2023 was a huge year for golf news. The year saw a major merger between golf's biggest professional leagues, an announcement about a brand new golf league, another edition of the Ryder Cup and more.
As the year draws to a close, let's take a look at some of the stories that made headlines.
Overall, 2023 was a year for records and surprise wins. Going into the Masters Tournament held April 6th to the 9th, all eyes were on Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, who were the favorites to take home the green jacket, but in the end, John Rahm soared to the top of the leaderboard and became only the fourth Spanish golfer to ever win the Masters.
Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka tied for second, which was another record-setting moment. Mickelson was 52 years old at the time of the tournament, so he became the oldest player to ever make it to the top five at the prestigious tournament.
At the PGA Championship a month later, Koepka achieved some major milestones of his own. With his nine-under win, he became only the third player to ever win three PGA titles in the three-stroke era of golf and the 20th player to ever win five majors. In addition, Koepka's win makes him the first LIV Golf player to ever win a PGA major.
From June 15 to June 18, fans tuned in for another surprising major — the U.S. Open. Wyndham Clark took home the first-place payout to the surprise of everyone. Heading into the tournament, he was ranked 75th, and he had not made the cut for the same tournament in the last two years. At the same time, both Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele managed to set a new U.S. Open record by finishing the first round with scores of 62.
The Open, held from July 20 to 23, was another story of a dark horse charging ahead to victory. This time, it was Brian Harman who gave an astonishing performance. The win marked his first-ever first-place finish at The Open and his first Majors win. In addition, it was the first time he won a PGA tournament in over three years.
At the start of the PGA Playoffs, John Rahm had a healthy lead, but given that 2023 was the year of the surprises, you may already suspect that things didn't play out as expected. In the end, Viktor Hovland charged from seventh place all the way to the top of the rankings, finishing the Tour Championship with a score of 27 under.
LIV Golf News
Heading into 2023, golf fans' eyes were open for LIV Golf updates, anticipating what was the second season of the new league following a shorter invitational season that concluded in 2022. Everyone was eager to see which teams would dominate, and now we have the answer.
At the end of the season, the top-ranked team proved to be 4Aces GC, led by Dustin Johnson. Players on the team included Pat Perez, Patrick Reed and Peter Uihlein. The team scored a total of 192 points during the season and won two tournaments.
Coming in second was Crushers GC with 186 points and two tournament wins of their own. Bryson DeChambeau serves as captain of the team made up of Paul Casey, Charles Howel III and Anirban Lahiri.
While the teams were busy making headlines, LIV Golf was making big moves as a league. On June 6, 2023, LIV Golf and the PGA announced that the two professional leagues were joining forces. Given the legal battles and drama between the two leagues, this turn of events was unthinkable at the start of 2023, and fans and the media were shocked by the news.
Few details have been shared about what this means for golf, but you can find out what we do know by checking out our article on the subject.
Ryder Cup News
2023 marked the 44th edition of the Ryder Cup. The tournament took place from September 29 to October 1 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome. Team USA had gone into the tournament hoping to break their losing streak abroad, but Team Europe managed to pull off the victory.
As with PGA events this year, the Ryder Cup was a tournament for setting records. During the first round, Team Europe shut out Team USA completely for the first time, and their lead at the end of Friday broke the record set by Team USA in 1975. The points margin at the end of Saturday was also historic, breaking a record set by the American team in 2004.
Take a look back at some of the highlights of the tournament by reading our article on the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Earlier this year, players Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Mike McCarley announced that they had partnered with a team of investors to found a new league, known as TGL Golf.
Like LIV Golf, TGL will bring team play to the game, but with teams representing cities to give fans a hometown club to support. Unlike the other professional golf leagues, TGL events will take place indoors at a state-of-the-art purpose-built stadium called the SoFi Center in Palm Beach, Florida.
Learn more about TGL Golf League by checking out our blog post on the announcement.
Golf Culture News
All signs point to professional golf growing in popularity in the U.S. and abroad. Netflix's show Full Swing, which takes fans behind the scenes to get to know their favorite players, proved a major hit this year. The Ryder Cup set viewership records around the world, and NBC, CBS and The Golf Channel all reported an increase in viewers for PGA events this year.
With the advent of the TGL and whatever lies ahead for the PGA and LIV Golf, it seems certain that golf will continue to attract new fans in 2023 and beyond.
2023 Golf News in Review
With major records being set, surprise victories and announcements that no one anticipated, 2023 could easily be dubbed the Year of the Unexpected.
As we wait to see what will emerge in the world of professional golf in 2024, it's the perfect time to work on your own golf game. Check out our tips for golfing during the off-season to get started.