July 30, 2009

PGA Championship Going Back To Valhalla

The PGA of America are set to announce later today in a press conference the that the 2011 Senior PGA Championship and the 2014 PGA Championship will be played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.

Valhalla has hosted the PGA’s 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships, the 2004 Senior PGA Championship and the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Last year, prior to the Ryder Cup matches, the Associated Press was blunt in its criticism of Valhalla when they said that "the waterfall alongside the 13th green at Valhalla Golf Club could have been lifted from a Disney theme park," adding that Valhalla had "no tradition. A pedestrian layout more suited for a tournament named after a tractor or a bank."Additionally, they said that holding the Ryder Cup at Valhalla was "a blatant attempt by the owner, the PGA of America, to bolster the reputation of the club."

Perhaps, but it was an exciting Ryder Cup because the US team greatly exceeded expectations and won the event when it had been expected to have been blown out by the European side. One could say that would have happened on any golf course, and they might be correct, but the Jack Nicklaus-designedValhalla offers many risk/reward options not available on many of the US courses with greater reputations.

All of that doesn't really matter, however, the real reason Valhalla has become a favorite of the PGA of America is simple: money. "Valhalla and Louisville are very special to us,'' PGA of America chief executive officer Jim Awtrey remarked in 2004 -- undoubtedly because the PGA of America also owns the course. Holding it at their own site increases their profits and simplifies logistics since they do not have to lease a course when they use the Valhalla location.

1 comment:

  1. first off - who really cares what anybody at the AP has to say anymore ? their bias and tabloid reporting makes them irrelevent.

    I'm wondering why the PGA is so stuck on Valhalla. There are hundreds of worthy courses around the country, yet they play this course every couple of years. Is is just that they own the course ?


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