What Are the Senior Majors in Pro Golf?

In golf, "senior" usually refers to golfers who are at least 50 years old. When a professional tour golfer turns 50, he becomes eligible to play "senior tournaments." (In women's pro senior golf, some events use 45 as the minimum age.)

In men's senior golf, the Champions Tour is the pre-eminent world tour. And the Champions Tour recognizes five tournaments as major championships. In women's pro senior golf, which is really just beginning to get established, there are currently two tournaments that are called major championships.

Champions Tour Majors

All of the senior majors that are part of the Champions Tour schedule have a minimum age requirement of 50 years old. The five senior majors are listed here from oldest to youngest.
  • Senior PGA Championship: The Senior PGA Championship was first played in 1937, and the first two times at Augusta National Golf Club. (That fact explains the identity of the first two Masters honorary starters.) This senior major is run by the PGA of America. Each year it is played at a different golf course (although in the past it sometimes spent multiple consecutive years at one course). It has been a Champions Tour major since the tour's first year, 1980. See the list of Senior PGA Championship winners.
  • U.S. Senior Open: The USGA created the U.S. Senior Open in 1980, making it part of the inaugural Champions Tour season. The minimum age was 55 in Year 1, but has been 50 since 1981. Like other USGA national championships, this one rotates around the United States to different golf courses. See the list of U.S. Senior Open winners.
  • Senior Players Championship: The PGA Tour already had The Players Championship, so in 1983, for its senior tour, it added the Senior Players Championship. This one is not played at TPC Sawgrass (although it was played there a couple times in the late 1980s). There have been stretches when it has been based at the same golf course for multiple years, and others when it has changed golf courses annually. Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, is the current site. See the list of Senior Players Championship winners.
  • Senior British Open: This tournament was originally named "Senior British Open," but today its official name is "The Senior Open Championship," or just "The Senior Open." It was first played in 1987, but did not become an official Champions Tour tournament until 2002. It is played on a different golf course each year, although, unlike the British Open, it is not limited only to seaside links. See the list of Senior Open winners.
  • The Tradition: The Tradition is the youngest tournament among the five Champions Tour majors as far as its founding date (1989), but it had major-championship status before The Senior Open did. The Tradition was immediately recognized as a Champions Tour major from its first playing. The Tradition is played at the same golf course each year, although that course has changed a few times in its history. It is currently played at Greystone Golf Club in Hoover, Alabama. See the list of winners of The Tradition.

Major Championships in Women's Senior Golf

There are few professional golf tournaments specifically for "senior" women golfers relative to male senior golfers. The Legends of the LPGA (formerly known as the Legends Tour) is the United States-based tour for senior women pros. It stages a handful of tournaments per year. But two of those events are senior versions of LPGA majors, although those two tournaments have different age minimums.
  • U.S. Senior Women's Open: The USGA has held a men's U.S. Senior Open since 1980. It was only in 2018 that the organization created the U.S. Senior Women's Open. It is open to golfers 50 and over. Like USGA national championships, this one rotates to a different golf course each year. See the list of U.S. Senior Women's Open winners.
  • Senior LPGA Championship: The Senior LPGA Championship, run by the LPGA Tour, was founded in 2017. It has a minimum age requirement of only 45, not 50 as with all other tournaments called senior majors. See the list of Senior LPGA Championship winners.

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