Figure 1 The majors in 2023 were surprising to say the least
There will still probably be a few of you getting out onto the course – even in the colder conditions. But, as the year draws to a close, our thoughts are already drifting to the warmer months of next year and the big summer tournaments that come with that.
Golfers will tend to try to get out whatever the weather, of course. But it has to be said that there is nothing like walking around a course with the heat of the sun on your back. Just the idea of blue skies and endless days make us think of the majors and gets us to thinking about who might become a champion in 2024.
So, if you have just come in off the course and are trying to warm up, here’s our look at what might happen in the world of men’s golf next year – and which players could be climbing up the golf rankings in the months ahead.
Augusta, Georgia will once again welcome the start of the golf majors season in April and it will be Spaniard John Rahm defending his title. He looked impressive all through the 2023 edition and came back in the fourth round to get past Brooks Koepka, who had led by two shots going in the last day.
Rahm is the favorite to win the Masters again and will be expecting to have to see off Koepka in 2024 too. Scottie Scheffler will want to win a major as well as dominate the tours but could come unstuck again. There is nothing like experience though, so expect a repeat champion of some description.
If Scheffler doesn’t manage to win back the Masters title, then we should probably all get ready to watch him claim his first PGA Championship win. He fell away in the third round of this year’s tournament and was unable to catch Brooks Koepka on the final day, even after sinking four birdies on the back nine.
Koepka’s victory was obviously a little controversial due to his affiliation with LIV Golf in 2024. Even with the merger with the PGA this year, there are still are lot of strong views and opinions – and that could make 2024’s event even more compelling. Expect the likes of John Rahm and Rory McIlroy to challenge for the title here as well.
The US Open
The third major of the year makes a welcome return to the iconic Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina in June and it is unlikely that there will be a bigger surprise champion than Wyndham Clark. He had never finished higher than 75th in a major before but was able to hold off Rory McIlroy in the final round this year to win by just one shot.
A repeat performance seems highly unlikely and we think that it could be Rory McIlroy who gains revenge in 2024. John Rahm and Scottie Scheffler will also probably be in the mix for honors, as well as Brooks Koepka. It will be interesting to see if the pressure of not winning either of the two previous majors of 2024 gets to any of the top players.
The Royal Troon Golf Club first hosted The Open way back in 1923 and returns for the tenth time in 2024. That will also mark ten years since Rory McIlroy won the famous title – and also the most recent time he won any major. Fate would suggest that the Northern Irishman could triumph again – but he has suffered dips in form and strong challenges from others in recent years.
As with all the majors in 2024, John Rahm and Scottie Scheffler will be many fans’ favorite to win The Open. Brian Harman’s second round was key to his surprise victory in 2023 but surely we won’t see so many underdog stories again next year? Whoever does come through to claim the Claret Jug, we are sure that the Scottish crowd will provide some hearty support.
Figure 2 Golf fans will have a fifth “major” to enjoy in 2024
After Europe’s victory in Italy this year, there will be no Ryder Cup to enjoy in 2024. But golf fans will get the added bonus of watching the top players competing for a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Paris, France.
Although the sport’s relationship with the games goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, this will be only the third consecutive time it will feature. Xander Schauffele won gold in Tokyo in 2020, while Great Britain’s Justin Rose finished first in Rio four years before.
Le Golf National, just south of the capital, will host the tournament and many of the biggest names in the sport are expected to have qualified. This event has really caught the imagination of the players, with many saying that it exceeded all expectations in Rio and Tokyo.
One factor that could well play a part in the eventual winner of the men’s event will be the fact that it will take place just two weeks after the end of The Open at Royal Troon. With the Olympics squeezing into an already packed schedule, is there a chance for a surprise winner to claim gold?
Golf in 2024
As you can see, 2024 promises to be another great year for golf. The majors are always the focal point of the calendar but there are plenty of other important events scheduled. And that is all before you even start thinking about your own rounds. We can hardly wait for the new year to begin!