Happy New Year!
2023 produced drama and chaos within the game and, although it would be nice if things calmed down some on the men’s side, there is no guarantee that will be the case.
But let’s focus on happier times—and special events on the calendar come 2024. It’s an Olympic year and the Games are in Paris. The women have a great summer stretch that includes a week at the Old Course. And there are more than a few other significant anniversaries.
Here are nine things that we’re looking forward to in 2024, with items listen in order of when they appear on the calendar.
LIV Golf Mayakoba (Feb. 2-4)
The first event of the third year of the league is scheduled for the El Camaleon Golf Course in Mexico. It makes this list for several reasons. First, it’s less than five weeks away and it’ll be interesting to see what the professional golf landscape looks like by then. Who will be on Jon Rahm’s team? Will more PGA Tour players jump to join him? And it should be the first time that Rahm speaks publicly since he awkwardly announced that he was under “strict instructions” not to talk or do public events.
Players Championship (March 14-17)
Golf loves anniversaries and this one marks the 50th playing of the PGA Tour’s crown jewel. The top LIV players still won’t be there, but it’ll be the biggest event of the year to this point, and you can expect the tour to pull out all the bells and whistles.
Scottie Scheffler celebrates his 2023 Players Championship victory.
Men’s major championships
OK, so we’re lumping all four big men’s events into one item, but they’re as important as ever and it will still be the only time we see the best players in the world competing against each other.
Masters, April 11-14: Golf fans wait nine months for another major and it’s always worth the wait. And no place in the game does tradition like Augusta National. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Phil Mickelson’s first Masters victory (and first major win), 40 years since Ben Crenshaw won his first green jacket and 60 years since Arnold Palmer won his third Masters title, the last major championship of his legendary career.
PGA Championship, May 16-19: We return to Valhalla outside Louisville this year, site of Rory McIlroy’s second PGA Championship and his last major triumph. Yes, it’s been 10 years since the championship ended in nearly complete darkness, and McIlroy made par on the last hole to top Mickelson and win back-to-back majors. Forty years ago, in 1984, it had been 10 years since Lee Trevino had won a major when he shot 67-69 over the weekend at Shoal Creek to capture his last.
Rory McIlroy celebrates winning the 2014 PGA at Valhalla.
U.S. Open, June 13-16: Anytime a U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst No. 2, as it does this year, it brings up memories of Payne Stewart making the putt on the final hole to beat Mickelson. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Stewart’s win, just four months before he would tragically die in a plane crash.
Open Championship, July 18-21: McIlroy again. Although this year is at Royal Troon, McIlroy won 10 years ago at Royal Liverpool. Forty years ago, at the Old Course, Seve Ballesteros shot a final-round 69 to beat Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson by two shots. It was Ballesteros’ second Open title. And 70 years ago, a 23-year-old Peter Thomson won the first of his five Open championships at Royal Birkdale.
World Golf Hall of Fame Induction, June 10
Padraig Harrington, Tom Weiskopf, Sandra Palmer, Beverly Hanson, Johnny Farrell and the seven remaining co-founders of the LPGA not already in the Hall of Fame—Alice Bauer, Bettye Danoff, Helen Detweiler, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Shirley Spork and Sally Sessions—will all be inducted. In addition, the new World Golf Hall of Fame building in Pinehurst will be having its coming out party after more than two decades in St. Augustine, Fla. Expect Harrington’s speech to be off-the-charts great. He’s always been one of the most thoughtful people in the game. Look at his beauties on the golf ball rollback and the love of the game to give you an idea of what’s in store.
Padraig Harrington is set to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Dustin Johnson turns 40, June 22
Time flies. Sure, DJ hasn’t been all that competitive in the majors over the past three years—with more missed cuts (four) than top-10 finishes (three)—but he’s still one of the players who people most love to watch hit balls, and his swagger can be spotted from fairways away. Hard to tell how much more he has left in the tank, but with two majors, 24 PGA Tour victories and two LIV Golf titles to his credit, the dude has been great for a long time and is one of the best players of his generation.
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Men’s Competition, Aug. 1-4: It only comes around every four years so, yes, it’s a big deal. And an Olympics in Paris should be spectacular, Le Golf National hosting both tournaments. Justin Rose won gold in 2016 in Rio and Xander Schauffele followed it up in the COVID-delayed Tokyo games in 2021. The summer always produces a crowded golf schedule and it’s even worse during an Olympic year. Still, expect all the top names to compete, which almost guarantees another big winner.
Women’s Competition, Aug. 7-10: Inbee Park and Nelly Korda are the last two gold medalists on the women’s side, and Korda should be among the favorites again this time, three years after her victory in Tokyo. This begins a wonderful stretch for the women, who have the Olympics, the AIG Women’s Open at the Old Course and Solheim Cup all within five weeks.
AIG Women’s Open, Aug. 22-25
Any major at the Old Course automatically goes onto a list of events to watch during the year. The women return for the third time after Lorena Ochoa won in 2007 and Stacy Lewis prevailed in 2013. There are few things in the game more wonderful than watching someone chase a major late on Sunday battling the final few holes in St. Andrews. There’s always drama.
Solheim Cup, Sept. 13-15
Another no-brainer and a chance to settle unfinished business from 2023. The last version in Spain ended in a 14-14 tie, with Europe retaining the Cup. Captains Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis are both back, both teams will look very similar and there’s no reason to think the final result will be anything other than close. It will be difficult to replicate the 2023 drama, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if it did.
Members of the 2023 European Solheim Cup team celebrate the birdie putt on on the 17th green by Carlota Ciganda that ensured a 14-14 at Finca Cortesin in September and allowed the home team to retain the Cup.
Presidents Cup, Sept. 26-29
Sure, these matches haven’t been competitive, and may not be again this time. But Royal Montreal is a wonderful venue, and the golf-crazed Canadians have one of their own (Mike Weir) at the helm of the International team. If they could somehow pull off the massive upset, it would be one of the great scenes of the year.
This article was originally published on golfdigest.com