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Why is the PGA Championship Still a Major?


LICC
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I've asked this elsewhere, but wondering if anyone here has any thoughts. It had been a major because decades ago, the Tour players were in the PGA. The PGA organized all the Tour events. That hasn't been the case in over 50 years. In 1968 the Tour players broke away from the PGA, such that the PGA Tour and the PGA are entirely separate entities. The tournament had been the championship event of the organization of the Tour players. That is not what it has been for decades now.

So why is it still a major? Just because it had been a major historically so no one thought about it differently? It is clearly the fourth of the four majors in terms of prestige. I think the move to May helps it a lot, and going to better courses (mostly) than it had been has kept it fun to watch. But should it really still be considered a major for no other reason than 53 years ago it was the championship of the Tour?

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It has the strongest field of the four majors by far, so for that reason alone it deserves the major status it has always had.  It's still run by the PGA of America.  So no reason for it to change. 

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Although it isn't my favorite of the 4 Majors I still get really excited for it. The PGA has provided us with some memorable winners and some great performances over the years. It also seems to be a major where players break through. As CG2 said it has the strongest field and the competition is great. 
I know there is always talk about The Players being a 5th major or a half major, but in my own eyes the 4 majors will always be the majors and whether it is because of history or otherwise they certainly deserve their place in the sport as such.
Plus the whole if in aint broke don't try to fix it adage. 

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24 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

It has the strongest field of the four majors by far, so for that reason alone it deserves the major status it has always had.  It's still run by the PGA of America.  So no reason for it to change. 

"Strongest field" isn't a black and white determination. Some say the Players Championship has the strongest field. Comparing a field top to bottom really isn't valuable, as really anyone beyond the top 60-70 generally aren't contending at the top. 

It is run by the PGA of America, but why does that make it a major? That is not the PGA Tour. Looking at it from a blank slate, wouldn't the championship of the PGA Tour be more important than the championship of an association of golf instructors and clubhouse managers?

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1 minute ago, Apolloshowl said:

Although it isn't my favorite of the 4 Majors I still get really excited for it. The PGA has provided us with some memorable winners and some great performances over the years. It also seems to be a major where players break through. As CG2 said it has the strongest field and the competition is great. 
I know there is always talk about The Players being a 5th major or a half major, but in my own eyes the 4 majors will always be the majors and whether it is because of history or otherwise they certainly deserve their place in the sport as such.
Plus the whole if in aint broke don't try to fix it adage. 

I do like it, especially when it is played on one of the great courses that you don't often see (Kiawah, Bethpage, Whistling Straits, etc.). I'm not saying it isn't a top tournament. I just don't see why it is a "major" other than, as you said, historical continuity. If that is all it is, then that's fine but I would equate the Players and the Tour Championship as similarly in prestige.

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Just now, LICC said:

I do like it, especially when it is played on one of the great courses that you don't often see (Kiawah, Bethpage, Whistling Straits, etc.). I'm not saying it isn't a top tournament. I just don't see why it is a "major" other than, as you said, historical continuity. If that is all it is, then that's fine but I would equate the Players and the Tour Championship as similarly in prestige.

That's fair. With golf having so much history and prestige as a sport I would argue rather then taking away majors (as a lot of careers are historically looked back on their success because of majors) you would look to add them, but would that then dilute the value of winning a Major?

Again as I said if it isn't broke don't try to fix it. I like that there are 4 majors, I like even more how they are spread out now and they give us golf nuts something to look forward to each month. Regardless of where it is held in overall prestige I believe the 4 majors will always be the PGA, US Open, Open and Masters. Even as golf changes and evolves they will be the 4 I look forward to the most. Events such as The Players and Tour Championship are of course important and ones I look forward to, but in the end the Majors are the Majors regardless of how they came to be or their current perceived prestige value. 

I also like to believe that the players hold the PGA to a higher prestige, even with all the big money and such that comes from The Players and Tour Championship. Most all of them want the win Majors and whether its a Masters or PGA they will be beyond excited to win one because in the end it is still a major. 

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1 hour ago, Apolloshowl said:

That's fair. With golf having so much history and prestige as a sport I would argue rather then taking away majors (as a lot of careers are historically looked back on their success because of majors) you would look to add them, but would that then dilute the value of winning a Major?

Again as I said if it isn't broke don't try to fix it. I like that there are 4 majors, I like even more how they are spread out now and they give us golf nuts something to look forward to each month. Regardless of where it is held in overall prestige I believe the 4 majors will always be the PGA, US Open, Open and Masters. Even as golf changes and evolves they will be the 4 I look forward to the most. Events such as The Players and Tour Championship are of course important and ones I look forward to, but in the end the Majors are the Majors regardless of how they came to be or their current perceived prestige value. 

I also like to believe that the players hold the PGA to a higher prestige, even with all the big money and such that comes from The Players and Tour Championship. Most all of them want the win Majors and whether its a Masters or PGA they will be beyond excited to win one because in the end it is still a major. 

This goes to the basis of the prestige of being a major. The other three are majors based on their own importance and prestige. America's national championship is important and prestigious, so it is a major. The British Open is the national championship of the home of the origins of golf. That prestige leads it to be a major. The Masters is by far the most popular and most watched golf event. The identification of those three as majors is a result of that importance and prestige. The PGA is the opposite. It has its prestige because people call it a major. 

The tournaments that people consider majors have changed over time. Before the Masters, the Western Open was considered major-level. Some have said the North and South tournaments at Pinehurst were at that status. The US Amateur was considered a major into the 1960s. Which also is odd how the status changed over time but the PGA has kept its title as a major more than 50 years after it lost its original reason that it was a major.

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1 hour ago, LICC said:

It is run by the PGA of America, but why does that make it a major? That is not the PGA Tour. Looking at it from a blank slate, wouldn't the championship of the PGA Tour be more important than the championship of an association of golf instructors and clubhouse managers?

So we should drop the Masters as it is run by a bunch of rich people an not affiliated with the tour and has a limited weak field from top to bottom?  How about dropping the US Open since it is run by the USGA and not the PGA tour and allow amateurs to qualify.   
maybe we should go back in history and add the British and us amateurs.  
 

it is simply designated as a major or just another golf tournament that someone decided is more important because it pays respect to the non tour people that keep the game going at the grassroots level. 

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2 minutes ago, cnosil said:

So we should drop the Masters as it is run by a bunch of rich people an not affiliated with the tour and has a limited weak field from top to bottom?  How about dropping the US Open since it is run by the USGA and not the PGA tour and allow amateurs to qualify.   
maybe we should go back in history and add the British and us amateurs.  
 

it is simply designated as a major or just another golf tournament that someone decided is more important because it pays respect to the non tour people that keep the game going at the grassroots level. 

You must not have read my prior comment:

The other three are majors based on their own importance and prestige. America's national championship is important and prestigious, so it is a major. The British Open is the national championship of the home of the origins of golf. That prestige leads it to be a major. The Masters is by far the most popular and most watched golf event. The identification of those three as majors is a result of that importance and prestige. The PGA is the opposite. It has its prestige because people call it a major. 

1 hour ago, Apolloshowl said:

With golf having so much history and prestige as a sport I would argue rather then taking away majors (as a lot of careers are historically looked back on their success because of majors) you would look to add them, but would that then dilute the value of winning a Major?

I wouldn't retroactively take away major status. If you won the PGA as a major, you have a major victory always. I wouldn't add a major either as I agree four seems like the right number. I would replace the PGA with the Players as a major. The Players now is what the PGA Championship had been over 50 years ago- the championship tournament of the Tour players.

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8 minutes ago, LICC said:

You must not have read my prior comment:

The other three are majors based on their own importance and prestige. America's national championship is important and prestigious, so it is a major. The British Open is the national championship of the home of the origins of golf. That prestige leads it to be a major. The Masters is by far the most popular and most watched golf event. The identification of those three as majors is a result of that importance and prestige. The PGA is the opposite. It has its prestige because people call it a major. 

I wouldn't retroactively take away major status. If you won the PGA as a major, you have a major victory always. I wouldn't add a major either as I agree four seems like the right number. I would replace the PGA with the Players as a major. The Players now is what the PGA Championship had been over 50 years ago- the championship tournament of the Tour players.

It has prestige because it honors the grass roots people that keep the game going.  I probably have more respect for the PGA professional than the guys that run the masters.   The players  is simply another golf tournament.  
I see no real reason to change.  

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The PGA Tour does not exist in its current form without the PGA of America, hell you could say golf would be completely different without it. To not have the PGA as a major would do a major (pun intended) disservice to the game. 

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11 minutes ago, cnosil said:

It has prestige because it honors the grass roots people that keep the game going.  I probably have more respect for the PGA professional than the guys that run the masters.   The players  is simply another golf tournament.  
I see no real reason to change.  

Lots of tournaments honor (and raise money for ) lots of good causes. The Players is the championship event of the highest level most elite Tour in the world. 

The reason to change happened in 1968, when the Tour broke away from the PGA. The PGA Championship wasn't a major because it honored the grass roots. It was a major then because the Tour was part of the PGA. 

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13 minutes ago, LICC said:

Lots of tournaments honor (and raise money for ) lots of good causes. The Players is the championship event of the highest level most elite Tour in the world. 

The reason to change happened in 1968, when the Tour broke away from the PGA. The PGA Championship wasn't a major because it honored the grass roots. It was a major then because the Tour was part of the PGA. 

Well if you say so,  petition whomever you need to get it changed.  

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Don't feed the troll, forum 101...

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3 hours ago, LICC said:

So why is it still a major? 

Because Arnold Palmer said it was!

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15 minutes ago, sixcat said:

Because Arnold Palmer said it was!

He said that before 1968 ...

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Just now, LICC said:

He said that before 1968 ...

Life is rarely "zero sum", unlike this conversation!

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19 minutes ago, jlukes said:

A more refined Nifty Niblick 

The PGA should be a major.

It should be match play as when Walter Hagen played.

The field should be club professionals who qualify in regional qualifiers.

There should be no touring pros invited unless they're former winners of the PGA or another major.

The Six[6] Majors should be...

The R&A Amateur

The R&A Open

The USGA Amateur

The USGA Open

 the PGA,

and corresponding to the PGA, the TPC.

The Masters is total bullshit, the championship of nothing, and a cracker monument to old [and not good] times.

 

 

I'm a former linkster of fifty years and a hard core purist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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