7 PGA Tour Facts Most Fans Don’t Know

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Televised and adored by millions of fans around the world, the PGA Tour is a feast of aesthetics and skills unlike any other sporting event.

The PGA remains the primary body in the sport of golf, and has ensured golf’s extensive development, planning, and implementation while at the helm to make it the sporting event it is today.

It’s no wonder viewership keeps growing and fans look forward to the PGA Tour each year with relish. A sport given to rising stars like Xander – and an always demanding level of play – golf’s captivating quality transfixes millions of viewers.

Formed in 1929, you can be sure the association’s history is full of fascinating but little known facts. Here are 7 PGA Tour facts even most diehard fans don’t know about the PGA.

All PGA Tour events are non-profit

PGA tour events always benefit local charities. They’re not-for-profit events designed to funnel funding into local charitable causes, an act that certainly maintains the noble air golf exudes.

It’s a sporting event model hard to beat. While all sporting fraternities often provide charitable donations via their associations and players, the PGA has this honorable and heartwarming architecture as an inbuilt feature of its existence.

We see the prize monies earned by top players, but we don’t see the huge social boost and goodwill the PGA generates behind the scenes. In 2020, all-time charitable giving from the PGA exceeded $3 billion!

The trophy is a product of fandom

In 1916, Rodman Wanamaker was such an avid golf fan that he organized a lunch event for the top players of his time. He also put up prize money and a trophy for future events. Thus – in a rather casual manner – a professional golfers’ association formed.

Today, the PGA Tour trophy is still called the Wanamaker Trophy and, as a successful department store magnate, Wanamaker provided golf a huge financial boost in his last years before passing away in 1928.

It’s one of the finer historical PGA Tour facts that the logic of a professional fraternity, prize money, and a lovely trophy should all have sprung from someone who truly loved the game.

Augusta National Golf Club was closed for years

You can barely mention the word golf without mentioning Augusta National Golf Club. While the Scots are credited with creating the game, and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews can lay claim to being the original home of the sport, Augusta National is a name that inspires all of the travails and majesty of golf for many fans and players.

A PGA Tour fact that might surprise you is that in 1942, it was decided that the wartime effort demanded the Masters and Augusta National shut down until the fray was over.

While that might not seem so surprising, it is surprising to learn that (while fallow), the greenkeeper used the acreage to farm cattle and turkeys!

Looking at the bespoke, tranquil surroundings we often see on TV today, it’s hard to imagine a herd of cows ambling through the place, stomping on the greens and tugging at anything edible!

Players work hard year-round to get a chance at the PGA Tour

The PGA Tour lifestyle looks exquisite, doesn’t it? Strolling around immaculate courses, playing a game you love, always surrounded by a sea of relaxing green.

However, it belies the tremendous dedication required to make the competition play, and the disciplined routine and focus needed from any golf pro to compete.

As GolfSpan.com points out: “Earning your way onto the PGA Tour is extremely taxing and competitive. Out of an approximate 80 million golfers globally only the elite 175 plus exemptions qualify for the PGA Tour.”

The first time a PGA match was televised, it ended with a birdie

It’s hard to say what impact such an exciting finish to the first televised PGA game might have had on growing the game’s fan base and establishing golf as a ‘silent thriller.’ It’s fair to say, though, that in 1953 when the World Championship of Golf was televised, it didn’t disappoint.

It was Lew Worsham who birdied the final hole and walked away with the $25,000 prize money in 1953, and the finish had an indelibly delightful impact on hundreds of thousands of spectators. This is one PGA Tour fact that likely boosted televised golf more than any other, and established golf as a thrilling spectator sport.

Golf is the only spectator sport that doesn’t compress time

Most of the world knows that golf is intrinsically luxurious with time. A round will take the time it takes, in contrast to many other sports where you must perform within a certain time limit.

While many new to golf might imagine this PGA Tour fact deflates suspense and makes golf boring, quite the opposite is true, as any golf fan can tell you! While there may be  low-level grumbling about “pace of play” in the game of golf, there’s equally strenuous objection to trying to ‘speed it up’ in an undignified manner.

There’s something about the unhurried culmination of a golf game that exhilarates the human spirit, and in this regard, time (all puns intended) has proven the PGA right in maintaining the essential decorum of the game, as it’s made it all the more thrilling.

Who would have thought the hushed pace of golf would become so exciting as the world hurries past?

A PGA Tour fact from a greenkeeper’s point of view

Any televised event involves a large crew and ample preparation, but the PGA matches we see on TV boast courses in truly exquisite condition.

An unfortunate golf fact for most greenkeepers is that most golfers expect their home courses to shine as brightly!

What those club members don’t realize is that there’s been a greenkeeper working very hard (and sleeping very little) for months before the game. He’s also been the one chasing hobby golfers off the course, as it’s normal for the host course to shut down completely before a major tour match.

If the fairways appear without blemish and the greens without fault when play gets underway, it’s because they are! They have been for weeks, as the greenkeeper has been ever refining the quality of the course in anticipation of the big day.

The PGA Tour’s facts and figures keep rolling in

As you’d expect from such a hale association and its detailed historical involvement in the game, the PGA Tour is constantly giving rise to even more interesting facts.

Alongside the big purse figures and glitzy tournaments, however, the PGA fraternity always offers stories of giving and charity, stories of camaraderie, and ever the more gentlemanly aspects of golf which remain a firm fixture of the sport.