To commemorate the historic centennial year of the PGA of America in 2016, Scotland has gifted the organisation a one-of-a-kind tartan weave to celebrate the country’s proud links with the organisation.
The PGA of America Centennial Tartan has been exclusively created to mark 100 years since the inception of the organisation and honours the role Scottish-born professional golfers played in its formation.
Five of the seven founding members of the first PGA of America committee were Scottish professionals, including Robert W. White, the first PGA of America President, and James Hepburn, the first chairman of the committee.
The tartan was the brainchild of Matt Clark, owner of Scottish custom golf bag business Bridge Golf Scotland and was commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scotland’s economic development agencies. It was created by renowned textile manufacturers, Lochcarron of Scotland with the colours carefully chosen to represent those of the PGA of America as well as Scotland’s Saltire flag and the iconic Stars and Stripes banner of the United States.
The tartan was officially gifted to Allen Wronowski, Honorary President of the PGA of America, by VisitScotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, and Graeme White, SDI’s Head of Tourism, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Part of the gift included specially-designed golf club headcovers designed and made in Scotland by stand partner Bridge Golf Scotland, and ties and scarves created by Lochcarron of Scotland. The tartan cloth will now be made available to all PGA of America members as well as offering commercial opportunities for Scottish businesses and manufacturers.
As well as being the PGA of America’s centennial year, 2016 is also the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in Scotland, resulting in a year-long celebration of Scotland’s achievements across these areas. Tartan has become an internationally-acclaimed fashion, and the development of the PGA of America Tartan further enhances this reputation.
Bush said: “We are honoured to be able to present the PGA of America with this specially designed tartan to commemorate its centennial year and to celebrate the proud association Scotland, the Home of Golf, has with this incredible organisation.
“As a nation, we are incredibly proud of the role we have played in the globalisation of golf, both as a game and a profession, and I am delighted that the relationships forged with the PGA of America back in 1916 continue to this day. Traditionally, every clan in Scotland had its own unique tartan and the new PGA of America Centennial Tartan ensures that the organisation will forever be part of Scotland’s golfing family.”
Graeme White, head of tourism at Scottish Enterprise said: "Scottish tartan is known the world over for its iconic fashion, quality and heritage. But it is also an important commercial product of Scotland. This new tartan, while welcoming the PGA of America into our global family, also offers Scottish businesses and manufacturers exciting national and international trade opportunities, which we look forward to supporting."
The inception of the PGA of America came at a time when golf was expanding rapidly in the US, not just as a past-time, but as a business; and the organisation was set up to nurture and capitalise on that growth. Now, 100 years on, the PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organisation, comprising more than 28,000 men and women dedicated to promoting the game of golf.
Accepting the tartan on behalf of the PGA of America, Honorary President Wronowski said: “It is with a great deal of honor that the PGA of America accepts the beautiful Scottish tartan, symbolic of the bond that the PGA of America shares with the Home of Golf. Scottish blood was a part of our Association’s founding a century ago and our shared passion and pride for growing the game has never been stronger.”
The tartan was gifted to the PGA of America at the Scotland, the Home of Golf stand (Booth #3473) at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The show represents the biggest gathering of golf industry professionals with more than 1000 golf businesses and 40,000 golf industry professionals attending. Scotland’s presence at the show is supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Development International and includes businesses from across the golf tourism and manufacturing industries in Scotland.