The PGA Championship Rundown: Who, What, When and Where

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“I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.” – Gerald R. Ford

It's the last Major of the season! Are you ready for it?

The countdown to the PGA Championship 2015 is in full swing (pardon the pun!). Scores of fans are about to descend upon Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, to witness the excitement live, while thousands more around the world will follow every stroke on their television set, Aug. 10-16.

If you don't get a chance to see some live action, get this picture: Whistling Straits is an undisguised homage to the raw and beautiful seaside links of Ireland. And this year, the Straits Course in Haven, Wisconsin, welcomes the greatest names in golf at the 97th PGA Championship. 

What makes this, the last major competition of the season, so special? The PGA Championship is the jewel in the crown of the four top tournaments. It brings together the greatest golfers in the game in one of the most exciting golfing events of the year.

Truth be told, it's the stuff legends are made of. 

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Masters of the Links

  • Jim Barnes left big shoes to fill when he won the very fist Championship and went on to win one more, as well as the U.S. Open and The British Open.
  • Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus have both won the most PGA Championships with five each. Forget the polite clap here--a roaring round of applause is in order for these two masters of the links.  
  • Arnold Palmer set a record with rounds of 68-68-69-69. This made him the first player to post four rounds in the 60s in a major tournament, yet a PGA win eluded him. Poor Arnold! We think he deserves a vigorous nod anyhow. He set new standards for the tourney, after all. 

Who's your money on this year? Tiger bowed out, but how about that Jordan Spieth? Or are you more on par with last year's winner, Rory McIlroy? Other fore-walkers include Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Justin Rose. 

History in the Making

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Fasten your wedges and hold on to your irons before the book closes on another year of golf. This year's PGA Championship winner will go down in the annals of golfing history alongside his admirable predecessors, but with a much fatter wallet. 

  • The first Championship was held in 1916 in October at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York.
  • Jim Barnes won the tournament and received a gold diamond-studded medal that Rodman Wanamaker donated and a purse of $500.
  • The 2012 winner, Rory McIlroy, won the Championship earning $1.445 million. That is a huge jump in prize money, and although we have no doubt that, in 1916, $500 was serious spending power, by the 2012 equivalency it is a mere $10,954.95.  

The total purse for the 2015 tournament is a whopping $10 million, with $1.8 million going to the Championship winner.

For the rest of us--try as we might--golf will never be this lucrative. Not even close. That's why we play it smart with recycled balls from Lost Golf Balls--at the top of our game, but at a fraction of the cost.

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