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PGA Championship 101

PGA Championship 2024: Answering the most frequently asked questions about the year's second major


Gary Kellner

After a quiet stretch on the PGA Tour schedule following the Masters, the season is about to get another dose of major excitement with the 2024 PGA Championship set to be held at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. This will be the fourth time this course will host the PGA Championship, tied for second most in the history of the event, only behind Southern Hills.

A year ago, Brooks Koepka bested runners-up Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler by two strokes at Oak Hill for his third career PGA title while also becoming the first LIV golfer to win a major. Koepka is just the third golfer to win three or more PGAs in the stroke-play era, joining Jack Nicklaus (five times) and Tiger Woods (four).

While Koepka also has momentum having won the most recent LIV Golf event in Singapore, Scottie Scheffler is the odds-on favorite to win at Valhalla after victories in March and April at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Players, the Masters and the RBC Heritage. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Koepka and Viktor Hovland round out the top-five favorites, according to most sportsbooks.

It should be an excellent second men’s major of the season after Scheffler’s superlative Sunday at Augusta National. Below, we'll answer any and all frequently asked questions you may have about the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

When and where is the 2024 PGA Championship being held?

This year’s PGA takes place at Valhalla Golf Club, in Louisville, Ky., a private course designed by Jack Nicklaus back in 1996. The four-round tournament is being played May 16-19. In addition to hosting the PGA Championship three previous times (1996, 2000 and 2014), Valhalla has also hosted two Senior PGAs and the 2008 Ryder Cup.

The course sits on a 486-acre property and is a mainstay of Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Courses in America list. It’s been on that particular ranking since 1993 and has been atop our Kentucky hierarchy since 1989.


Gary Kellner

“Given a difficult piece of land on which to create Valhalla [half the site was floodplain, with high-tension power poles], Jack Nicklaus drew on his training under Pete Dye and Desmond Muirhead to produce a unique design, with an alternate fairway par 5, a par 4 with an island green and an 18th green shaped like a horseshoe,” reads our site’s breakdown. “Over the decades, Nicklaus returned periodically to update its challenges, and the club replaced turf and rebuilt bunkers as recently as 2022.”

Who conducts the PGA Championship?

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America conducts the event.

Are the PGA Tour and the PGA of America different?

Yes, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have been independent of one another since 1968. The PGA Tour is an elite organization of tournament professionals, while the PGA of America is made up of club and teaching professionals who work at on- and off-course golf facilities around the country (and the world).

When and where was the first PGA Championship played? And who won?

The first PGA Championship was played in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. England’s Jim Barnes won, 1 up, over Jock Hutchinson.

Wait, 1 up … so was the PGA Championship a match-play event at one time?

Yes, from 1916 to 1957, the PGA Championship was contested as match play with a stroke-play qualifier. During the course of the championship, it was not uncommon for players to play more than 200 holes in seven days. Starting in 1958, the PGA Championship switched to the standard 72-hole, stroke-play format. Dow Finsterwald won the first stroke-play version of the event in 1958 at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa.

How many players are in the field?


Keyur Khamar

The PGA Championship has a maximum of 156 golfers allowed in the field. This year, 16 previous champions are expected to tee it up, including last year’s winner, Brooks Koepka. Speaking of LIV Golf, the fledgling league looks to have 16 players heading to Valhalla, three more than at the Masters. Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Joaquin Niemann, Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith all made the cut due to previous wins, stellar play and a special invite (for Niemann).

Do club professionals play in the PGA Championship, too?

Yes. The PGA of America holds 20 spots for the top finishers at its annual PGA Professional Championship, which was held in early May at Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas.

Has a club professional ever won the PGA Championship?

Not in the modern era of the PGA Tour. According to the PGA of America, the best performance since 1970 by a club professional playing in the PGA Championship was a third-place finish in 1971 by Tommy Bolt, a former tour pro who had retired from the tour. The last top-10 also came from a former tour pro—a very famous one—turned club professional: Sam Snead in 1973. Prior to last year’s PGA, only one club professional had finished inside the top 20 in the last 30 years—Jay Overton in 1988 at Oak Tree.

Michael Block changed all that just one year ago when he had a run for the ages (which doesn’t look like it’ll stop anytime soon) and finished T-15 at Oak Hill. Three rounds of 70 and a 71 on Sunday had him in the mix all weekend as he became a surprising star at the 2023 major, earning a tidy $288,333 as well. That top-15 finish also automatically qualified him for this year’s PGA. He will surely be one of the hottest names at Valhalla.

Can amateurs play in the PGA Championship?

No. The PGA Championship is limited to professionals only, meaning amateurs cannot qualify.

What does the winner of PGA Championship receive?

The PGA champion receives the Wanamaker Trophy, the largest trophy of the four men’s majors. In 2023, the winner also received a top prize of $3.15 million, 18 percent of the $17.5 million purse. (The PGA of America hasn't announced what the purse is for 2024.) Traditionally the winner also receives automatic invites into all three of the other majors and the Players Championship for the next five years, PGA Tour membership for the next five years and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) membership for the next seven years. They also become eligible to compete in the PGA Championship for life.

Who won the 2023 PGA Championship?


Keyur Khamar

Michael Block, who won fanfare, notoriety and $288,333, but the actual winner of the 2023 PGA at Oak Hill was Brooks Koepka. The LIV golfer finished the tournament at nine under, two strokes up on runners-up Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland.

Koepka shot a Sunday 67, including three straight birdies on Holes No. 2-4 to start his final round. Two rounds of 66 on Friday and Saturday made up for a 72 to start the major, as he became the first LIV golfer to win a major.

Cameron Davis, Bryson DeChambeau and Kurt Kitayama rounded out the top six.

Who has won the most PGA Championships?

Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen hold the record for most PGA Championship victories with five. Nicklaus also holds the record for most runner-up finishes in the PGA Championship with four.

How many PGA Championships has Tiger Woods won?


Tiger Woods makes his putt for par and to win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2007.

Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Tiger Woods has won four PGA Championships, the last coming in 2007 at Southern Hills. His second was at Valhalla in 2000 when he defeated Bob May in a playoff.

Who are the most famous golfers not to have won the PGA Championship?

There are three players in golf history who have won the other three men’s major championships (the Masters, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship) but have not completed the career Grand Slam by winning the PGA. They are Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jordan Spieth. Spieth will be in the Valhalla field coming off a missed cut at the Masters. Who knows with Spieth though? He could be leading the pack on Thursday or be searching for his ball in the woods for hours.

Who is the youngest winner of the PGA Championship?

Gene Sarazen is the youngest winner, claiming the title at Oakmont Country Club in 1922 at 20 years and 174 days old. He defended his title the following year at Pelham Country Club and went on to win his third and final PGA at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in 1933.

What is the PGA Championship scoring record?

The record for the lowest 72-hole score in a PGA Championship was held by David Toms for his 15-under 265 total at Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga., in 2001, but Brooks Koepka broke that mark in 2018 with his 16-under 264 at Bellerive. Koepka also tied the record set by Henrik Stenson at the 2016 Open Championship for the lowest total in major championship history.

What is the PGA Championship scoring record in relation to par?

Jason Day holds the record for scoring in relation to par not only in PGA Championship history but in major championship history. The Australian was 20-under-par (268) when he won at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., in 2015.

What is the highest winning score of a PGA Championship? In relation to par?

The highest total score of a PGA champion is one-under 287, shot by Larry Nelson in 1987 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The highest winning score in relation to par was one-over 281, shot four times: Jay Hebert, 1960; Julius Boros, 1968; Gary Player, 1972; and Dave Stockton, 1976.

What is the largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship?


Sam Greenwood

The largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship belongs to Rory McIlroy, who won by eight strokes in 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (S.C.). The Northern Irishman won the event again in 2014 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. That remains his last major championship victory.

If players are tied after 72 holes, how is a winner determined?

In the event of a tie, the PGA of America employs a three-hole aggregate format for the championship's playoff. This occurred just two years ago between Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris. If players are tied after three holes it becomes a sudden-death playoff.

How many playoffs have there been in PGA Championship history?

Since 1958 and the move to stroke play, there have been 14 playoffs in the PGA Championship, the most recent coming in 2022. The last one before that was back in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club, where Keegan Bradley defeated Jason Dufner in the three-hole aggregate playoff.

What site has hosted the most PGA Championships?

Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., is the all-time leader in PGA Championships hosted with five. Oak Hill is just behind with four, which Valhalla will tie at the conclusion of this year’s PGA.

What state has hosted the most PGA Championships?

New York has hosted the most PGA Championships with 14. This will be the fifth in Kentucky, all but one have been at Valhalla with Big Spring Country Club hosting the 1952 event in Jefferson County.

What are the future venues for the PGA Championship?

Future venues for the PGA Championship have been announced officially through 2031. 2034 will be at PGA Frisco, but 2032 and 2033 have yet to be announced. They are as follows:

2025 — Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

2026 — Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pa.

2027 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas

2028 — The Olympic Club, San Francisco

2029 — Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, N.J.

2030 — Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.

2031 — The Ocean Course Kiawah Island, South Carolina

2034 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas

Who is the favorite to win the 2024 PGA Championship?

At the moment of writing this, Masters champ Scottie Scheffler is the clear favorite to win the PGA, at least according to DraftKings. At +350 for outright winner, Scheffler is clear of fellow favorites Rory McIlroy (+900) and Jon Rahm (+1000) by a wide margin. Defending champ Brooks Koepka is in fourth when it comes to odds at +1600; Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Åberg round out the top six at +1800 apiece. Tiger Woods is currently at +10000. He was never truly in contention at Augusta National but did set a Masters record with his 24th-straight cut.

What will the weather be like for the 2024 PGA Championship?

We don’t want to jinx anything, but it looks like Valhalla will provide its golfers with some nice weather from May 16 through May 19, hopefully without any weather delays like in Augusta, Ga. Wind looks to pick up a bit over the weekend, however, it’s looking like temps are in the mid-60s to even high-70s with a bit of rain in the mornings. We’ll take it. Please don’t shoot the messenger if the weather reports change closer to the tournament.

What is Valhalla known for?

Valhalla Golf Club is known for its beautiful rolling terrain with holes that weave through heavily wooded areas and a back nine renowned for creeks cutting through well-framed holes. The Nicklaus design is usually challenging and requires smart green play. A Golf Digest review went so far as to call it a “brute” to play, made up of almost two different courses from the front to the back.

Who broadcasts the PGA Championship?

This year’s PGA Championship will be broadcast between ESPN and CBS due to a joint contract between the two. ESPN replaced TNT in 2020 and holds rights to all of the early round and weekend morning coverage, including supplemental coverage on ESPN+. CBS will hold all rights to afternoon coverage of weekend rounds and will feature broadcasting legend Jim Nantz doing play-by-play.