Olympic Club gets PGA Championship and Ryder Cup
The Olympic Club in San Francisco is leaving its U.S. Open heritage to host the PGA Championship in 2028 and the Ryder Cup in 2032.
The announcement Wednesday adds to the growing list of major golf events on the West Coast, which typically have stronger television ratings because they can be shown in prime time on the East Coast.
The PGA Championship also is scheduled for Harding Park in 2020.
The U.S. Open will be held four times in California over the next 10 years — twice at Pebble Beach, once at Torrey Pines and once at Los Angeles Country Club.
“For us, it has been a strategic priority to bring more of our events to the West Coast,” Pete Bevacqua, the PGA of America’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview. “It’s no secret these West Coast events perform strongly in television ratings being able to show them in prime time.”
Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds brought in the Wanamaker Trophy during a press conference at Olympic Club. Bonds was part of the gallery watching Tiger Woods when the Presidents Cup was at Harding Park in 2009.
It was the first in a series of announcements over the next month that fills out the PGA of America’s schedule for its biggest events over the next decade.
The PGA Championship still has openings for 2024 through 2027, with Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, taking one of those spots. A return to Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky also is expected, along with a return to Quail Hollow in North Carolina and possibly Aronimink outside Philadelphia.
The Ryder Cup goes to Whistling Straits in 2020 and Bethpage Black in 2024, which leaves a vacancy for 2028.
Bevacqua said the PGA of America prefers to have two events (PGA Championship and Ryder Cup) within four years of each other to build energy in the city. Bethpage and Whistling Straits are hosting both events five years apart.
Olympic’s fabled Lake Course will be the 22nd golf course to host the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, and the deal with the PGA of America likely signals the end of its U.S. Open history, which dates to 1955 when Jack Fleck defeated Ben Hogan in a playoff.
There have been occasions when a U.S. Open course hosted the PGA and then returned to holding the U.S. Open, such as Pebble Beach (1977 PGA) and Winged Foot (1997 PGA).
The USGA was negotiating to bring the U.S. Open back to Olympic for 2027 when negotiations stalled. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that disagreements on financial matters, such as the cost to restore the adjacent Ocean Course that housed temporary U.S. Open structures, led to an impasse.
Bevacqua said only that talks with Olympic Club “really heated up over the course of the last 12 months.”
Olympic was known as the “graveyard of champions” for Hall of Fame players who lost the U.S. Open in the closing holes. Three of them — Hogan, Arnold Palmer (1966) and Tom Watson (1987) — never won another major.
The USGA is not done with Olympic Club. The U.S. Women’s Open is headed there in 2021.