Happy 100th to the PGA Championship! This year, from August 9th to the 12th, Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri hosts the PGA Championship as it celebrates its centennial. 2017 PGA Champion and currently, No. 1 golfer in the world will be defending his title. Make a trip to St. Louis for this year's once-in-a-lifetime, celebratory competition.
A 27lb Trophy + A $10 Million Purse
Golfers at the PGA Championship compete over the course of four days for a $10 million purse and the largest trophy awarded of the four Major Championships: the Wanamaker Trophy. Department store owner, Rodman Wanamaker originally came up with the idea for the tournament to see which professional player was the best of the best. While the Masters has the smallest field and the US Open is a combined amateur-professional golf tournament, the PGA Championship is solely for PGA pros.
The original tournament format saw golfers participate in match play. However, in 1958 the tournament became stroke play, which is the format it continues to be played in. Four competition days are preceded by the PGA Championship practice rounds on August 6th through 8th. While many fans love to watch the four match days, the three practice rounds offer golf lovers the chance to get up close to PGA pros. Fewer people means fans won't have to fight with the crowds to see the best tee off. Practice rounds are also great for getting autographs or selfies with the players.
The No. 1 Golfer in the World? Meet Justin Thomas.
The PGA Championship has regularly thrown up surprises at the end of the golf season. Current champion, Thomas's win was a surprise itself as it was Thomas' first ever major title victory. Thomas went on to win the PGA's FedEx Championship and the PGA Player of the Year award. Without his success at the PGA Championship, Thomas may not have claimed the other two trophies.
Bellerive Country Club
Golf fans will not only get four days of competitive play at this year's tournament, but they will get to experience one of America's top cities. St. Louis is the Gateway to the West, with centuries of history on display. In addition, St. Louis is known as one of the country's best sports towns and is the home to this year's PGA Championship hosting venue, Bellerive Country Club.
Bellerive has hosted three PGA major events in its 121-year history. The 1965 U.S. Open was the first major to be played on the course. The event took place just five years after the course was moved to its current location on the western side of St. Louis. Bellerive had to wait nearly 30 years for the next PGA major tournament. The 1992 PGA Championship took place on the course, and since then, it has hosted three other PGA non-major events. The par-71 course is renowned for being long, and should play to the strengths of golfers with long drives. The golfer who can navigate the course and outlast 155 other players will win a piece of $10 million purse.
So, why the 2018 PGA Championship?
Well, besides the huge trophy, the purse and experiencing Bellerive Country Club, winning the PGA is huge as it warrants many career privileges, including PGA Championship eligibility for life. PGA champions are also automatically invited to play in the other three majors (Masters, U.S. Open, and The Open Championship), as well as The Players Championship for the following five years.
Visitors to the 2018 PGA Championship will not only be able to experience a one-of-a-kind tournament as it celebrates its centennial, but they will also see the end of an era. The 2018 tournament will be the last time the PGA Championship is held in August. The tournament, currently the third major of the PGA calendar, will move to May from 2019 onward, making it the second major of the season.