The Top Golf Moments of 2023
By Abby Parsons, PGA
There are very few years in the world of golf that could be considered uneventful, and 2023 most definitely does not make that short list. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, we saw a lot of memorable, and historic, moments on our television screens, in the golf world, and on the golf course.
Below are my favorite moments in golf for the year of 2023, month by month,
Below are my favorite moments in golf for the year of 2023, month by month,
January: PGA Show
Unfortunately, I could not make it to this year’s PGA Show; however, I admired everything from afar. It is fascinating to see the golf trends of each year, and this PGA Show did not disappoint. Seeing the trend of prioritizing your body to increase longevity on the golf course and to decrease injuries on the golf course is one that us PGA of America Golf Professionals LOVE to see. Products like the GolfForever Swing Trainer show the average golfer that prepping your body for the golf course does not mean swinging with five clubs in your hands at a time to warm up your back. Check out this recap to read about some of the highlights from the 2023 PGA Show.
February: The Return of Tiger Woods
Following Tiger Woods’ tragic car accident in 2021, golf fans were patiently waiting to see if the 15-time Major Champion would only be teeing it up in the PNC Championship with his son Charlie, or if he would return to professional golf to win once again. Once he announced that he was teeing it up in the 2023 Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles, golf fans saw a glimmer of hope. With one runner-up, three top-10s, and eight top-25 finishes at Riviera, it was a great place for Woods’ return. He made the cut that weekend, showing us at home that he's not done playing competitively by any means.
March: The Month of David Toms
There were three PGA TOUR Champions events played in the month of March, and one man won two of those three. That man is 2001 PGA Champion David Toms. After shooting an impressive three-round total of -15 at the Cologuard Classic to win over Robert Karlsson, he followed up with another win just two weeks later at The Galleri Classic with a tournament total of -16. With two of his three rounds at The Galleri Classic being 65’s, his golf abilities were putting on quite a show. There were few people on this planet that had a good of a March as David Toms did.
April: Jon Rahm Wins the Masters
There were countless reasons why people were anxiously awaiting the 2023 Masters. Will Scottie Scheffler go back-to-back? Will Tiger Woods make the cut? Will LIV golfers prove they can still hang with players from the PGA TOUR? Little did they know that there was Jon Rahm waiting to show golf fans what he can do at Augusta National. The final round pairing felt almost scripted with one of the main characters of the PGA Tour at the time, Rahm, going head to head to a prominent face of LIV in Brooks Koepka. With more major championship wins under his belt, Koepka was not going to be easy to defeat, but in the end, the Spaniard was the one putting on the green jacket and became the No. 1 player in the world as a result.
May: Michael Block Steals the Hearts of the Golf World
I will be honest with you, I did not know who Michael Block, PGA, was before he teed it up in the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. Now, I can say that it will be hard to find a golf fan who does not know who he is. I remember watching the leaderboard and television like a hawk to see him not only make the cut, but finish top 15. I cried when I saw him make the hole-in-one in the final round. This one:
To have someone so talented represent PGA of America Golf Professionals like Block, and with such class, made me an extra proud PGA Member that weekend. It also made me want to hit the range and practice more. Especially after reading this tip from Block in the second round.
June: Rose Zhang Wins in First LPGA Start
Rose Zhang, the former No. 1 amateur in the world, two-time NCAA individual National Champion, U.S. Amaetur champion, and so much more made her professional debut at the Mizuho Americas Open this year. There were many eyes on Liberty National that week to watch the talented star in action, and talk about starting your professional career off with a bang. Zhang ended up going into a playoff with a fellow former-amateur star (now major champion), Jennifer Kupcho. In the end, a new star was born and Rose Zhang won her first-ever professional event. Follow her lead next year with this great tip on flushing your hybrids.
July: Brian Harman Dominates at The Open Championship
After Rahm’s win at the 2023 Masters, all eyes were on him for The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. Such an iconic setting to crown the “Champion Golfer of the Year,” which means great golf had to be played to hoist the Claret Jug. In comes Brian Harman. As a fellow lefty myself, I can honestly say I could not have predicted this win; however, it was a display of golf that made you question why Harman hadn't won a major sooner. It felt as though he could not miss a shot, or miss a putt all week long. Even on the 72nd hole, it felt as if people were waiting for him to mess up, and it never happened. For Brian Harman to outlast the field and the weather made it arguably the most impressive win of 2023. Try these three tips from Harman and PGA Coach Brendon Elliott to improve your own game.
August: Viktor Hovland Wins the TOUR Championship
Argurably one of the best players of 2023, Viktor Hovland was a player I looked forward to watching every single week. With his smiley face and killer instincts on the golf course, it was hard to not root for him. Hovland shot an impressive -19 (starting the tournament at -8 to finish at -27 overall) at the TOUR Championship, with the closest competitor being Xander Schauffele, five strokes back. Hovland had an incredible season, playing in 23 events and making every cut, with nine top-10 finishes, and three wins at the BMW Championship, the Memorial, and finally the TOUR Championship. He's not going anywhere. Try these chipping keys from Hovland to help you around the greens!
September: Drama at the Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup was played this year in Spain at Finca Cortesin, and the teams were stacked with talent. I love watching the Solheim Cup, but this year was an extra intense matchup. The U.S. Team started the event winning all Friday Foursomes matches, making it feel like it was going to be a breeze for the young team. However, Team Europe put up a fight until the end. Winning Friday Fourball 3-1, tying Saturday Foursomes 2-2, and winning Saturday Fourball 3-1, Team Europe and Team USA were all tied up going into Sunday Singles . . . every golf fan’s dream. Europe needed 14 points to retain the cup, and the U.S. needed 14.5 to claim it back. In the end, the Solheim Cup finished with a leaderboard of 14-14, allowing for Europe to retain the cup. If you have not seen the Sunday Singles from this year’s Solheim Cup, I highly recommend you give it a watch; it was some of the most exciting match play of the year, with plenty of putting tips you can learn from.
October: Behind the Scenes at the Ryder Cup
Just a few short days after the Solheim Cup wrapped up, we jumped right into the long awaited 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. I was lucky enough to attend the Ryder Cup this year, and I wish I could say I witnessed a close matchup, but we all saw what we saw. Here's a quick recap of my time in Rome:
I had an incredible experience on-site and off, but it was still brutal to watch as one of the fans in red, white and blue. I saw a glimmer of hope on Sunday sitting in a local pub watching the red points increase, but in the end, Team Europe took the cup back winning 16.5 to 11.5. Counting down the days until Bethpage Black in 2025.
November: PGA Annual Meeting
As a PGA Professional, I always look forward to the PGA Annual Meeting, if I can attend or not. This year, I unfortunately could not be in Frisco, Texas, but I got to hear all about how incredible it was from my fellow Southwest PGA Section officers. I am a board member of the Southwest PGA, so in our meeting following the Annual Meeting, we heard all about the week that was. PGM Student Kayla Gutierrez was there and wrote this wonderful recap about her first Annual Meeting, which gives you an idea of how impactful the week can be.
There were plenty of opportunities to network and build relationships with PGA Professionals all over the country, plus they witnessed the newest PGA of America Hall of Fame members being inducted and the national award winners being recognized. As a PGA Member, it is every professional’s dream to be on the stage at the Annual Meeting receiving an award.
December: Family Time at the PNC Championship
The PNC Championship is the perfect way to end the calendar year. To watch some of the greatest professional golfers of all time tee it up with their parent or child is something that us golf fans do not take for granted. Some of my favorite memories on the golf course are with my father, fellow PGA Member Tom Parsons, and it is cool to see those similar memories made in front of our eyes.
Big names like Tiger Woods, Nelly Korda, Justin Thomas and Annika Sörenstam teed it up in this fun 2-person scramble format with their family members. Check out this memorable clip from Annika and her son, Will:
After a few days of fun, the legend Bernard Langer and his son, Jason, won the PNC Championship by two strokes over David Duval and his son, Brady. PGA Coach Brendon Elliott wrote a great tip for golf parents and what you can learn from the PNC Championship.
This year was another outstanding one, with plenty of moments to remember. As a PGA of America Golf Professional, I have made countless memories in the golf shop and on the golf course in 2023, and I cannot wait to see what 2024 brings for myself, and the game of golf!