The PGA Championship was first held in 1916, and there have been around 103 editions since then. The Professional Golfers' Association of America's Championship (also known as the US PGA Championship or US PGA outside of the United States) is an annual golf tournament held by the Professional Golfers' Association of America. It is one of professional golf's four major tournaments for men. It is an official money event with a prize of $11 million (for the 100th edition in 2018), and it has been hosted in several locations. The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was founded at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York, in February 1916. Jim Barnes, the winner, got $500 and a Rodman Wanamaker diamond-studded gold medal.
Like the other majors, winning the PGA entitles one to various benefits. For the next five years, PGA champions are automatically invited to compete in the other three majors and the Players Championship, and they are eligible for the PGA Championship for the rest of their lives. They will be eligible to play on the European Tour for the next seven and PGA Tour for the next five seasons. The PGA Championship is the only one of the four major championships open to professional golfers.
The PGA Championship began as a match play event in the early fall, and it has remained so, but it may change, depending on national circumstances. Following WWII, the championship was held in late May or late June, before being shifted to early July in 1953 and a few weeks later in 1954, with the finals held on Tuesday. It was not uncommon for the finalists to play nearly 200 holes in seven days in a match play event (with a stroke-play qualification).
After a loss in 1957, the event was modified to stroke play, beginning in 1958, with the usual 72-hole format of 18 holes per day over four days, Thursday through Sunday, at the PGA meetings in November. The PGA of America was pressed to change the format because network television broadcasters preferred a large group of well-known contenders on the final day.
The PGA Championship was announced before the 2017 edition moved to May, the weekend before Memorial Day, starting in 2019. The PGA Tour also announced that the Players Championship would be returned to March in the same year, after being moved from March to May in 2017. The PGA of America justified the change by citing the addition of golf to the Summer Olympics, allowing a greater range of possibilities for host courses.
Traditionally, the PGA Championship has been held in the eastern side of the United States. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, hosted the 103rd PGA Championship. New York has hosted thirteen times. The PGA has four Major Golf Tournament events during the season.
Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus, both five-time champions, and Tiger Woods, who has won the Championship four times, are the most titled players. When professional golfers were not held in high regard in a sport dominated by wealthy amateurs, the PGA Championship was created to provide a high-profile competition, particularly for these professionals. This purpose is still reflected in the championship's entrance structure.