Professional Golfers' Association of America
|Founded||April 10, 1916|
|Inaugural season||1916, 100 years ago|
|Motto||Experts in the game
and business of golf
The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA of America) is an American organization of golf professionals. Founded in 1916 and headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, the PGA of America is made up of more than 28,000 men and women golf professional members. The PGA of America’s undertaking is to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
The origins of the PGA may be traced to Charles Campbell Worthington, a businessman and owner of the Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation. He built the Buckwood Inn, an exclusive resort near Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania, with an eighteen-hole golf course designed by A. W. Tillinghast and completed around 1910. In 1912 Worthington invited a group of professional golfers to compete on his course; the group was a forerunner of the Professional Golfers' Association of America.
In February 1916 the Professional Golfers' Association was established in New York City. One month earlier, the wealthy department store owner Rodman Wanamaker hosted a luncheon at the Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle. This gathering of Wanamaker and the leading golf professionals of the day prepared the agenda for the formal organization of the PGA in New York City a month later. The organization's first president was Robert White, one of Wykagyl's best known golf professionals of the time. Golf historians have dubbed Wykagyl "The Cradle of the PGA". White is also notable for designing the Ocean Forest Country Club at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On April 10, 1916, The PGA of America was created via the 35 charter members signing the constitution and bylaws. The first PGA Championship was held October 1916 and won by Jim Barnes.
In November 1961, the PGA of America dropped its "caucasian only" clause by amending its constitution. The previous year, it had voted to retain the clause, and had gained the ire of California's attorney general Stanley Mosk, who threatened to shut down the PGA in the state until the clause was removed. The 1962 PGA Championship was scheduled for Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles, but the PGA moved it to Philadelphia at Aronimink.
With an increase of revenue in the late 1960s due to expanded television coverage, a dispute arose between the touring professionals and the PGA of America on how to distribute the windfall. The tour players wanted larger purses, where the PGA desired the money to go to the general fund to help grow the game at the local level. Following the final major in July 1968 at the PGA Championship, several leading tour pros voiced their dissatisfaction with the venue and the abundance of club pros in the field. The increased friction resulted in a new entity in August, what would eventually become the PGA Tour. Tournament players formed their own organization, American Professional Golfers, Inc. (APG), independent of the PGA of America. After several months, a compromise was reached in December: the tour players agreed to abolish the APG and form the PGA "Tournament Players Division," a fully autonomous division under the supervision of a new 10-member Tournament Policy Board. The board consisted of four tour players, three PGA of America executives, and three outside members, initially business executives. It hired its own commissioner and was renamed the "PGA Tour" in the mid-1970s.
In October 2014, PGA president Ted Bishop responded to Ian Poulter's criticism of the Ryder Cup captaincy of Nick Faldo and Tom Watson by calling Poulter a "lil girl", which led to Bishop's firing. The PGA called Bishop's statements "unacceptable" and "insensitive gender-based".
The aim of The PGA of America is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, consumers, and the golf industry.
The PGA enhances the skills of its 28,000 men and women professionals and provide opportunities for amateurs, employers, manufacturers, employees, and the general public.
The PGA elevates the standards of the professional golfer's vocation, enhance the economic well-being of the individual member, and stimulates interest in the game of golf.
To be elected to membership of the PGA, aspirant golf professionals (apprentices) and students go through three levels of education courses, written exams, simulation testing, seminars, and must pass the PGA Playing Ability Test. These men and women have the option to pursue the PGA education through self-study, by the use of accredited PGA Golf Management Universities, or through an accelerated PGA Golf Management Program.
The PGA conducts major events including the PGA Championship, the Women's PGA Championship, and the Senior PGA Championship. The PGA conducts more than 30 tournaments for its members and apprentices, including the PGA Professional National Championship and the PGA Assistant Professional Championship. It also co-organizes the biennial Ryder Cup and PGA Cup.
Growth of the game
In 2003, the PGA of America created the Player Development department within the Association in an endeavor to reach out to new, past and sporadic adult golfers. This is accomplished through the growth, promotion and support of instructional programs and events at PGA member facilities that support adults and families to play golf. Included in these programs is Play Golf America, instigated in 2004 with the help of the Allied Associations (LPGA, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA Tour, USGA, and others involved in the annual Golf 20/20 Conference).
The PGA Foundation serves as the PGA of America’s philanthropic arm, as it is a charitable, educational, and research organization that was founded in 1954. The foundation distributes funds to golf instruction and community golf programs, research and education, minority golf programs and junior golf tournaments and events.
PGA golf properties
- PGA Golf Club (Port St. Lucie, Florida) — 54 holes of public-access resort golf designed by Tom Fazio and Pete Dye in PGA Village, which is ranked among the "75 Best Golf Resorts in North America" by Golf Digest (No. 51).
- PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance (Port St. Lucie, Florida) — 35-acre (140,000 m2) golf park featuring a lighted driving range, short game practice area, and a three-hole teaching course. Ranked among the Top 100 Golf Ranges in America from 1999 to 2011 by Golf Range Magazine.
- PGA Museum of Golf (Port St. Lucie, Florida) — Museum traces the story of The PGA of America, holds golf's four major Championship trophies, the oldest-known written mention of golf for the Articles of Parliament in the 15th Century; Walter Hagen's birth certificate; Donald Ross' 1900s-era workbench, the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame, and is home to the Probst Library, a collection of golf periodicals. Open to the public for free.
- PGA Education Center (Port St. Lucie, Florida) — Provides education programs to serve both PGA members and apprentices.
- St. Lucie Trail Golf Club (Port St. Lucie, Florida) — 18 holes golf designed by Jim Fazio Sr.
- Valhalla Golf Club (Louisville, Kentucky) — Designed by Jack Nicklaus. Site of the 2008 Ryder Cup; 2004 and 2011 Senior PGA Championships; 2002 PGA Professional National Championship; and 1996, 2000 and 2014 PGA Championships. Ranked No. 95 among "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses" by Golf Digest.
- PGA Village The Bahamas (Cat Island) — future home to a PGA Village.
- Robert White, Metropolitan PGA Section, 1916–19
- Jack Mackie, Metropolitan PGA Section, 1919–20
- George Sargent, Southeastern PGA Section, 1921–26
- Alex Pirie, Metropolitan PGA Section, 1927–30
- Charles Hall, Southeastern PGA Section, 1931–32
- George Jacobus, New Jersey PGA Section, 1933–39
- Tom Walsh, Illinois PGA Section, 1940–41
- Ed Dudley, Colorado PGA Section, 1942–48
- Joe Novak, Southern California PGA Section, 1949–51
- Horton Smith, Michigan PGA Section, 1952–54
- Harry Moffitt, Northern Ohio PGA Section, 1955–57
- Harold Sargent, Southeastern PGA Section, 1958–60
- Lou Strong, Illinois PGA Section, 1961–63
- Warren Cantrell, Texas PGA Section, 1964–65
- Max Elbin, Middle Atlantic PGA Section, 1966–68
- Leo Fraser, Philadelphia PGA Section, 1969–70
- Warren Orlick, Michigan PGA Section, 1971–72
- William Clarke, Middle Atlantic PGA Section, 1973–74
- Henry Poe, Dixie PGA Section, 1975–76
- Don Padgett, Indiana PGA Section, 1977–78
- Frank Cardi, Metropolitan PGA Section, 1979–80
- Joe Black, Northern Texas PGA Section, 1981–82
- Mark Kizziar, South Central PGA Section, 1983–84
- Mickey Powell, Indiana PGA Section, 1985–86
- James Ray Carpenter, Gulf States PGA Section, 1987–88
- Patrick J. Rielly, Southern California PGA Section, 1989–90
- Dick Smith, Philadelphia PGA Section, 1991–92
- Gary Schaal, Carolinas PGA Section, 1993–94
- Tom Addis III, Southern California PGA Section, 1995–96
- Ken Lindsay, Gulf States PGA Section, 1997–98
- Will Mann, Carolinas PGA Section, 1999–2000
- Jack Connelly, Philadelphia PGA Section, 2001–02
- M.G. Orender, North Florida PGA Section, 2003–04
- Roger Warren, Carolinas PGA Section, 2005–06
- Brian Whitcomb, Southwest PGA Section, 2007–08
- Jim Remy, New England PGA Section, 2009–10
- Allen Wronowski, Middle Atlantic Section, 2011–12
- Ted Bishop, Indiana PGA Section, 2013–14
- Derek Sprague, Northeastern New York PGA Section, 2015–16
- Maurer, Joe (September–October 1999). "C. C. Worthington and the Worthington Mower". Gas Engine Magazine (Ogden Publications, Inc.): 1–2. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- Davis, Gerry Hempel (2011-11-16). Romancing the Roads: A Driving Diva's Firsthand Guide, East of the Mississippi. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-58979-620-1. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- Buffington, Davis (28 September 1935). "WORTHINGTON MOWER CO. v. GUSTIN". Circuit Court, Third Circuit. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- "Wykagyl, 1898–1998"; Desmond Tollhurst and John Barban; pages 28–30
- "Wykagyl, 1898–1998"; Desmond Tollhurst and John Barban; pages 1–2
- "South Carolina Department of Archives and History". National Register Properties in South Carolina: Ocean Forest Country Club, Horry County (5609 Woodside Dr., Myrtle Beach), including six photos. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. 2010-06-21.
- "Race, religion, nationality no longer barrier to PGA". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. November 10, 1961. p. 18, part 2.
- "PGA group abolishes 'Caucasian'". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida). Associated Press. November 10, 1961. p. 22.
- Awtrey, Stan (February 11, 2009). "Professionals' split was a good thing for the game". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Touring pros studying break". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. July 23, 1968. p. 12.
- McCarthy, Denis (August 14, 1968). "Golf tour pros break with PGA". Palm Beach Post. p. 19.
- Green, Bob (August 20, 1968). "Rebel golfers number 205: pros form APG". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. p. 3B.
- "Touring golf pros set up own shop". Milwaukee Journal. August 20, 1968. p. 11.
- "Rebel touring pros organize to battle for tournament, television jackpot". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. August 20, 1968. p. 15.
- Mulvoy, Mark (September 2, 1968). "The revolt of the touring pros". Sports Illustrated: 20.
- Nicklaus, Jack (September 16, 1968). "Rebuttal to a searing attack". Sports Illustrated: 30.
- "Making an impact: Golf 1895–2004". USA Today. January 8, 2004. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "PGA, sponsors eye settlement". Eugene Register-Guard (Oregon). Associated Press. September 6, 1968. p. 3B.
- "History: 1960–69". PGA of America. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Tour golfers, PGA settle fuss over tourney control". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 14, 1968. p. 15.
- "Pro golf struggle is settled; PGA forms tourney group". Milwaukee Journal. December 14, 1968. p. 18.
- "Dispute in U.S. settled". Glasgow Herald (Scotland, U.K.). December 16, 1968. p. 5.
- "A year later and, peace on golf tour". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Florida). Associated Press. August 5, 1969. p. 8.
- "Ian Poulter tweet leads to exit of American PGA president". BBC Sport. October 24, 2014.
- "PGA impeaches Ted Bishop". ESPN. Associated Press. October 27, 2014.
- "PGA Mission." PGALinks.com. Web. 31 July 2013. (http://www.pgalinks.com/diversity/index.cfm?id=missionstatement)
- "PGA of America, LPGA, KPMG join forces for KPMG Women's PGA Championship". PGA of America. May 29, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses/2009-10
-  - PGA of America History media guide
- - PGA Village fact sheet
-  - PGA of America fact sheet
- - PGA of America History at PGA.com
- -PGA history