Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1916

PGA is formed

On January 17, 1916, a group of golf professionals and several leading amateur golfers gather at the Taplow Club in New York City, in a meeting that will result in the founding of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA).

The lunch meeting occurred at the invitation of Rodman Wanamaker, the son of the pioneering founder of Wanamaker’s department stores (now Macy’s). A graduate of Princeton University, Wanamaker joined his father’s business in 1886. He used his considerable wealth and influence to support a number of interests, including aviation, art and sports. Believing that golf needed an official organization to promote interest in the game, which was already growing at the time, Wanamaker invited a group of players, including the celebrated Walter Hagen, and other representatives of the sport to the Taplow Club for an exploratory meeting.

The Taplow Club gathering began a series of several meetings over the next several months, and on April 10, 1916, the PGA was officially established with 35 charter members. Wanamaker proposed that the newly formed organization hold an annual tournament, and offered to donate money for a trophy and prize fund. That October, the first annual PGA Championship took place at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. James M. Barnes defeated Jock Hutchinson in the championship match, taking home the trophy and a purse of $2,580.

In the years since 1916, the PGA has grown into one of the sporting world’s largest professional associations. Each summer, top golfers compete at a different outstanding course for one of golf’s most prestigious awards, the Wanamaker Trophy.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

The execution of Gary Gilmore

Gary Gilmore, convicted in a double murder, is shot to death by a firing squad in Utah, becoming the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, in violation of the eighth Amendment ...read more

H-bomb lost in Spain

On this day, a B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain’s Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. It was not the first or last accident involving American nuclear bombs. As a means of maintaining ...read more

Soviets capture Warsaw

On this day, Soviet troops liberate the Polish capital from German occupation. Warsaw was a battleground since the opening day of fighting in the European theater. Germany declared war by launching an air raid on September 1, 1939, and followed up with a siege that killed tens of ...read more

Nixon threatens President Thieu

President Richard Nixon warns South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu in a private letter that his refusal to sign any negotiated peace agreement would render it impossible for the United States to continue assistance to South Vietnam. Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry ...read more

Anne Bronte is born

On this day in 1820, Anne Bronte, the youngest of the six Bronte children, is born in Yorkshire, England. Their mother died when Anne was still an infant, and the children were left largely to their own devices in the bleak parsonage in Haworth, a remote village in Yorkshire, ...read more

Earthquake rocks Los Angeles

On this day in 1994, an earthquake rocks Los Angeles, California, killing 54 people and causing billions of dollars in damages. The Northridge quake (named after the San Fernando Valley community near the epicenter) was one of the most damaging in U.S. history. It was 4:31 a.m. ...read more

Sherman’s army rained in

On this day in 1865, Union General William T. Sherman’s army is rained in at Savannah, Georgia, as it waits to begin marching into the Carolinas. In the fall of 1864, Sherman and his army marched across Georgia and destroyed nearly everything in their path. Sherman reasoned that ...read more

Corvette unveiled at GM Motorama

On this day in 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette sports car makes its debut at General Motors’ (GM) Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Corvette, named for a fast type of naval warship, would eventually become an iconic American muscle car and ...read more

Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina

Relying upon strategic creativity, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and a mixed Patriot force rout British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and a group of Redcoats and Loyalists at the Battle of Cowpens on this day in 1781. Commander in chief of the Southern Army, Major ...read more