Johannesburg - A
lengthy investigation into the history of the PGA of South Africa has revealed
that this country’s oldest association of professional golfers is actually
three years older than originally thought.
Seal currently displays the founding date of 1925. But the fact that the first
PGA Championship was contested in 1923 raised a few questions amongst the
association’s longest standing members.
Ficalbi, the Chief Executive of the PGA of South Africa, enlisted the services
of renowned South African golf historian Peter Sauerman to get to the bottom of
this date riddle.
initial clue provided by Peter was an article from the South African Golf
Magazine dated January 15, 1928 titled ‘South Africa’s Professional Golfers’ and
written by the leading golf historian and writer of the time, a gentleman named
RG Fall,” says Ficalbi.
article is dedicated to Willie Smith who was the professional attached to the
Royal Cape Club and the President of the PGA at the time. The closing paragraph
of the article is as follows: ‘By way of conclusion, and to show with what
confidence Smith is regarded by his fellow-players, the Professionals’ Golfing
Association was formed in 1922.’ The date of 1922 is therefore in line with the
first playing of the PGA Championship in 1923.
association would have in all likelihood been formed at a meeting of the
professionals that would have taken place at the SA Open/Amateur in 1922.”
investigation led them to the minutes of the AGM of the South African Golf
Union (SAGU) in September 1923.
General Business in the Minutes, the following has been minuted: ‘Professional
Golfers Association - The Honorary Secretary stated that he has received a
letter from this Association enclosing a copy of their Rules, and asking that
the Union should give official recognition to the South African Professional
points out, the professionals would have convened a meeting in 1922, formed the
PGA, started the process of creating the founding documents and through working
in conjunction with the SAGU, the inaugural PGA Championship was held in 1923.
therefore proud to announce that the Board of Directors have ratified the
change of date from 1925 to 1922 and the new date will replace 1925 on the PGA
Seal effective from April 1, 2017,” says Ficalbi.