THE concept of the four Majors, as we know them, was invented in the most Arnold Palmer way.

It happened during happy-hour drinks with Pittsburg Press writer Bob Drum on board a plane to the UK where Palmer, who had just won the 1960 Masters and US Open, declared a new grand slam could involve the Masters, both Open championships and the United States PGA Championship.

With the professional game blossoming, it made sense to do away with the US and British Opens and Amateurs – which Bobby Jones had captured during the ‘Impregnable Quadrilateral’ of 1930. Palmer would lose that 1960 Open to Australia’s Kel Nagle at St Andrews, but the four big ones were born.

For a player with the charisma and stature of The King, and some help from the press, it was seemingly that easy. Which makes a golf writer wonder: did we miss the boat with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to either shake it up with a new grand slam, or add a Major to the stable?

‘The fifth major’ notion has been thrown around so much the phrase has developed its own identity. It used to be the Australian Open, when Gary Player won seven and Nicklaus won six. Greg Norman won five. Now, it’s the Players Championship with that moniker.

‘Do we want change? After 57 years
of “the Majors”, are they set in stone?’

And the calls for the TPC Sawgrass spectacle to become a legitimate Major are growing louder and louder. It’s primarily because the US PGA Tour doesn’t own any of the four Majors and wants to. But there’s no denying the Players is the strongest field in golf. It is comprised of the world’s top-50 golfers, winners of US Tour events since the previous Players Championship and the top-125 from previous season’s FedEx Cup – to name just a few of the criteria.

But some interesting machinations took place this year that indicate further change could be on the horizon. All four golf’s Majors increased their purses and winner’s share significantly. The US Open took pole position with a $US12 million pool, while the Masters upped the ante to $US11 million to be second biggest.

The Players, however, did not. At $US10.5 million, it is no longer golf’s richest event.

Instead of changing its remuneration, the Players rejigged its place on the international schedule. In 2019, it will return to the previously held March date while the US PGA Championship will move to May.

Golf’s biggest stage seems to be mobilising towards something of a new beginning. What that is, we don’t exactly know. But the question is: do we want change? After 57 years of ‘the Majors’, are they set in stone?

One thing is certain, the top brass can shuffle the pieces around but change needs a champion.

Can Jordan Spieth usher in a new grand slam? Can Rory McIlroy, or even Jason Day and Dustin Johnson?

At the moment, it is unlikely. Tiger, who only recently started hitting pitch shots after a horror 2017, seems to be only the golfer who could coin a new grand slam without first winning all of them.

Maybe, like legendary amateur Jones, the calendar grand slam needs to be captured in order to be replaced.