Professional Golfers' Association of America
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 29,000 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
4 Growth of the game
5.1 PGA professionals
5.2 PGA Reach
5.3 PGA presidents
6 PGA properties
7 See also
9 External links
The Professional Golfers' Associaton of America was established on
April 10, 1916, but the genesis of the first all-professional golf
body in the
United States was sparked by a luncheon on January 17,
1916, hosted by Lewis
Rodman Wanamaker at Wanamaker's Store on Ninth
Street and Broadway in New York City. Sixty attendees were invited
by the Taplow Club, which was a business group within Wanamaker's
Store and led by professional Tom McNamara of Brookline,
Massachusetts, an outstanding players and talented salesman who was
keenly aware of the welfare of the club professional. McNamara
pressed upon Wanamaker that it was prime time to bring U.S.
professionals together, and that the publicity generated would be
advantageous. Locked into a retail battle with rival A.G. Spalding
& Bros. for the sale of golf balls, Wanamaker enthusiastically
approved the initiative. He asked McNamara to arrange the luncheon
inviting prominent amateur and professional golf leaders from
throughout the country.
Wanamaker's ninth floor restaurant was chosen as the site for the
Monday luncheon, which attracted amateur great Francis Ouimet, noted
writer, player and budding architect A.W. Tillinghast; and P.C.
Pulver, the New York Evening Sun reporter and one of the first
newspaper golf "beat" writers who later served as the first editor of
The Professional Golfer, today's PGA Magazine. The guest list also
included some of America's top professionals: Alex Smith, James
Maiden, Robert White, Jack Mackie and Alex Pirie, as well as others
who derived their livelihoods from their jobs at private and public
The Taplow Club was not an eatery or dining establishment. Instead, it
was Wanamaker's nickname for his in-store business group. He had taken
the name form a palatial estate he leased on Taplow Court some 25
miles outside London. He would later stamp "Taplow" on his store's
lower-end, private-label golf balls. Wanamaker, who was not a golfer,
was never reported to have attended the luncheon. He delegated the
details to McNamara. With golf becoming more and more popular in the
U.S., McNamara believed that his fellow professionals could benefit by
working together. Wanamaker also believed consolidating professionals
would also improve their social standing, having long been treated by
club members as second-class citizens.
Toastmaster Joseph H. Appel, vice president of Wanamaker's foundation,
presented Wanamaker's offer to conduct a match play championship for
professionals, similar to Great Britain's News of the World
Tournament. Appel also broached the subject of a national association
In addition, Wanamaker would donate a cup and $2,580 in prize money,
and would ultimately pay the travel expenses of the competitors. That
"cup" became the
Rodman Wanamaker Trophy, and the tournament the PGA
Championship. The inaugural
PGA Championship was held October 11-14,
1916, at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York, and won by
English-born Jim Barnes.
Former British PGA Secretary James Hepburn suggested that the 32
lowest finishers in the U.S. Open would be paired for match play,
following Robert White's contention that the U.S. was too large for
section qualifiers. The all-professional match play concept was in
direct contrast to the
Golf Association's medal (stroke)
play format. Wanamaker requested that the proposal for the
Championship be contingent upon approval by the
USGA or other
Tillinghast spoke up and declared that the professionals should be
independent of the
USGA in handling their own affairs and
competitions. Tillinghast's argument held, as a follow-up
organizational meeting was planned the following day in Wanamaker's
Organizers then formed a seven-person group whose primary task was to
define tentative bylaws for the new association. They named Hepburn to
chair an organizational committee of professionals that included
Maiden, White and Mackie, as well as Gilbert Nicholls, John "Jack"
Hobens, and Herbert Strong - none of the group was American-born. This
group drafted a constitution, turning to the British PGA for
The luncheon agenda addressed giving golf professionals say when it
came to the organization and staging of tournaments, among other
The response to creating such a body was positive, and additional
meetings followed. On April 10, 1916, in the second-floor boardroom of
the Hotel Martinique on 32nd and Broadway, the Professional Golfers'
Association of America was born. There were 78 members elected that
day, including 35 PGA Charter Members, of which 28 were born outside
The Association began with seven PGA Sections: Metropolitan, Middle
States, New England, Southeastern, Central, Northwestern and Pacific.
Today, there are 41 PGA Sections nationwide.
From 1934 through November 1961, the PGA of America maintained a
"Caucasian-only" membership clause in its bylaws. The clause was
removed 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
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
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
The PGA enhances the skills of its 29,000 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.
The PGA conducts major events including the PGA Championship, the KPMG
Women's PGA Championship, and the KitchenAid Senior PGA
Championship. The PGA conducts more than 30 tournaments for its
members and apprentices, including the PGA Professional Championship
and the Assistant PGA Professional Championship. It also co-organizes
the biennial Ryder Cup,
PGA Cup and in 2019, the inaugural Women's PGA
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
Owners Association, PGA Tour, USGA, and others involved in the annual
Golf 20/20 Conference).
The PGA is organized into 14 districts and 41 sections.
Central New York
Western New York
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
Golf Management Universities (currently 18 universities in the
United States offer a PGA
Golf Management program), or through an
Golf Management Program.
PGA Reach is the caritable foundation of the PGA of America. The
mission of PGA Reach is to positively impact the lives of youth,
military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA
professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.
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
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
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
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
Paul K. Levy, Southern
California PGA Section, 2017-present
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 Gallery - located in the halls of the PGA
Golf Club clubhouse in
Port St. Lucie, Florida. The PGA Gallery showcases the major trophies
in golf, and artifacts of PGA Champions and many rare pieces of PGA
history to connect visitors to the rich history of the game and the
PGA Education Center (Port St. Lucie, Florida) — Provides education
programs to serve both PGA members and apprentices.
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
Golf Courses" by
Golf in the United States
^ a b "Race, religion, nationality no longer barrier to PGA".
Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. November 10, 1961. p. 18,
^ "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.
^ 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,
^ a b "Tour golfers, PGA settle fuss over tourney control".
Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 14,
1968. p. 15.
^ a b "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,
^ "PGA Mission." PGALinks.com. Web. 31 July 2013.
^ "PGA of America, LPGA, KPMG join forces for KPMG Women's PGA
Championship". PGA of America. May 29, 2014. Retrieved July 18,
^ America's 100 Greatest
 - PGA of America History media guide
- PGA Village fact sheet
 - PGA of America fact sheet
- PGA of America History at PGA.com
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