Another year in the books and another chapter to close.
Like every year, 2021 was incredibly eventful with its own set of challenges, victories, triumphs and failures. This was especially true in the golf world as the industry regained its footing following the disruptions of 2020. In 2021, we felt the joys of victory as the U.S. Ryder Cup Team lifted the Cup & Phil made history at Kiawah and the pains of hardship & loss with the passing of greats like Lee Elder and so many others. And as we look back on the year and reminisce, we can't help but be excited for all the incredible moments that are surely waiting for us in 2022. We can't wait.
Here are our 10 favorite stories of the year that we've gathered for you to help look back on an memorable year.
Phil Mickelson Becomes Oldest Major Winner in History at PGA Championship
PGA Championship, Adam Stanley
Mickelson, at 6-under par for the Championship, very much got it done. He won the 103rd PGA Championship by two shots and in the process made history at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
The golf world lost an icon, a figure who will forever have his name etched into sports history. And I lost a friend, a man I have known since I was an 18-year-old girl playing in United Golf Association events around the country with other men and women, boys and girls, pros and amateurs of color who wanted nothing more than to compete in the game we all loved.
PGA Coach Quincy Heard drums along at Alabama State
PGA Tour, Michael Abramowitz
PGA Member Quincy Heard has marched into the 34th PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship at famous TPC Sawgrass as Head Golf Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams at Alabama State. In his first year at the school, his women’s team captured the SWAC Conference Championship, and his men’s team finished as conference runners-up.
Nelly Korda Wins her First Major and Rises to No. 1 with Victory at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
KPMG Women's PGA Championship, Jeff Babineau
Nelly Korda has dreamed about winning a major championship ever since the first one she competed in eight years ago. For years, she has thought about one day becoming the top player in women’s golf, too, a position last held by an American in 2014.
She then stepped out on a sunny afternoon at Atlanta Athletic Club and, in a single swoop, accomplished both. At the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Korda finally shook free from gritty Lizette Salas to capture her first major title.
The game of golf gets a bad reputation in this day and age, and club golf is no different. The major complaint hurled at the sport is that it’s “the game of old, rich white men.” Many see golf as a game that’s too boring to watch and too frustrating to play. The women's club golf team at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is not only challenging this narrative, but proving why they should be taken seriously after becoming the first all female team to compete at Nationals.
Four Key Decisions that Paved Way to US Victory at the Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup, Will Gray
After a narrow victory, you might sneak in a sip of champagne. But the U.S. won the 43rd Ryder Cup in epic fashion, posting a 19-9 win that marked the largest margin of victory since Continental Europe began participating in 1979. It’s the type of performance that requires a sizable celebration, and the Americans delivered by bringing a few beverages (not to mention a cigar) into the press room
Bob Sowards Steps to the Head of the PGA Professional Class at the 81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Jeff Babineau
Starting his day tied for 10th, Bob Sowards would close with flair on one of the toughest tests in major championship golf at Southern Hills Country Club. Birdie at 11. Birdie at 15. Birdie at 17. And a magician-like up and down from a back bunker at 18 (“One of the best bunker shots of my life,” he called it) for a second-nine 32. On the last two holes, Sowards drained two clutch 15-footers. It all added up to 3-under 67, the perfect end to an amazing week for the 52-year-old Sowards, who just so happens to play the game as good as he teaches it.
Nina Detrow from San Diego recently competed in the PGA’s National Club Championship event in Palm Springs. This Championship meant a lot to Nina because golf meant the world to her as an escape and there was a time in April 2020 when Nina thought she would never golf again. Nina suffered and recovered from a severe case of COVID-19 in 2020. She discussed the severity of the virus and her time in the hospital while being on a ventilator for 6 nights.
KPMG Performance Insights - A First Look into the Next Evolution in Women's Golf
LPGA, Justin Ray
An exciting new era in LPGA history is underway with the unveiling of KPMG Performance Insights, a statistical evolution that will change the way players, coaches, media and fans experience women’s golf.
Adaptive Golfers Paves the Way for Players of Different Abilities to Have Fun on the Course
Make Golf Your Thing
Gianna Rojas was destined to help grow the game of golf.
Rojas, the founder of Adaptive Golfers, met Arnold Palmer when she was just seven years old. Born without her left hand, she found a way to play the game she loves and is using Adaptive Golfers to help empower people of different abilities through the game of golf.