The oldest major championship in professional senior golf, the PGA Seniors' Championship was born in 1937 on the grounds of one of golf's major championships, at the invitation of one of the game's greatest players. At the suggestion of renowned amateur golfer Bobby Jones Jr., the inaugural PGA Seniors' Championship was played at Augusta National Golf Club three years after the first Masters Tournament was held. It was established in the fall of 1937 to provide an opportunity for PGA members over the age of 50 to compete with their peers. The purse was $2,000.
In an effort to find better weather conditions, the PGA Seniors' Championship moved to Florida in 1940, spending two years in Sarasota and one year in Fort Myers, before being suspended for two years due to World War II. When the Championship resumed in 1945, it was held in Dunedin, Fla., which would become the home of The PGA after the Association relocated its national office from Chicago in 1956.
Florida has been the site for the PGA Seniors' Championship since the event first moved to the Sunshine State in 1940. Since 1982, the PGA Seniors' Championship has been held at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., home of The PGA of America's national office.
It was during the PGA Seniors' Championship in December 1979, at Turnberry Isle in North Miami, Fla., that informal meetings first were held among golf's elder statesmen to explore the concept of developing playing events for seniors. As many of golf's leading names passed age 50, they found they were no longer as competitive on the PGA Tour as they once had been, but outside of the PGA Seniors' Championship, playing opportunities for them were limited.
The following month, January 1980, the Senior PGA Tour was founded. When the Senior PGA Tour was launched, the PGA Seniors' Championship was celebrating its 42nd anniversary.