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Sports Then and Now

The PGA: Golf’s Major Championship Growing Internationally

Posted on October 30, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
Could future PGA Champions be kissing the trophy on foreign soil?

Could future PGA Champions be kissing the trophy on foreign soil?

Major American golf championship, the PGA, has announced that it may venture outside of America for future events once or twice a decade.

The PGA International?
The PGA, conducted by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, is one of the four major golf championships, and is usually the season’s last major title. The first PGA was held in 1916, so it’s not far off from 100 years old. Primarily played in the eastern half of the US, the championship has barely even ventured out of this area.

The event has its venues planned out until 2019, so there’s no chance of the championship being held in another country until then. The move is being considered to raise the profile and prestige of the championship. Despite its title as one of golf’s major championships, it has failed to gain the same popularity like its rivals have – the Masters, the Open and the US Open.

The CEO of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America has said “When we sat down to map our strategic plan to service our members and grow the game, the question arose as to what impact it would have to take the PGA Championship to an international location once or twice a decade.

“It would be something we would only do if we had the cooperation of quite a few groups.”

A History of the PGA
The PGA was created by Rodman Wanamaker, a department store owner. He invited famous golfers and industry leaders to lunch in New York City and together they formed the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Wanamaker suggested an all-professional annual tournament, and offered up $2,500 worth of prizes. The first tournament was held six months later at the Siwanoy Country Club in New York State.

In 1957, after Lionel Hebert’s victory over Dow Finsterwald, the PGA Championship changed from match play to stroke play. The 1958 championship was televised to an audience of millions.

The Influence of the PGA
Despite the fears of the events owners, the PGA is still a major golf championship, and many golf lovers look to the event with excitement. The equipment and clothes that the golfers wear at the event still hold great influence over the golf playing public. Golf clothing and equipment stores like My Golf Locker often draw many influences from the majors, including the PGA.

The decision that may be made by the CEO of the PGA to take the championship internationally will only mean that the event’s influence will increase.

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