store magnate Rodman Wanamaker helped establish The Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Wanamaker, who viewed the public’s growing enthusiasm for golf as the beginning of a national trend, promoted the idea of an association to help accelerate the growth of the game. Little did Wanamaker or his fellow founders realize that they were laying the groundwork for what would become the world’s largest working sports organization.
The PGA’s mission since has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. Now approaching the midway point in its “Decade of Excellence” in countdown to its Centennial celebration, The PGA and its Professionals remain dedicated to that mission as it applies to the modern golf industry.
In 1916, the fledgling organization – using 2,500 of Wanamaker’s money as a purse, along with trophies and medals he donated – held the first PGA
The PGA Championship was conducted in match-play format through 1957. Dow Finsterwald won the first stroke play Championship at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa. PGA Championship factoid
Championship at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N. Y. Played as a series of head-to-head matches – known as match play – the event was won by Englishman Jim Barnes. The PGA Championship was then put on hold for two years by World War I, but resumed in 1919 at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn, N. Y., with Barnes again emerging victorious to claim what was now known as the Wanamaker Trophy, which is still awarded to the winner to this day.
The PGA Championship continued to be held as a match play event each year – with the exception of 1943, when World War II interrupted play – through 1957. During the match play era, legends such as Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Paul Runyan, Tommy Armour, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan
Department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker was instrumental in the founding of The PGA of America.
Play Golf America: Helping you get more golf into your life
The PGA of America was founded on a commitment to growing participation in the game of golf, and today its
28,000 men and women PGA Professionals are the leaders in promoting golf as a fun and rewarding activity. To assist in this cause, Play Golf America was launched in 2004 as an industry-wide player development initiative that plays a vital role in attracting new golfers to the sport and compelling occasional golfers to play more. Through PlayGolfAmerica.com golfers can learn about fun and affordable programs in their areas and get linked up with local PGA and LPGA Professionals who can get them started toward enjoying the benefits of our great game – benefits that include being outdoors, getting exercise, spending time with family and friends and more.
• American Express Women’s Golf
Month (June): A month-long
celebration of golf as a fun activity
and sport for women through special
events and playing opportunities
that make learning and playing golf
rewarding for golfers of all ages and
complimentary green fees when
accompanied by a paying adult.
• Patriot Golf Day (Sept. 3-6): PGA
facilities nationwide lead a charitable
campaign to raise funds for the Folds
of Honor Foundation that provides
scholarships to children and spouses
of military service men and women
killed or disabled while on active duty.
In addition to the calendar promotions,
Play Golf America has expanded its
programs and services to promote junior
golf and nine-hole rates. In addition, the
following year-round programs are also
offered by PGA facilities and PGA
• PGA Free Lesson Month (May):
Allows golfers to improve their game
and become familiar with golf
instruction through free, 10-minute
lessons or family clinics conducted
by PGA and LPGA Professionals
Play Golf America national promotions include monthly and year-round programs that make it easy and fun for anyone to get started in the game. These programs include:
• PGA Play Golf America Days: Free golf festivals that feature complimentary instruction from PGA Professionals, group clinics, equipment demos, contests, entertainment and fun.
• Get Golf Ready: Designed for new golfers and those returning to the sport to learn the basics of the game in a fun and comfortable setting. It is currently offered at more than 1,400 certified facilities.
• The PGA Family Course Program: Beginner-friendly short courses, created by placing special “Family Tees” within existing regulation golf courses, that allow parents and kids of all abilities and ages to play golf together in a fun environment.
THE PGA OF AMERICA
• PGA Free Fitting & Trade-Up Month
(April): Complimentary 15-minute
equipment fitting sessions with PGA
or LPGA Professionals to help ensure
that the equipment golfers currently
own or plan to buy is the right fit for
• American Express/PGA Friend of a Cardmember: Allows golfers to bring a friend at no additional cost when booking and paying for a lesson with a PGA Professional using an American Express® Card.
Detailed information on these promotions can be found at PlayGolfAmerica.com.
• Family Golf Month (July): Participating facilities offer both family clinics and golf play at reduced “family rates,” to provide structured-yet-casual opportunities to learn and play the game together and promote golf as a family recreation activity.
• Take Your Daughter to the Course Week (July 5-11): A component of Family Golf Month in which golf facilities across the country offer free clinics for juniors, as well as
THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE 2010 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 27