Sunshine Tour

PGA of SA even older than first believed!

2017-03-14 13:59
The PGA Championship trophy (Sunshine Tour)

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.

The PGA 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.

Ivano 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.

“The 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.

“The 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.

“The 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.”

Further investigation led them to the minutes of the AGM of the South African Golf Union (SAGU) in September 1923.

“Under 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 Golfers Association.’”

As Ficalbi 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.

“I’m 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.

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  golf
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