just part of the gag, right? We know Kiel is serious, but he's Kiel.
Plus, if Elaine had hooked up with you prior to Seinfeld Season 7 wouldn't she have been arrested for messing with a minor? What are you trying to do to Julia's career?
It is actually one of the most historic courses in the UK, and obviously meets the high standards of The Open.
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