Why is the PGA Championship still a Major?

LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited Jul 22, 2019 1:15pm in Tour Talk #1

Some of the discussions on other threads about the compressed Majors schedule shows that a majority of fans seem to like the new schedule, but some are complaining that having the Majors held from April to July is too compressed. These people seem to care almost entirely about the four majors and dismiss the Players Championship and the FedEx playoff tournaments. But why are people so caught up on if a tournament is called a "Major" or not? I love the Open and the US Open because they are national championships with outstanding fields played on usually great courses that you don't often see with different setups and challenges than regular Tour events. I love the Masters for all the reasons that people love the Masters. None if it is because they are called "Majors". And while the PGA at Bethpage was excellent this year, in prior years it really hasn't been anything any more special than any other good Tour event. In most years, I've enjoyed watching the Players Championship more than the PGA and the Tour Championship probably just as much.
So the question- why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"? Historically (prior to 1968), the PGA Championship effectively WAS the Tour Championship, as the Tour was part of the PGA. I think its status as a Major tournament comes directly from the fact that it was the championship tournament of the association that had the greatest golfers in the world. Once the Tour broke off, the PGA Championship no longer is that. The PGA Tour has its own championship tournaments now. The PGA Championship for many years has had 4th rung status among the "Majors".
So then- Why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"?

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Comments

  • gvogelgvogel Members Posts: 7,732 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Some people like to buck history, others like to uphold it. I'm one of the later.

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  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gvogel said:
    Some people like to buck history, others like to uphold it. I'm one of the later.

    I don't understand. The PGA Championship can not be "upheld" to what it was historically. It just isn't. The Western Open was a major at one point in time, and now that tournament is part of the Fedex Playoffs. What about "upholding" that history?

  • jonsnowjonsnow GeorgiaMembers Posts: 1,327 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I know The Western Open was considered an important tournament, but when was it considered a major?

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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @LICC said:

    So then- Why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"?

    Because it's the second best of the four after the Masters.

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonsnow said:
    I know The Western Open was considered an important tournament, but when was it considered a major?

    Up until the 1930s.

  • disco111disco111 Members Posts: 1,082 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 22, 2019 2:23pm #10

    The title of "major" was coined by the media many moons ago and it stuck. The powers that be, for whatever reason, took that title and anointed 4 tournament. Now in my ever so humble opinion, any pro tournament, since those are the ones so classified, that does not offer total open competition, should not be classified as a major.
    So the Masters, even though some am's qualify, is a limited field by invitation only, because only the national am champions gets invited. No senior am gets the invite nor does any other am champion get included, at least to my knowledge. The PGA is a closed tournament also and so is the Players, so all of them should lose the ability to hold a major title. The both opens can be accessed by anyone who wishes to test their game, so they have the criteria to be a major. Any national tournament that offers access to play your way in, can/should be classified a major. But, having that many majors would certainly impact the games past history and possibly deminish the title of a major. So if we can only have 4 majors, to keep the status quo, what would be the new 4 majors, if we followed those guidelines?

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JK Ward said:
    It has the highest SOF rating of any golf tournament in the world.

    Not according to these measures:

    https://datagolf.ca/field-strength-table
    https://www.pgatour.com/statsreport/2017/09/27/stats-formulas-numbers-golf-strongest-fields.html

    It is up there, but so are the Players and the Fedex events.

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BrianMcG said:
    The PGA has the strongest field every year.

    Why is an invitational a major. Why are the US and British Opens majors but the Canadian, Irish, Australian etc. are not?

    Name a regular tour event with a stronger field than the PGA and we can discuss further.

    It depends how you measure it. Look at what I posted above.

  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @disco111 said:The PGA is a closed tournament also and so is the Players, so all of them should lose the ability to hold a major title.

    How did you decide that? Maybe "Open" tournaments "should lose the ability to hold a major title."

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BrianMcG said:
    The PGA has the strongest field every year.

    Why is an invitational a major. Why are the US and British Opens majors but the Canadian, Irish, Australian etc. are not?

    Name a regular tour event with a stronger field than the PGA and we can discuss further.

    The Players:
    https://datagolf.ca/whats-the-strongest-field-in-professional-golf/

  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Tasmania to CanadaMembers Posts: 12,503 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    The PGA needs to go back to Match Play IMO .... to find it's niche within the 5 big events. Get Dell to sponsor - everyone's happy
    There are so many "big" events nowadays (with the FedEx) and the PGA is the only one of the historically big events that doesn't have "IT" ... YMMV

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  • ByeBye EnglandMembers Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It would be nice to have another non US based major. Demoting the PGA to a regular event would be a bad idea. There is a nice space now later on in the year, something in October could work.

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  • Cincy_KenCincy_Ken Members Posts: 167 ✭✭✭

    @Bye said:
    It would be nice to have another non US based major. Demoting the PGA to a regular event would be a bad idea. There is a nice space now later on in the year, something in October could work.

    I know the women and seniors do it but no to a 5th major. Major statistics are far too recognized in golf to add a 5th professional major. I like October for the PGA.

  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It is because it was and still is.

    I'll agree that it's a cut below the other three (Masters, US Open, Open). But I don't find anything about the Players, WGCs, FedEx Cup Playoff Events, or the Tour Championship any more compelling than the PGA. So by default, just leave it the way it is.

    I also don't think 4 majors in 4 months is the problem. It's that they are trying to make all of the other events more important than they are.

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  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @disco111 said:
    The title of "major" was coined by the media many moons ago and it stuck. The powers that be, for whatever reason, took that title and anointed 4 tournament. Now in my ever so humble opinion, any pro tournament, since those are the ones so classified, that does not offer total open competition, should not be classified as a major.
    So the Masters, even though some am's qualify, is a limited field by invitation only, because only the national am champions gets invited. No senior am gets the invite nor does any other am champion get included, at least to my knowledge. The PGA is a closed tournament also and so is the Players, so all of them should lose the ability to hold a major title. The both opens can be accessed by anyone who wishes to test their game, so they have the criteria to be a major. Any national tournament that offers access to play your way in, can/should be classified a major. But, having that many majors would certainly impact the games past history and possibly deminish the title of a major. So if we can only have 4 majors, to keep the status quo, what would be the new 4 majors, if we followed those guidelines?

    I don't think a tournament has to be an Open to be a major. I understand why the Open and US Open are majors. They are the national championships of the largest golfing region in the world and the land of golf's origin with a tremendous appeal. I see how the Masters has built itself into a major. I don't quite see how the PGA fits. The championship of the top professional golfers of the leading country in the world warrants being a major. The PGA Championship used to be that but hasn't been for over 50 years.

  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @LICC said:

    @JK Ward said:
    It has the highest SOF rating of any golf tournament in the world.

    Not according to these measures:

    https://datagolf.ca/field-strength-table
    https://www.pgatour.com/statsreport/2017/09/27/stats-formulas-numbers-golf-strongest-fields.html

    It is up there, but so are the Players and the Fedex events.

    Average player strength is not the same as strength of field.

  • MattyO1984MattyO1984 Members Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Ha, if any tournament based on a strength of field argument was to lose it's major status, it would be The Masters!!

    Looking at the PGA in terms of status, it is easy to see that it suffers in terms of status in comparison to the other three but for me, it is a step above anything else out there. The PGA is something that I have to watch when it is on, something that I pay a lot of attention to before it starts. Everything else, as a huge golf fan I will of course be interested in and The Players is no different to that but the history of The Players compared to the PGA is nowhere near as stacked plus, the Tour's constant shoving it down our throats does little more than put me off the whole thing rather than thinking it's status should be elevated.

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  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cdnglf said:

    @LICC said:

    @BrianMcG said:
    The PGA has the strongest field every year.

    Why is an invitational a major. Why are the US and British Opens majors but the Canadian, Irish, Australian etc. are not?

    Name a regular tour event with a stronger field than the PGA and we can discuss further.

    The Players:
    https://datagolf.ca/whats-the-strongest-field-in-professional-golf/

    “First, let’s define a measure for field strength; we measure the strength of a field by the quality of the average player in that field. Therefore, our measure does not (necessarily) capture the difficulty of winning an event.”

    By this definition, the strongest field in the history of golf was Tiger playing a solo practice round in 2000.

    Why do you think the PGA has a stronger field than the Players? They both have a deep roster of the best players in the world. Of course, the Players doesn't also have 20 club pros.

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cincy_Ken said:

    @Bye said:
    It would be nice to have another non US based major. Demoting the PGA to a regular event would be a bad idea. There is a nice space now later on in the year, something in October could work.

    I know the women and seniors do it but no to a 5th major. Major statistics are far too recognized in golf to add a 5th professional major. I like October for the PGA.

    Terrible idea. There would be rockbottom ratings.

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @LICC said:

    So then- Why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"?

    Because it's the second best of the four after the Masters.

    Ok, ha! But I don't think you would have a high percentage of golf fans agreeing with you on that one.

  • JaNelson38JaNelson38 Members Posts: 2,786 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 22, 2019 3:04pm #26

    @LICC said:
    Some of the discussions on other threads about the compressed Majors schedule shows that a majority of fans seem to like the new schedule, but some are complaining that having the Majors held from April to July is too compressed. These people seem to care almost entirely about the four majors and dismiss the Players Championship and the FedEx playoff tournaments. But why are people so caught up on if a tournament is called a "Major" or not? I love the Open and the US Open because they are national championships with outstanding fields played on usually great courses that you don't often see with different setups and challenges than regular Tour events. I love the Masters for all the reasons that people love the Masters. None if it is because they are called "Majors". And while the PGA at Bethpage was excellent this year, in prior years it really hasn't been anything any more special than any other good Tour event. In most years, I've enjoyed watching the Players Championship more than the PGA and the Tour Championship probably just as much.
    So the question- why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"? Historically (prior to 1968), the PGA Championship effectively WAS the Tour Championship, as the Tour was part of the PGA. I think its status as a Major tournament comes directly from the fact that it was the championship tournament of the association that had the greatest golfers in the world. Once the Tour broke off, the PGA Championship no longer is that. The PGA Tour has its own championship tournaments now. The PGA Championship for many years has had 4th rung status among the "Majors".
    So then- Why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"?

    The PGA Championship doesnt have "4th rung status" amongst the players, I can tell you that. Its actually the one major every year that rewards year-round performance for all players, not just the top 50 in the world. The PGA is always held at wonderful courses that are always perfectly maintained. And the purse and winners share at just under $2 million is right there with the other majors, The Players, and the WGC events.

    Guys who win PGA Tour events arent guaranteed to even be in the Masters, US Open, or the Open Championship. They are guaranteed to be exempt into the PGA.

  • LICCLICC Members Posts: 909 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 22, 2019 3:14pm #27

    @MattyO1984 said:
    Ha, if any tournament based on a strength of field argument was to lose it's major status, it would be The Masters!!

    Looking at the PGA in terms of status, it is easy to see that it suffers in terms of status in comparison to the other three but for me, it is a step above anything else out there. The PGA is something that I have to watch when it is on, something that I pay a lot of attention to before it starts. Everything else, as a huge golf fan I will of course be interested in and The Players is no different to that but the history of The Players compared to the PGA is nowhere near as stacked plus, the Tour's constant shoving it down our throats does little more than put me off the whole thing rather than thinking it's status should be elevated.

    That is similar to the post above that said It is because it was. That doesn't tell any reason why. The Players actually has as much history as the championship of the best professional golfers in America as the PGA had before that ended in 1968. Other than the PGA being called a "major", what makes it more compelling to you than the Players?

    @JaNelson38 - The PGA has 4th rung status among general golf fans. And while generally all PGA Tour events are held at well-conditioned good courses, the other majors usually are held at outstanding, best-in-the-world at the highest level courses (the USGA had a few missed but usually has incredible venues). The PGA? It's gotten better courses in its rotation but does Quail Hollow, Trump Bedminster, Valhalla, Bellerive, Hazeltine, Atlanta Athletic Club, etc. really make you think of the best courses in the world?

  • cdnglfcdnglf Members Posts: 3,446 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 22, 2019 3:23pm #28

    @LICC said:

    @cdnglf said:

    @LICC said:

    @BrianMcG said:
    The PGA has the strongest field every year.

    Why is an invitational a major. Why are the US and British Opens majors but the Canadian, Irish, Australian etc. are not?

    Name a regular tour event with a stronger field than the PGA and we can discuss further.

    The Players:
    https://datagolf.ca/whats-the-strongest-field-in-professional-golf/

    “First, let’s define a measure for field strength; we measure the strength of a field by the quality of the average player in that field. Therefore, our measure does not (necessarily) capture the difficulty of winning an event.”

    By this definition, the strongest field in the history of golf was Tiger playing a solo practice round in 2000.

    Why do you think the PGA has a stronger field than the Players? They both have a deep roster of the best players in the world. Of course, the Players doesn't also have 20 club pros.

    My response was to the methodology in your link, which started with a silly definition and ended with a pointless conclusion.

    By OWGR, the PGA usually ranks slightly ahead of the Players, but it is pretty much a wash. PGA has the club pros and a few old champs, but it also has a 156 man field to the Players' 144. They both usually have all the top 50 (injuries and family issues aside), but the PGA typically has more of the top 100 because it has more from 51-100. Non-PGA Tour members outside of the OWGR top 50 aren't automatically invited to the Players.

    Both are better than the US Open.

  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Tasmania to CanadaMembers Posts: 12,503 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I tell you what, the Players will be deemed the 5th major within the next 5 years .... the PGA Tour and NBC and the Golf Channel are working it hard
    Even though it only dates back to 1974.
    Jack and Tiger will add to their major counts ... Jack to 21

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,283 ClubWRX

    Silly thread. Reasons are pretty obvious, analysis against non-existent by OP. “Just because I say so.”
    And yes, strongest fields and made an effort toward better venues last many years. If you don’t get it, you just don’t have any concept of golf history (LPGA would love your application for employment in its marketing department).

    Deane Beman tried from its inception to deem it so, hasn’t worked forever, but I’d say the new Commish is doing his darndest, so never say never.

  • tideridertiderider Members Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 22, 2019 4:06pm #31

    the PGA used to be the equivalent of the Players ... it was run by the PGA, which also ran the tour ... the tour split in the late 60s, or thereabouts ... it was considered a major as far back as the 40s/50s, and more so than the masters ... iirc, jack once listed it as the 2nd major he most wanted to win since it was for professional golfers (this was early in his career), after the us open ... the players will never be a major ... everyone is aware of how the term "major" has been applied to various other tournaments, but that was in the infancy of golf tours and the golf profession ... the 4 majors are firmly established now and have been for 50 years ... no one's going to change the definition of "major" simply because a larger field or bigger purse is offered, and because it becomes even more difficult to determine who has how many ... jack won 3 players, but never at sawgrass ...

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