The PGA (Professional Golfer's Association) of America, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf, was founded on April 10, 1916. With more than 28,000 members, the PGA bills itself as the "largest working sports organization in the world". The PGA conducts four premier golf events: the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Gene Sarazen invented the modern sand wedge in 1930. As the name implies, this club is used when playing a ball from a sand trap. The heaviest of all golf clubs, it is designed to force its way through sand particles. Sarazen won 39 PGA Tournaments during his career. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Tiger Woods turned professional in September of 1996. Competing in the final five regular PGA TOUR tournaments of the year, he finished 5th, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, and 1st, placing him among the top 30 money-winners for the year and earning him the title of PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. In 1997, Tiger went on to win four PGA TOUR tournaments, including the Masters which he won by a record 12 strokes. After an up-and-down 1998 season, he would embark on a period of dominance that had not been seen in professional golf for several decades. Over the next five years, he would win 32 PGA TOUR events and spend 264 consecutive weeks as the world's top-ranked golfer. In 2005, at the age of 29, he became only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to win all four majors more than once.
In 1946, Patty Berg won the very first U.S. Women's Open. A founding member of the LPGA Tour, Berg won a total of 57 events on the LPGA and WPGA circuit during her career. She was named "Woman Athlete of the Year" by the Associated Press in 1938, 1942, and 1955.
In 2004, at the age of 39, Todd Hamilton became the oldest golfer to win PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Although he had already been a professional golfer for 17 years, Hamilton had spent the last decade stuck on the Asian tours. He was awarded Rookie of the Year honors based on victories at the Open Championship and Honda Classic.
In 1967, Arnold Palmer became the first golfer to reach one million dollars in career earnings on the PGA Tour. During his career, he accumulated 62 PGA Tour wins, including seven major championships. He became a charter member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 and was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1980. Palmer's rivalry with Jack Nicklaus during the 1960s is often credited with turning golf into the major spectator sport that it is today.
Byron Nelson set a PGA Tour record in 1945 by winning 18 tournaments -- including 11 tournaments in a row! Nelson won 54 PGA-sanctioned tournaments during his career, including the U.S. Open (1939), the PGA Championship (1940 & 1945), and the Masters (1937 & 1942). He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
On September 6, 2004, Vijay Singh replaced Tiger Woods at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings, ending Woods' reign of more than five years (264 weeks). Singh won nine tournaments during the 2004 season, a career-best, and was named the 2004 PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Jack Nicklaus, considered by many critics to be the greatest golfer of all time, was known as "The Golden Bear". During his 43 year career, Nicklaus accumulated 73 PGA Tour victories as well as 10 Senior PGA Tour victories. He was PGA Player of the Year five times, and top money-winner eight times. His rivalry with Arnold Palmer is often credited with turning golf into the major spectator sport that it is today. In 1988, Nicklaus was named "Golfer of the Century" by GOLF Magazine.