2022's Major Venues: Ranking The Intrigue Factor
Considering the nine sites hosting this year's majors
We’re blessed with an especially strong major venue roster in 2022. The blend of old reliables and re-imagined looks at longtime tournament stalwarts is almost all-time epic. Throw in other variables—history, weather, record-scoring possibilities and the demise of green reading books possibly rewarding preparation—and courses are likely to dominate the discussion. At least, until Tiger Woods launches a comeback.
With The Quad expanding coverage of women’s majors, the Editorial Board decided to meld 2022’s venues into one list for your Sony Open, Martin Luther King Jr. and NFL wildcard weekend reading pleasure. (Unless you live elsewhere in which case, Happy Monday!)
Before scoffing at the order I’ve presented these courses in, the Editorial Board reminded me to encourage subscribers to use the comment section if you feel compelled to offer an alternative list.
Finally, emojis were deployed to keep the word count down and to upset some sectors of Gen Z. A quick guide:
1️⃣ Geoff’s Ranking (but feel free to post your list in the comments)
🏆 Tournament (or Championship in some cases)
⛳️ Course origins (how it started)
👷♂️: Most recent work (who meddled most recently)
🧐: What to look for (what to look for)
9️⃣ - Evian Resort Golf Club
🏆 Evian Amundi Championship (July 21-24)
⛳️ This resort course dates to 1904, expanded to 18 in 1924, and has undergone multiple renovations since.
👷♂️: Steve Smyers and European Golf Design (2013)
🧐 I’m sure Évian-les-Bains is lovely and the drinking water delicious. But this event was designated a major nine years ago to reward a 19-year-old event and keep Evian around as a sponsor. Eight editions later, it’s still a stretch to call this a major. Couple this with huge improvements to three of the women’s majors and the whole dismantling of the quadrilateral symmetry, and the event loses more luster. Not helping matters are all the rain-drenched playings no matter what date they try. Last year, Australia’s Minjee Lee won a sudden death playoff over Jeongeun Lee. A whopping 14 players finished double digits under-par, adding to the sense this course is more give than take.
8️⃣ Mission Hills (Dinah Shore Tournament Course)
🏆 The Chevron Championship (March 31-April 3)
⛳️ Desmond Muirhead (1971)
👷♂️: In 2020 a blue-coated fence stopped most balls from going over the island green 18th. But in 2021 they restored the island effect as part of a retro salute, complete with a press release. No word yet on the fence or corporate chalet’s status for 2022.
🧐: The swan song after 51 years will be awkward, emotional and, if the Golf Gods are feeling devilish that weekend, zanier than most. Mission Hills finds ways to produce dramatic finishes, deserving winners and traditions that’ll be lost when California-based Chevron moves the tournament to Houston and a late April date.