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PGA European Tour (USA)

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PGA European Tour (USA)

The European Tour, currently titled as the DP World Tour for sponsorship reasons, and legally the PGA European Tour or the European Tour Group, is the leading men’s professional golf tour in Europe.[1] The organisation also operates the European Senior Tour (for players aged 50 or older) and the developmental Challenge Tour; the second tier of men’s professional golf in Europe. The tour’s headquarters are at the Wentworth Club in Virginia WaterSurrey, England. The European Tour was established by the British-based Professional Golfers’ Association through the 1970s, and responsibility was transferred to an independent PGA European Tour organisation in 1984.[2]

Most tournaments on the PGA European Tour’s three tours are held in Europe, but starting in the 1980s an increasing number have been held in other parts of the world; in 2015 a majority of the ranking events on the European Tour were held outside Europe, though this included both Majors and World Golf Championship events that are ranking events for multiple tours. Europe-based events are nearly all played in Western Europe, with the most lucrative of them taking place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain.

History

Professional golf began in Europe, specifically in Scotland. The first professionals were clubmakers and greenkeepers who also taught golf to the wealthy men who could afford to play the game (early handmade equipment was expensive) and played “challenge matches” against one another for purses put up by wealthy backers. The first multi-competitor stroke play tournament was The Open Championship, which was introduced in 1860. Over the following decades, the number of golf tournaments offering prize money increased slowly but steadily. Most were in the United Kingdom, but there were also several “national opens” in various countries of Continental Europe.

In 1901, The Professional Golfers’ Association was founded to represent the interests of professional golfers throughout Great Britain and Ireland, and it was this body that ultimately created the European Tour. As the tournament circuit grew, in 1937 the Harry Vardon Trophy was created to be awarded to the member of the PGA with the best stroke average in select major stroke play tournaments of the season. This would later become known as the Order of Merit, and at different times has been calculated using stroke average, a points system and money earned. Each year the PGA would determine which tournaments were to be included for the Order of Merit.

By the post-World War II period prize money was becoming more significant, with sponsors being attracted by the introduction of television coverage, and as such it was becoming more feasible for professional golfers to make a living by playing alone. In the United States a formal organised tour, which later became known as the PGA Tour, had been administered by the PGA of America since the 1930s. However even into the 1960s and 1970s, the majority of tournaments in Europe were still organised separately by the host golf club or association, or a commercial promoter.

This work © 2023 by Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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