The last major of the year will be held this week at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The PGA Championship winner receives the Wanamaker Trophy, but where did the name of the trophy come from?
Mr. Wanamaker wasn't a professional golfer that the trophy is named after, but a contributor to starting the PGA and donated a medal to the first PGA Championship winner, and a trophy in the following years.
In February 1916 the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was established in New Your City. One month earlier, the wealthy department store owner Rodman Wanamaker hosted a luncheon with the leading golf professionals of the time at the Wykagyl Country Club. The attendees prepared the agenda for the formal organization of the PGA; consequently, golf historians have dubbed Wykagyl "The Cradle of the PGA." The new organization's first president was Robert White, one of Wykagyl's best-known golf professionals.
The first PGA Championship was held in October 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. The winner, Jim Barnes, received $500 and a diamond-studded gold medal donated by Rodman Wanamaker. Presently, the champion is also awarded a replica of the Wanamaker Trophy, which was also first donated by Wanamaker, to keep for one year, and a smaller-sized keeper replica Wanamaker Trophy.