The great and the good of world golf will be gathering at Valhalla this coming week. No, they haven’t all suddenly been slain only to live again in Norse mythology. Instead, they’re descending upon the Louisville golf course, designed by the great Jack Nicklaus, to take part in the US PGA Championship.

Now one of the four golfing majors, the PGA has been part of the calendar since 1916, though in its early days, it was initially a match play competition, only moving completely to stroke play in 1958.

That was the 40th playing of the competition and it was won by the magnificently monikered Dow Finsterwald, a serial runner up on the US tour who finally made it to the winner’s enclosure.

Joe E. Doan reported on the contest in the September 1958 edition of Golf Monthly, and noted that, “The usually conservative Finsterwald departed from his customary script by flying for every pin on the first nine of the final round, shooting a 31 and leaving everyone gasping from there on in.”

Finsterwald ultimately saw off the challenge of Bill Casper and Sam Snead to collect the trophy, while Doan sagely remarked that this was the beginning of a new era for the PGA Championship. “There is little likelihood that the PGA Championship…will ever revert to match play because of financial consideration. This year’s tournament attracted 45,000 onlookers who paid nearly $100,000 for spectator. Privileges, making it the richest PGA meeting on record.”

This year’s spectators might end up paying a little more for their privileges…

Read all about it here.

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