PGA of America History - 1916-1919

  • 1916:
    • At the invitation of department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker, a number of golf professionals and leading amateurs of the era gather for lunch at the Taplow Club in the Martinique Hotel on Broadway and West 32nd Street in New York City on Jan. 17. Wanamaker believed golf professionals could enhance equipment sales if they formed an association.
    • James Hepburn, John (Jack) Hobens, Jack Mackie, James Maiden, Gilbert Nicholls, Herbert Strong and Robert White were chosen as the organizing committee of The PGA of America.
    • On April 10, The PGA of America is founded in New York City with 35 charter members.
    • The inaugural PGA Championship is conducted, Oct. 10-14, at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. James M. Barnes defeats Jock Hutchison, 1-up, in the Championship match. Wanamaker donates the trophy and a purse of $2,580.
    • The U.S. Golf Association extends The PGA of America the privilege of choosing the host club for the 1917 U.S. Open. Whitemarsh Valley Country Club is selected by vote.
  • 1917:
    • The PGA Championship is cancelled due to World War I.
    • The Association contacts clubs in regard to holding positions open for PGA members in the armed forces.
    • The PGA of America purchases an ambulance for the Red Cross and votes to maintain it until the end of the war.
  • 1918:
    • The PGA of America votes to send $1,000 to the British PGA for war relief.
    • The PGA Championship is again cancelled due to World War I.
  • 1919:
    • The PGA Championship resumes, and James M. Barnes successfully defends his title with a 6 and 5 victory over Fred McLeod at Engineers Country Club in Rosslyn, Long Island, N.Y.