Twenty Five Years of the European PGA Tour

1996 marked the 25th anniversary of the European Tour. To commemorate the official birth of the European Tour in 1971, we look back at some notable dates from the start of the PGA in London in 1901 to the present.


1901
PGA founded with offices in Bishopgate, London

1966
PGA Offices moved to Oval cricket ground, London

1971
John Jacobs appointed Tournament Director-General of the PGA on January 10, 1971. This marked the official birth of the PGA European Tour.

1972
The Tour started with, in addition to John Jacobs, John Bywaters MBE as Secretary of the PGA, George Simms as Press & PR Advisor and, in the field, Arthur Crawley-Bovey as Tournament Director and Eddie Carter as Recorder
Prize money and points from European tournaments included in Order of Merit

1975
Ken Schofield appointed First Secretary and Executive Director, following John Jacobs
Tour title: PGA Tournament Players' Section
Order of Merit based on prize money instead of points

1976
Tour title: PGA Tournament Players' Division
Sunday finishes started in selected tournaments
Pre-tournament Pro-Ams introduced
Annual Qualifying School started at three courses in UK with 127 cards to be won

1977
Tour title: PGA European Tournament Players' Division
Safari Tour co-sponsored by the PGA ETPD
36-hole cut raised from 50 and ties to 65 and ties
Neil Coles made Chairman of TPD Committee Representatives with Angel Gallardo as Vice-Chairman

1979
Tour title: PGA European Golf Tour
European players included in Ryder Cup teams
Qualifying School moved to Portugal

1980
"Order of Merit" changed to "Official Money List"
Minimum number of tournaments to be played for inclusion on Official Money list raised from five to seven

1981
PGA European Golf Tour offices moved from the Oval to Wentworth in Surrey (16/4/81)
R & A granted exemption into the Open Golf Championship to the
top ten (in the top 25), not otherwise exempt, at the State Express Classic

1982
Tour title: PGA European Tour
Prize money (Reserve Money) paid to those finishing beyond 65th Introduction of performance statistics
Qualifying School moved to La Manga, Spain

1984
PGA European Tour made a limited Company
Formation of PGA European Tour Enterprises Ltd with George O'Grady as Managing Director
"Official Money List" changed back to "Order of Merit"
Placing in Order of Merit to obtain membership at end of season reduced from 150 to 125
Pre-Qualifying for entry to Qualifying School started at La Manga

1985
Introduction of the All-Exempt Tour (tournament pre-qualifying discontinued)
Winter base of PGA European Tour set up at La Manga, Spain

1986
Introduction of Associate, Temporary and Affiliated Memberships
Formation of PGA European Tour South office in Barcelona
Pre-Qualifying for Qualifying School introduced in two stages PQl in UK and PQ2 in Spain
Minimum number of tournaments to be played for inclusion in the Order of Merit raised from seven to nine
Introduction of the Satellite Tour
Exemption into the Open Golf Championship reduced from the top ten (in the top 25) to the top five (in the top 25), not otherwise exempt, at the Car Care Plan International

1987
Introduction of the one-ball rule
Agreement announced at PGA Championship that Volvo would become first corporate sponsor to commence in 1988
First Senior British Open
Introduction of bonuses to be paid to the top 15 in the Final Order of Merit to be paid out when the players involved had played in a specified event the following year (to 1988). This money was "unofficial"

1988
Volvo Tour sanctioned by the PGA European Tour started with prize money exceeding £10 Million.
Formation of PGA European Properties and Tour Developments companies
Placing in Order of Merit to retain membership at end of season reduced.
Introduction by Volvo of bonuses to be paid to the top 15 in the Volvo Order of Merit providing that they played in the Volvo Masters. This money was "official"

1989
PGA European Satellite Tour started with its own Order of Merit with the top five being eligible for full PGA European Tour Membership the following season under Category 11(b). Best nine results in three different countries to count
Apollo Week Training School first staged

1990
Record 37 Volvo Order of Merit tournaments
PGA European Tour and Professional Golfers' Association announced formation of the Ryder Cup Joint Venture
PGA European Satellite Tour renamed PGA European Challenge Tour
Challenge Tour Order of Merit required a minimum of five tournaments to qualify for inclusion
Establishment of the PGA European Tour Andalucian headquarters at San Roque, Spain
Qualifying School moved to Massane Montpellier and La Grande Motte in France
Additional office opened in Chobham, Surrey (November)
Twice yearly re-ranking of those who won cards at the previous autumn's Qualifying School introduced
First Seniors event staged in Geneva and won by Neil Coles

1991
No. of cards available under Category 11(b) raised from top five of Challenge Tour Order of Merit to top ten
No. of cards available at Qualifying School reduced from top 50 to 40
Formation of PGA European Tour Productions - a joint venture company with Trans World International
Challenge Tour Order of Merit - Best ten results to count of which five must be outside home country

1992
Exemption period for tournament winners in Category 5 reduced to the rest of the year plus two years (from three years)
Introduction of new Exemption Category whereby a player finishing in top ten of a tournament will be exempt for the next tournament
Start of the PGA European Seniors Tour with minimum of two events for inclusion in Order of Merit
Formation of European Golf Design - a joint venture company with International Management Group
Formation of PGA European Tour Courses (IMG) Limited - a joint venture company with International Management Group
Record 38 Volvo Order of Merit tournaments
First PGA European Tour Course acquired at Collingtree Park (August)
Challenge Tour Order of Merit- Best 15 results to count with a minimum of six
PGA European Tour Physiotherapy Unit introduced

1993
Combined Volvo Tour, Seniors Tour and Challenge Tour events totalled more than 100 with total prize money exceeding &pound25 million
Three-year television agreement with Sky Sports announced
Minimum number of tournaments to be played for inclusion in the Order of Merit raised from nine to 11
Ryder Cup Qualifying Points List extended to include points earned over a complete calendar year (September to August)
PGA European Tour Course acquired at Stockley Park (June 1993)
PGA European Seniors Tour Order of Merit - Minimum number of events to qualify for inclusion raised to three

1994
20th Anniversary of start of BBC Television coverage of Tour events
Challenge Tour Order of Merit - All cheques to count
PGA European Tour Courses acquired at Kungsangen, Stockholm (July 1994) and Nippenburg, Stuttgart (December 1994)

1995
First ten in Ryder Cup Qualifying Points List to be in the team automatically, with the Captain having two choices Ryder Cup Qualifying Points List to include points earned from winnings in the US Masters, US Open and US PGA
The PGA European Tour and Volvo announced a partnership extension for a further four year period from 1996 to 1999. Volvo to remain as principal sponsor of the Tour; PGA European Tour to revert to and operate under its own name
Further four year television agreement with Sky Television announced to include 1997 and 1999 Ryder Cups, and exclusive live broadcasts of 26 tournaments each season from 1997 to 2000
Schloss Nippenburg ETC, designed by European Golf Design in association with Bernhard Langer, became the first European Tour Course to host a PGA European Tour event with the Volvo German Open
The 1995 Collingtree British Masters marked the debut of PGA European Tour competition on a European Tour Course - Collingtree Park ETC - within the British Isles
Number of cards available at Qualifying School raised to include top 40 and ties
Qualifying School moved to San Roque and Guadalmina (South Course) in Spain
Combined Volvo Tour, Seniors Tour and Challenge Tour events had total prize money exceeding &pound30 million

1996
25th Anniversary of the foundation of the PGA European Tour.


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