The Wanamaker Trophy is one of the most prestigious trophies in golf. It is given annually to the winner of the PGA Championship and is the biggest trophy in major championship golf. We’ve put together a few fun facts about the trophy that we hope you’ll enjoy.
How did the trophy get its name?
The trophy was named after Rodman Wanamaker, an American businessman and heir to the Wanamaker’s department store fortune. In 1916, Wanamaker invited a group of golf professionals to meet and form the Professional Golfers’ Association of America to help elevate the professional game. During this meeting, he also proposed the idea of an all-professional championship and offered to put up $2,500 as prize money, as well as other trophies and awards. Later that year, the newly founded PGA named the cup after him and the first PGA Championship was held at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y.
How big is the Wanamaker Trophy?
The Wanamaker Trophy is silver and weighs about 27 lbs., stands at 28 inches high, is 10.5 inches in diameter, and is 27 inches from handle to handle. The top also comes off, which makes it ideal for holding celebratory beverages. More on that later.
Who lost the trophy?
When talking about the history of the Wanamaker Trophy, one story that must be told is how Walter Hagen lost it in Chicago in 1925.
Hagen won his first PGA Championship in 1921 and didn’t win again until 1924. In 1925, he brought the trophy to the event at Olympia Field Country Club, near Chicago where he won again. According to the story, Hagen didn’t want to lug the heavy trophy around while out in Chicago celebrating the win, so he gave his taxi driver $5 and asked him to take it to his hotel. Unfortunately, it never arrived. Hagen won the tournament in 1926 and 1927 so he never admitted the loss to the PGA until he lost the championship in 1928 and had to turn the trophy over to the winner.
The missing trophy was replaced and was ready by the 1929 PGA Championship. The original Wanamaker turned up in 1930, after being found in an unmarked case in the basement of L.A. Young & Company, the firm that made Hagen’s golf clubs. How the trophy made it from Chicago to Los Angeles is still unknown. Today, the original Wanamaker Trophy is on display at the new PGA headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
How long does the PGA Championship winner get to keep the trophy each year?
Each year, the champion is awarded a replica of the trophy to keep for one year, and a smaller replica to keep permanently. Every tournament winner’s name is engraved on both the original and replica versions.
How many beers does the Wanamaker Trophy hold?
According to Jason Dufner, it can fit 43 beers. He announced this during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show shortly after his 2013 victory.
This weekend a new champion will hoist the Wanamaker Trophy. Who do you think will win this prestigious event?