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History of The PGA of America

Department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker

The origin of The PGA of America can be traced to Jan. 17, 1916, when a group of New York-area golf professionals, accompanied by several prominent amateur golfers, attended a luncheon at the Taplow Club in New York City. The host was department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker. Among those in attendance were prominent golfers Walter Hagen and Francis Ouimet, and acclaimed golf course designer, A.W. Tillinghast.

The purpose of the gathering was to discuss forming a national organization, which would promote interest in the game of golf and help elevate the vocation of golf professionals. 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.

The PGA of America was formally created in New York City on April 10, 1916, with 82 founding members. Little did Wanamaker or his guests realize that they were laying the groundwork for what would become the world's largest working sports organization.

Today, PGA Professionals are recognized as “The Experts in the Game and Business of Golf.” Fully aware of the passion that millions share for golf, The PGA – through its more than 28,000 men and women Professionals – has dedicated itself to growing the game and elevating the standards of its member Professionals.

There are 95 years of glorious history behind The PGA of America - from our beginnings in 1916 all the way to Martin Kaymer becoming the first German to claim the coveted Wanamaker Trophy, when he captured the 92nd PGA Championship in 2010.

We invite you to view the 60-second "Love Story" Public Service Announcement narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas and visit the other areas of our site to learn more about The PGA of America and the PGA Museum of Golf.