Lewis Rodman Wanamaker helped establish the first all-professional golf association in the U.S., the PGA of America, and soon thereafter donated a trophy for the inaugural PGA Championship in 1916, which was held at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York, just north of New York City.
That trophy bears the Wanamaker name and is one of the largest trophies in professional sports. It goes to the winner of the PGA Championship each year. Well, a replica goes to the winner for one year, while the original is displayed at the new home of the PGA of America in Frisco, Texas.
Check out some other interesting facts about the trophy.
The trophy is named after Rodman Wanamaker, who owned several department stores. He was also a key player in the founding of the PGA of America. The trophy has been awarded since 1916.
The Wanamaker Trophy is big and bulky and checks in at 27 pounds. It measures 10 ½ inches in diameter. From handle to handle it’s 27 inches. The trophy stands 28 inches high.
The trophy was designed by New York-based Dieges & Clust. The company later created the Heisman Trophy in 1934.
The winner’s name is engraved on the trophy each year but the PGA champ got to keep the trophy starting in 1916.
In 1926, a replica was made for winners to take home. The reason? Walter Hagen simply didn’t return the trophy one year after winning it so the PGA of America stopped the practice. Hagen later admitted he actually lost it.
PGA Championship winners do get to keep a smaller version of the trophy. It’s about 10 percent smaller than the real thing.
Walter Hagen (1921, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927) and Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980) have the most PGA titles with five each. Tiger Woods is next on the list with four.
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