Winning golf’s career Grand Slam is certainly no easy task. It’s hard enough to win even one major championship and winning all four is next to impossible, which is why one only needs one hand to count the men who have won The Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship.
Some of the best golfers in history won three legs of the Grand Slam but couldn’t finish things off. Walter Hagen never won The Masters. Neither did Lee Trevino. Sam Snead never won the U.S. Open but finished as the runner-up four times. Phil Mickelson has had that same kind of problem as he’s finished second at America’s national championship a record six times. Byron Nelson and Raymond Floyd could never win The Open Championship. Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson never raised the Wanamaker Trophy at the PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth still have plenty of chances to complete the career Grand Slam as McIlroy needs only to win The Masters while Spieth needs a win at the PGA Championship to secure golf’s greatest accomplishment.
Only five men have won the career Grand Slam to this point: Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods. And just to get this out of the way at the start, Bobby Jones is not included on this list as we’re talking about the modern majors. Jones accomplished his Grand Slam when The Amateur Championship and the U.S. Amateur were considered major championships.
Gene Sarazen was the first player to win the career Grand Slam
Gene Sarazen was the first golfer to accomplish golf’s modern Grand Slam. He won the U.S. Open twice (1922, 1932), The Open Championship once (1932), the PGA Championship three times (1922, 1923, 1933), and won The Masters in 1935, the tournament’s second year of existence.
Ben Hogan was the second to do it
Ben Hogan became the second player to win golf’s career Grand Slam when he won The Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1953, the only time he flew across the pond to compete in golf’s oldest major. He also won The Masters and the U.S. Open that year, both of which he’d won in the past as well. He won The Masters in 1951 and 1953, the U.S. Open in 1948, 1950, 1951, and 1953, and the PGA Championship in 1946 and 1948.
Gary Player secured his career Grand Slam in 1965
Gary Player won his first major championship in 1959 at The Open Championship at Muirfield and would also win the tournament in 1968 and 1974. He won the second leg of the Grand Slam with a victory at The Masters in 1961, a tournament he’d also win three times, adding victories in 1974 and 1978. Player won the PGA Championship for the first time in 1962 and won a second title 10 years later. He secured the career Grand Slam with his first and only win at the U.S. Open in 1965 at Bellerive.
Jack Nicklaus has accomplished the feat three times
Naturally, the man with the most major championship wins in history, Jack Nicklaus, has achieved the career Grand Slam, first doing so in 1966 with a victory at The Open Championship at Muirfield. But the Golden Bear took things to an entirely new level by winning all four majors twice. And then he won all four for a third time. Here’s a look at the Golden Bear’s 18 major wins.
- The Masters: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986
- U.S. Open: 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980
- The Open Championship: 1966, 1970, 1978
- PGA Championship: 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980
Tiger Woods has also won the career Grand Slam three times
Like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods has also achieved the career Grand Slam on three occasions and was the youngest to ever accomplish the feat, first doing so at the age of 24 with his win at The Open Championship at St. Andrews in 2000. The 15-time major champion is also the only man on this list to have held all four major championships at the same time by way of his “Tiger Slam” in 2000-2001. Woods won the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship in 2000 and then won The Masters in 2001. Here’s a look at Tiger’s 15 major wins.
- The Masters: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019
- U.S. Open: 2000, 2002, 2008
- The Open Championship: 2000, 2005, 2006
- PGA Championship: 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007
All stats courtesy of PGATour.com