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The PGA Championship was born in the mind of department store owner Rodman Wanamaker, who saw the merchandising possibilities in a professional golfers’ organization. Wanamaker invited some prominent golfers and other leading industry representatives to a luncheon at the Taplow Club in New York City. On Jan. 17, 1916, a group of 35 individuals, including the legendary Walter Hagen, convened for an exploratory meeting, which resulted in the formation of The PGA of America.

Source: PGA.com

Recently, The PGA of America has unveiled a modern new logo to complement its marquee event, the final major golf championship each year. The officials think the previous logo put too much highlight on the golf course rather than the event itself so they aimed to solve that issue. The new mark will be officially revealed in application to the public in 2013 at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.

Here’s the new icon for 2013 in all its glory:

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“When you look at the previous logos, the primary focus was the course mark with the PGA Championship in the outer band and smaller print,” said Kevin Carter, the PGA of America’s senior director of business development. “The new logo design puts the event front and center, and makes the PGA the story. … It will do more to establish the identity of the tournament and give it more of a lasting impression.”

Here is a look at the last 10 years of PGA Championship’s logos along side the new icon:

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The previous years logos all have a very vintage feel to them and the 2013 mark is the first logo to include modern day gradients and drop shadows. It’s also a great improvement over the previous years color scheme. I can’t wait to see this hideous site updated to the new branding. The dark brown to light brown background gradient alone is shocking enough:

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The new iconic mark was designed by PS212, New York, a new agency founded by David Gaglione. His work for PGA of America dates back to 2008 when he redesigned PGA of America’s primary logo for well known San Francisco design agency Landor Associates. Gaglione began working on the new project six months ago with PGA’s Senior Director of Championships David Charles.

Charles, said “the collaborative process included input from the golf courses that will host upcoming tournaments, as well as a team inside the PGA of America led by Carter and Charles. The goal was to create something that would be flexible for use in the market,”

The organization has decided to use the logo for the PGA Championship from 2013 to 2018. In 2019, they will design a new look for the 100th anniversary event. It’s interesting that they are deciding to keep this logo for more than one year considering each past event has had it’s own distinct branding. Merchandising each year will include the new logo in addition with the event course name.

We first heard about this story from SportsBusinessDaily.