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PGA Legacy and Heritage 

"Paying tribute to the contribution of PGA men and women in growing the game of golf in New Zealand for over 100 years" 
 
When 12 golf professionals met in Dunedin in October 1913, they had clear plans to help the growth of the game of golf in New Zealand, and a desire to set standards for the profession and to ensure that professional golfers received proper recognition for their skills and expertise. A century on, those objectives are still valid, but none of the founding fathers could have envisaged that their Association would grow to more than 400 members plying their trade throughout New Zealand and around the world, as part of an alliance of more than 35,000 qualified PGA professional engaged in the sport and business of golf.
 
Much like the game itself, the intervening 100 years has seen its share of triumphs and disasters, but the PGA of New Zealand is poised to play its part in the next century in growing the game, in helping more people play more golf, better.
Join with us as we Drive to the next Century.
 
PGA Member Profile - Brian Doyle  
 
Brian Doyle has been a member of the Professional Golfers' Association of New Zealand for 47 years and dedicated his professional life to great of golf, Brian has many achievements and is still very happy giving back to the game he loves so much. Brian resides in the Hawkes Bay and is always willing to share time with any golf enthusiast, for more details on Brian click on the link below for his professional profile. 
 
/clubs/1028/uploads/BRIAN DOYLE PGA Profile.pdf 
Good things come in threes
19 April 2013
Golf history has several examples of small groups of players who completely dominated the game in their era.  In the 1890`s and early 1900`s, the “Triumvirate” of Vardon, Braid and Taylor had a stranglehold on the Open Championship and virtually everything else at that time.  More recently, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player exerted similar dominance to the point that anyone finishing ahead of all three in any given tournament was almost guaranteed victory.
 
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Victory Progress
18 March 2013
As with all facets of society, World War II hit the game of golf and the players who were building their careers and reputations prior to the outbreak of war in 1939.  Who knows how many majors would have been won by Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Henry Cotton but for other commitments?  Or how many more NZ Opens and PGA Championships would have been added to Andy Shaw’s tally?
A fascinating radio interview from 1940 gives a real “back to the future” flavour, with Shaw talking about the R & A’s efforts to limit the distance the golf ball was travelling, while retaining its playability around the greens.  Maybe the rules makers and researchers were diverted to other projects – such as building the atom bomb – but 70+ years on the same arguments rage. 
 
Listen to the full radio interview (15.2Mb)
 
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The Golden Era of Golf
(February 2013 Golfer Pacific Article)
The 1920’s was  arguably the first golden era in golf, dominated by American golfers who won nine Open Championships during the decade.  The profile of the game was lifted hugely by superstars such as Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen.  Although Hagen and Jones never visited New Zealand, Sarazen did in 1930, when he ran into New Zealand’s own superstar of the time, Andy Shaw.  You’ll hear more of Shaw in a minute, and in subsequent articles.
 
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The 1930s: Golf on the move!
17 February 2013
While the rest of the world struggled with the aftermath of the 1929 Wall Street crash, golf in New Zealand grew at a rate belying this.  The NZ PGA, which started the decade with fewer than 40 members, had 69 accredited professionals by the outbreak of World War II reflecting the rapid growth in golf clubs, which by 1939 totalled 328 clubs with over 29,000 members.  PGA professionals could be found not only in the main centres, but also in towns like Hawera, Hanmer and Oamaru.
 
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Beyond the Hickory
17 July 2012
My recent article on hickory clubs and the skill of old time players like Ted Ray, who used only seven clubs throughout his career, led me to investigate why we have finished up with the current limit of 14 clubs – a rule which was established in 1938.  Hickory clubs themselves were sometimes highly specialised, as a visit to Allan McKay’s Millbrook shop will confirm: there you will see clubs specifically designed to play out of cart tracks, long grass or even water, no doubt designed for pessimists who doubted their ability to find the short grass on a regular basis.
 
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Back in the Day...
 
The Scottish origins of our game are well known to all golfers, but the role of the Scots and their early professionals in spreading the game around the world has probably not received due recognition.  In the 1880s and 1890s, there was an exodus of many Scottish professional golfers and clubmakers to all parts of the globe, driven no doubt by the promise of better wages and conditions, and in some cases by health reasons and the search for a better climate.

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How good were those guys?
 
The golfing world of the 1970s was vastly different to today.  The European Tour played all their tournaments in Europe during the northern hemisphere summer; the PGA Tour had a longer season but essentially wrapped up by October.  Australian events fitted into a January / February time frame.
 
That left a window for an extended New Zealand professional circuit from Labour Weekend until early January.  A glance at the 1976 programme shows seven four round tournaments and ten Pro-Ams fitting into that space, ranging from the $500 Drysdale Ales Pro-Am at Maungakiekie to the $35,000 NZ Airlines Golf Classic at Russley, with total prize money of around $200,000.  That may not sound much by today’s standards, but if we consider that the 1971 US Open at Merion was played for $US 190,000, and translate that into the 2013 purse equivalent, our circuit was effectively worth around $8 million in today’s money.
 
Certainly it was enough to attract a dazzling array of overseas stars to these shores, from a 20 year old Severiano Ballesteros (who won the Otago Charity Classic in 1977), to the likes of Tom Watson, Tom Kite, George Archer, Tom Weiskopf, Sam Snead, George Archer, Tony Jacklin, Jumbo Ozaki and all the top Australians headed by Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle.  Some may have come for a spot of fishing, but collectively they made up the strongest fields this country has ever seen, or is likely to see.
 
However, local golfers more than held their own in 1976, with Simon Owen winning the NZ Open and John Lister three other tournaments including the PGA Championship.  He was also runner-up in the Airlines Classic at Russley, having won that tournament (previously known as the Garden City Classic) four times in a row from 1972 to 1975.  In the history of tournament golf around the world, such a feat has only been matched by one other golfer: Tiger Woods with four Bay Hill Invitationals from 2000 to 2003.
 
Arguably, John has not received the recognition he deserved.  Between 1972 and 1977, he won 10 of the 25 four round tournaments played in New Zealand, including three PGA Championships.  He was more than competitive overseas, winning two European Tour events and the Quad Cities Open (now the John Deere Classic) to cap off an outstanding 1976 year.  He played in seven Majors and made the cut in each of them, including the 1971 US Open at Merion.  He was the only player to birdie the notorious 18th during the final round, and finished with a four round total of 290, which earned him $US 1,080.  The identical score in the 2013 Open was worth $US 116,000.  Playing in the same field was Bob Charles, who finished 17th with a total of 286, and $US 2,220 as a result.  In 2013, that would have been a top 10 finish worth $US 210,000.
 
Back in the 1970s, we probably didn’t appreciate how good these players were on the world stage, and how fortunate we were to watch golf of such quality for a good part of the summer.  We cannot replicate that against the crowded and competing tour schedules of today, but we should certainly acknowledge the importance of hard competitive golf on our home circuit as the base for building success at the highest level, and do our best to support it wherever we can.
 

 
Milestones in the History of the PGA of New Zealand
 
1913
Twelve golf professionals gather at the City Hotel in Dunedin on October 15th to form the Professional Golfers’ Association of New Zealand. F G (Fred) Hood is elected as the first Chairman. Coaching fees set at 35 cents (equivalent) per hour, or 20 cents per half hour lesson
 
1914
 
Second AGM held in Auckland, combined with competitions for professional 
1920
 
First PGA Championship held in Hamilton, won by Joe Kirkwood (matchplay)
1922
 
PGA resumes activities after World War I – holds AGM in Palmerston North
1926
 
Andy Shaw wins first of his seven NZ Open titles, at Miramar
1938
 
Membership reaches 50. First Life Members elected: H R Blair, James Watt, Reg Butters and J A Clements
1940
 
PGA Board votes to allow free subscriptions for members serving in the armed forces
1946
 
PGA holds first meeting after World War II in Auckland, with 27 members attending. Wisemans agree to sponsor a Victory Tournament, which ran annually until 1949
1955
 
First Caltex tournament held at Paraparaumu Beach; continues until 1973
1960
 
Bob (later Sir Bob) Charles joins PGA, after a special resolution of the PGA Board
1963
 
Bob Charles wins the Open Championship at Royal Lytham St Annes
1965
 
NZ PGA Championship is run directly by the PGA as a 72 hole stroke play event, played for £2,000 at Mount Maunganui.
1976
 
New Zealand Professional golf circuit grows to seven major events, with total prize money of $164,000. Bob Charles elected as president of the PGA of New Zealand.
1977
 
Large ball made compulsory for the PGA Championship. NZ Open continues to make this optional
1987
 
Membership reaches 260
1988
 
PGA Championship goes into recess
1991
 
Code of Ethics agreed and included in the rules of the Association
1998
 
World Cup of Golf held at Gulf Harbour, with PGA member Richard Ellis playing a key role
2004
 
PGA Championship reinstated at Clearwater, and played for a purse of $A1 million
2005
 
Michael Campbell wins US Open at Pinehurst
2012
 
PGA Championship moves to The Hills, Arrowtown; Pro-Am format introduced alongside the 72 hole Championship.  Michael Hendry wins in a close finish