PGA of America History - 1980-1989

  • 1980:
    • Jack Nicklaus wins his fifth PGA Championship, tying Walter Hagen for most Championships won.
    • Arnold Palmer wins his debut in the PGA Seniors’ Championship.
    • Stan Thirsk, of Kansas City Country Club in Shawnee Mission, Kan., is named PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • Tom Watson is named the PGA Player of the Year for his seven wins, including the British Open.
    • John Traub, of Rochester, Mich., wins the 13th PGA Club Professional Championship at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • Joe Black, of the Northern Texas Section, is elected the 22nd President of The PGA of America.
  • 1981:
    • New 30,000 square foot PGA of America National Office Building dedicated at PGA National Golf Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • PGA of America/PGA Tour Properties created to conduct joint merchandising ventures.
    • Miller Barber, of Sherman, Texas, wins the 43rd PGA Seniors’ Championship at Turnberry Isle Country Club in North Miami, Fla.
    • Larry Gilbert, of Lexington, Ky., wins the 14th PGA Club Professional Championship at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • Larry Nelson, of Marietta, Ga., wins the 63rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga.
    • Captain Dave Marr leads the United States Team to a 18 ½ to 9 ½ victory in the 24th Ryder Cup at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England.
    • John Gerring, Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, Ga., is named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • Bill Rogers is named the PGA Player of the Year. Rodgers won four times this year including a victory at the British Open.
  • 1982:
    • Operation of the World Golf Hall of Fame is transferred to The PGA of America.
    • Don January, of Dallas, wins the 44th PGA Seniors' Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • Larry Gilbert, of Lexington, Ky., wins the 15th PGA Club Professional Championship at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. It was Gilbert's second consecutive title.
    • Raymond Floyd, of Miami, Fla., wins the 64th PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
    • Bob Popp, Omaha (Neb.) Country Club, is named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • Tom Watson wins his fifth PGA Player of the Year award.
    • The PGA of America and PGA Tour announce a new partnership agreement.
    • The U.S. Team defeats Great Britain-Ireland, 13 1/2 - 7 1/2, in the 10th PGA Cup Matches in Knoxville, Tenn.
  • 1983:
    • Operation of the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame in Pinehurst, North Carolina transferred to The PGA of America.
    • Larry Webb, of Coolidge, Ariz., wins the 16th PGA Club Professional Championship. The tournament rounds were played at two courses, La Quinta Hotel Golf Club and Mission Hills Country Club, in La Quinta, Calif.
    • Hal Sutton, of Shreveport. La., wins wire-to-wire at the 65th PGA Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
    • Jack Nicklaus captains a narrow victory – 14 ½ to 13 ½ – by the United States in the 25th Ryder Cup at PGA National Golf Club.
    • Ken Lindsay, Colonial Country Club in Jackson, Miss., is named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • Hal Sutton caps off a great year, including a victory at the PGA Championship, by receiving the PGA Player of the Year Award.
  • 1984:
    • PGA of America, with Oldsmobile, launches what is to become the most popular pro-am golf tournament in the world with the Oldsmobile Scramble.
    • In January, Arnold Palmer wins his second PGA Seniors’ Championship and ties a single round tournament record with a 9-under 63. In December, Peter Thomson, of Melbourne, Australia, wins the PGA Seniors’ Championship in his debut. Both victories took place at PGA National Golf Club.
    • Bill Schumaker, of Columbia City, Ind., wins the 17th PGA Club Professional Championship with a birdie on the first play off hole at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • Lee Trevino wins his second PGA Championship in its 66th playing at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
    • Jerry Mowlds, Columbia-Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore., is named the recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award.
    • Tom Watson receives his sixth PGA Player of the Year Award. This finishes off a great year for Watson after three PGA Tour victories.
    • Mickey Powell, of the Indiana Section, is elected the 24th PGA of America President.
  • 1985:
    • For the first time since 1957, the USA loses the Ryder Cup to the European Team, 16 1/2 to 11 1/2, at the Belfry, in Sutton Coldfield, England.
    • Mississippi State University becomes the second university to offer Professional Golf Management curriculum.
    • Ed Dougherty, of Linwood, Pa., wins the 18th PGA Club Professional Championship in La Quinta, Calif.
    • Hubert Green, of Birmingham, Ala., returns to major championship form with a victory at the 67th PGA Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club in Englewood, Colo.
    • Jerry Cozby, Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, Okla., is named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • 1977 PGA Champion, Lanny Wadkins, is awarded PGA Player of the Year after a season that included three victories on the PGA Tour.
  • 1986:
    • Membership in the PGA of America reaches 9,411 with an additional 5,111 apprentices.
    • PGA Scholarship Fund established for children and grandchildren of PGA members.
    • South African Gary Player wins the 47th PGA Seniors’ Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. This is Player’s second victory in three starts after turning 50 in November of last year.
    • Bob Lendzion, of Quechee, Vt., shoots four consecutive 71s to win the 19th PGA Club Professional Championship. The CPC was played over four days on three separate courses in La Quinta, Calif.
    • Bob Tway, of Edmond Okla., chips in from the bunker for birdie on the 72nd hole to win the 68th PGA Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
    • David Ogilvie, Flossmoor Country Club in Flossmoor, Ill., in the recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award.
    • Bob Tway, PGA Champion, is awarded the PGA Player of the Year. Tway had four PGA Tour victories on the year in his sophomore season.
    • James Ray Carpenter, of the Gulf States Section, is elected the 25th President of The PGA of America.
  • 1987:
    • Europe captures the Ryder Cup – 15 to 13 – for the first time on American soil at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
    • Jim Awtrey named acting executive director then confirmed as executive director.
    • Chi Chi Rodriquez shoots a final round 67 to capture the 48th PGA Seniors’ Championship by one stroke at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • Jay Lumpkin, Amelia Island, Fla., wins the 20th PGA Club Professional Championship in La Quinta, Calif.
    • Two former PGA Champions, Larry Nelson and Lanny Wadkins, have a playoff in the 69th PGA Championship at PGA National Golf Club with Larry Nelson coming out on top for his second PGA Championship victory. PGA National Golf Club produced the highest winning golf score in PGA Championship history with 287.
    • Bob Ford, of Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., is named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • Paul Azinger, recipient of the PGA Player of the Year Award, captures three victories this year and had strong finishes at The Masters and British Open.
  • 1988:
    • PGA of America reorganizes national office.
    • Jim Awtrey receives additional title of chief executive officer.
    • New Mexico State University in Las Cruces becomes third school to offer Professional Golf Management curriculum.
    • Gary Player earns his second PGA Seniors’ Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    • Bob Boyd, of Florence, S.C., wins the 21st PGA Club Professional Championship in a play off at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C. Boyd defeated Rick Morton in a playoff after both shot 1-over-par 287s, marking the first time in the history of the PGA Club Professional Championship that the winning score was over par.
    • Jeff Sluman, of Naples Fla., fires of 6-under-par round of 65 to defeat Paul Azinger by three shots in the 70th PGA Championship at Oak Tree Gold Club in Edmond, Okla.
    • Hank Majewski of Wakefield Valley Golf Club in Westminister, Md., is the recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award.
    • Herb Graffis of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., an avid promoter of the game as well as founder of the National Golf Foundation, the Golf Writers Association of America, and the Golf Course Superintendents Association, is the recipient of the first PGA Distinguished Service Award.
    • Curtis Strange is named the PGA Player of the Year. Strange won the U.S. Open along with three other events.
    • Patrick J. Rielly, of the Southern California Section, is elected the 26th President of The PGA of America.
  • 1989:
    • Ben Hogan Tour started as part of a joint program between the PGA Tour and certain PGA Sections.
    • Larry Mowry, of Atlanta, Ga., holds on to his third round lead to win his first major at the 50th PGA Seniors’ Championship. This was ESPN broadcasts first live cable coverage of the PGA Seniors’ Championship.
    • PGA Head Professional Bruce Fleisher, a PGA Tour veteran, wins the 22nd PGA Club Professional Championship in La Quinta, Calif.
    • Payne Stewart birdies four of his final five holes to post a 67 and win his first major title at the 71st PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Hawthorn Woods, Ill.
    • The 28th Ryder Cup, held at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England, ended in a tie for only the second time in the history of the Ryder Cup.
    • Tom Addis III, Singing Hills Country Club in El Cajon, Calif., is named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
    • Entertainer, philanthropist, and golf’s biggest fan, Bob Hope, earns the PGA Distinguished Service Award.
    • Tom Kite receives the PGA Player of the Year Award. Kite had three victories including The Players.