PGA stayed in touch with Aronimink, result is two majors

No one was quite sure how long the PGA of America had been eyeing Aronimink Golf Club for a future major championship. Some people thought it was when the club served as host for the PGA Tour’s AT&T National event, hosted by Tiger Woods, in 2010 and 2011.

But as it turned out, the relationship between the PGA and the club had remained strong since the staging of the Senior PGA Championship in 2003. Communication between the two sides went pretty much uninterrupted and on Tuesday, the two sides announced that not one, but two, majors had been awarded.

The Newtown Square facility will host the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, once known as the LPGA Championship, and the 2027 PGA Championship.

Kerry Haigh, the chief championships officer for the PGA of America, said the 2003 Senior PGA, which was played on a soggy weekend in early June, was “very successful.”

“We continued to keep in communication with them really since then,” he said. “We continued the dialogue and ultimately it resulted in this great announcement today.”

Haigh called Aronimink “a truly great golf course” that will serve as “a great test of golf for the best players in the world.”

Aronimink president Joe Fabrizio said the PGA invited the club to be a host.

“They obviously have known we’ve had a relationship for many years,” he said, “and they knew we were interested in hosting championship tournaments. They contacted us and the negotiations began and now it’s been completed.”

The club will be the first venue to host each of the PGA of America’s three major championships – the Senior PGA, the Women’s PGA and the PGA. It also has a PGA Tour FedExCup playoff event coming next year – the BMW Championship, which will be conducted in early September.

The golf course, built by legendary architect Donald Ross in 1928, embarked on a major restoration project last fall that will be completed by early next year.

PGA of America vice president Suzy Whaley, who lived for a time in West Chester, called the awarding of both majors to Aronimink as “something that’s incredibly special.” She is particularly excited for the Women’s PGA, which began in its current form in 2015 “to elevate and inspire women who are looking to get into golf or get into the business world.”

Aronimink last hosted a PGA in 1962 when Gary Player won. The club was awarded the 1993 PGA but had to withdraw from the agreement when it determined it could not have minorities as part of its membership by the date of the event.

Haigh said the PGA of America is satisfied with Aronimink’s membership policies, that they have “a very open membership and they meet what we need them to meet.”

The announcement also included a video from Player, who just turned 82 and would be 91 at the time the 2027 event is staged.

“The beauty and the balance of the golf course, you can’t find better,” he said. “I’ll definitely be there if I’m alive, and if I’m not alive, I’ll be thinking of you from above.”

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