GENEVA, Switzerland – For more than 50 years, Rolex has been at the very heart of golf. Having nurtured one of the most enduring partnerships between a brand and sport, the Swiss watchmaker remains synonymous with and an integral part of the ancient game as the 2023 season gets under way.
Last year was defined by captivating individual performances and thrilling contests between the world’s leading golfers, and 2023 promises more excitement with Rolex Testimonees well positioned to deliver on the biggest stages around the world following exceptional success in 2022.
WHERE IT BEGAN
Rolex’s relationship with golf dates back to 1967 when Arnold Palmer, joined by his great friends and rivals Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, became the brand’s first golfing Testimonees. Known as The Big Three, they collectively changed the face of golf forever and elevated the sport to new heights. This seminal partnership, founded on a mutual commitment to the pursuit of excellence and a unique respect for tradition, marked the beginning of a historic relationship.
Since then, Rolex has continuously strengthened its bonds with golf to help promote its development globally, champion innovation and respect the spirit of the game. Its support permeates every level of the game, including elite and amateur players, all the Major championships and professional tours around the world.
Through its strong associations with the organizations that govern the sport worldwide and are the guardians of its rules, Rolex has further cemented its place at the heart of golf. Building on a relationship that began in 1980, Rolex’s affiliation with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) has seen its iconic clocks adorn the roster of venues for The Open – golf’s oldest Major championship. Rolex has also continued to deepen its partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA) – the governing body of golf in the United States and Mexico, the organizer of the U.S. Open and joint custodian with the R&A of the Rules of Golf.
Rolex also has close ties with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America, the Masters, the PGA TOUR®, the DP World Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Asian Tour. The forging of early relationships with these key entities underlines the brand’s deep-rooted commitment to and long-standing support for the sport.
ICONIC EVENTS – THE MAJORS
Rolex’s ties with the pinnacle of golf are embodied in its patronage of all Major tournaments, the leading team competitions and other world-class events that showcase current and new talents on the global stage.
From 6–9 April, the golfing world will turn its attention to Georgia, USA, and the pristine, azalea-lined course of Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters Tournament, the first men’s Major of the season, of which Rolex has been an International Partner since 1999.
Celebrating its 87th edition, the only men’s Major to always be played at the same venue will invite the best professional and amateur golfers in the world, as well as past champions, to compete for the coveted Green Jacket.
The world’s elite will head to Oak Hill Country Club, located in Pittsford, New York, for the 105th PGA Championship from 18–21 May. Rolex celebrated a landmark development in 2021 when it renewed its role as Official Timekeeper and Official Partner of the PGA of America. First held in 1916 and contested by professionals only, the Championship is renowned for having the strongest field in international golf.
The 123rd edition of the U.S. Open will be held at the Los Angeles Country Club – a first-time venue – from 15–18 June. The tournament, at which Rolex has been Official Timekeeper since 1980, is renowned for its challenging layout and pin placements that test all aspects of a golfer’s game.
Royal Liverpool Golf Club will host the final men’s Major of the season – The Open. Taking place from 20–23 July, it will be the 13th time Hoylake has hosted golf’s oldest Major championship. Last year marked the 150th edition of this historic Championship, which was held at St Andrews, the Home of Golf, on the Old Course, one of the most venerable locations in the golfing world.
Rolex is also Official Timekeeper of all five Majors in women’s professional golf: The Chevron Championship, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open Presented by ProMedica, The Amundi Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s Open.
THE CHEVRON CHAMPIONSHIP
The Chevron Championship is the first LPGA Major of the year and will take place from 20–23 April. In 2022, it marked its 40th year as a Major championship, having acquired that status in 1983. Held since its foundation in 1972 at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, it will move to a new location in 2023, The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.
KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
Founded in 1955, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the second-oldest Major in women’s golf and has been played in 14 different states of the USA, with the state of Maryland hosting the championship for a record 12th time in 2022. This year, the 69th edition, will be held from 21–25 June at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.
U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN PRESENTED BY PROMEDICA
For the first time in its illustrious history, Pebble Beach will host the most coveted Major championship in women’s professional golf, the 78th U.S. Women’s Open Championship from 5–9 July. Established in 1946, it is the oldest of the LPGA Tour’s five Major championships and is played on some of the most prestigious courses in the USA. It will be the third Major of the LPGA season and has the highest purse in women’s golf.
THE AMUNDI EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Amundi Evian Championship is the penultimate women’s Major of the season and the only one to be staged in continental Europe. Each year, the world’s finest players take on the Champions Course at the Evian Resort Golf Club, nestled between the pristine shores of Lake Geneva and the majestic summits of the Alps, with this year’s event being held from 27–30 July.
AIG WOMEN’S OPEN
Established in 1976 to honour women’s growing presence in the sport, the AIG Women’s Open is the final Major of the season. Since 2017, The R&A has been responsible for staging the event, marking an important and progressive step in the global development of the women’s game. The 2022 edition was held at Muirfield for the first time and in 2023, the event will be staged at another first-time venue, Walton Heath, just outside of London, from 10–13 August.
In 2023, attention will turn to two of golf’s greatest team events. The women’s Solheim Cup will head to Spain for the first time, with the 18th edition being held at the Finca Cortesin in Casares, Andalucía, from 22–24 September. One week later, The Ryder Cup will make its debut in Italy – the seventh nation to host this unique competition. The picturesque Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, located just 17km from the heart of Rome, will host the competing men’s teams from Europe and the USA from 29 September–1 October.
ROLEX SERIES EVENTS
ABU DHABI HSBC CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2023 Rolex golf season opened with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates, the first of five events in the Rolex Series – the DP World Tour’s premium category – from 19–22 January. Lapped by the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the stunning Yas Links course hosted the championship for the first time in the tournament’s history in 2022.
HERO DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
Many of the world’s elite golfers then travelled to Dubai for the 34th edition of the iconic Hero Dubai Desert Classic. Held at the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club from 26–29 January, with its distinct backdrop of shimmering skyscrapers, 2023 marked two years since the event’s inclusion in the Rolex Series.
GENESIS SCOTTISH OPEN
The Genesis Scottish Open from 13–16 July will be the third Rolex Series event of 2023, returning to the Renaissance Club in East Lothian for a fifth consecutive year and taking place the week before The Open Championship. The event is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR as part of a strategic alliance, counting on both the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and the FedEx Cup.
BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
From 14–17 September, the world’s leading golfers will gather in the idyllic surroundings of the Wentworth Club on the outskirts of London to contest the penultimate Rolex Series tournament, the BMW PGA Championship. Long regarded as the DP World Tour’s flagship event, that status was confirmed in 2017 when it was chosen as one of the founding tournaments of the Rolex Series.
DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, DUBAI
The seventh edition of the Rolex Series will then conclude with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The leading players in the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex will compete at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, one of the world’s premier golf destinations, from 16–19 November with Rolex as Official Timekeeper.
As well as being a committed, long-term partner of leading golfing events across the globe, Rolex champions exceptional talent. This role dates back to the pioneering origins of the brand and stems from its desire to support those whose prowess and determination inspire them to innovate and inspire others to do the same. Rolex is part of golf’s fabric – a position that has never been so eminently clear as preparations for the 2023 season get under way.
WORLD CLASS EVENTS
In 2007, Rolex became an official sponsor of the men’s PGA TOUR®, the Florida-based tour organizer that co-sanctions more than 130 professional golf tournaments in North America and around the world, including the FedEx Cup, a season-long points competition, culminating in three play-off events.
PARTNERSHIPS AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE GAME
Since 1986, Rolex has been a Premier Partner of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), an organization dedicated to the development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
Rolex is deeply committed to the amateur game, and is a partner of important amateur tournaments across the globe, including the ground-breaking Augusta National Women’s championship launched in 2019, The British Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship, European Amateur Championship, Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. Rolex also supports the leading amateur team competitions, the Arnold Palmer Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup and World Amateur Team Championship.
As part of this support at all levels of the game – including for players aged 50 and over – Rolex also has a long-standing relationship with the U.S. Senior Open Championship and, since 2012, with The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.
RULES AND RANKINGS
Rolex’s involvement with The R&A, USGA, LPGA and AJGA extends to important touchpoints for golfers across the globe, including world rankings for women and amateurs. The Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings is the first comprehensive rankings system for women’s golf as well as for the foremost LPGA Tour players past and present. The World Amateur Golf Ranking® was established in 2007 for male golfers, and women were added in 2011. Since 2017, the AJGA has had its own rankings system, the Rolex AJGA Rankings to help fill tournament fields, including the ANA Junior Inspiration and Junior Presidents Cup.