The PGA of America is the country’s largest association of golf teaching professionals (as opposed to the PGA Tour, a separate organization comprising the touring pros you see on TV every week). In addition to certifying teaching pros, the PGA organizes the annual PGA Championship golf tournament and, jointly with the PGA European Tour, the biennial Ryder Cup Matches.
The PGA Championship is the last of the four “major” men’s golf tournaments held every year and is conducted at a wide variety of golf courses throughout the United States. The PGA schedules the tournament many years in advance.
The 2012 PGA Championship is scheduled for the beautiful Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. That “links style” course is located right on the Atlantic Ocean and was the site of the memorable Ryder Cup competition in 1991. The course was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and was used for the filming of the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance”.
The East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York was designed by Donald Ross and has been the location of several national championships. In 2013 it’ll be the site of the 2013 PGA Championship.
The 2014 PGA Championship returns to the PGA-owned Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Valhalla was designed by Jack Nicklaus, opened in 1986 and has previously hosted the PGA in 1996 and 2000, as well as the Ryder Cup in 2008. Valhalla is located near the intersection of I-64 and I-265 about 19 miles east of downtown Louisville.
The PGA has selected Whistling Straits to host their annual championship for the third time in 2015. This is a spectacular links course on the shores of Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisconsin.
The PGA has used Baltusrol Golf Club before and has chosen the Lower Course to be the site of the 2016 PGA Championship. Baltusrol was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and is located in Springfield, New Jersey – only 20 miles west of downtown Manhattan.
The Ryder Cup is held every other year (in even-numbered years since 2001) and rotates between sites in the United States and Europe. The match-play team competition features eight foursomes matches, eight fourball matches and 12 singles matches between American and European professional golfers. The PGA of America selects the site when the matches are held in the United States.
The 2012 Ryder Cup will be held at Medinah Country Club in Illinois. Medinah is just a few miles west of O’Hare airport and is approximately 27 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The 2012 team captains will be Davis Love III (United States) and Jose Maria Olazabal (Europe).
The Ryder Cup returns to the United States in 2016 and will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Hazeltine is a relatively young course for major championships, opened in 1962. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones and has already hosted several USGA events and two PGA Championships.