What Is the Tiger Slam in Golf?

"Tiger Slam" is a golf term that was invented in 2001 to describe an accomplishment by Tiger Woods — an accomplishment no other male golfer had ever pulled off. What did Woods do? He won four major championships in a row.

Most golf fans are familiar with the term "Grand Slam." That term means winning all of the major championships available to you (which, historically, has typically meant four tournaments) within the same calendar year. The difference between the Grand Slam and the Tiger Slam is that the Tiger Slam takes place over two calendar years rather than within the same calendar year.

For example, consider the major championship schedule in men's professional golf. There are four majors: The Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. A golfer who wins all four of those in the same calendar year (all in the year 2000, for example) has achieved the Grand Slam.

A golfer who wins all four of those tournaments consecutively — meaning that he holds all four major championship titles at the same time — but over the span of two calendar years has achieved the Tiger Slam.

And that's what Woods did in the years 2000-2001. He won the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship (the final three majors of the year at that time) in 2000, then won the first major of 2001, The Masters. Four consecutive majors, four wins — just not in the same calendar year, and, therefore, not a Grand Slam.

But here's the thing: In the history of professional golf, no golfer has won the men's Grand Slam. It has never been done. (In 1930, amateur Bobby Jones won the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open and British Amateur, which was then labeled the Grand Slam.)

And before Tiger Woods won all four majors consecutively in 2000-01? That had never been done in men's professional golf either. (At least not since there was more than one major. Young Tom Morris did win four consecutive majors in 1868-72, when only the British Open existed.) That achievement was just as mind-boggling to many golf historians and fans as a calendar-year grand slam. And so the term "Tiger Slam" was created to put a name on the accomplishment.

There is one golfer besides Woods who achieved the "Tiger Slam": Mickey Wright, on the LPGA Tour in 1961-62. So perhaps the best-name for this achievement really should be the "Mickey Slam."

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