British PGA Matchplay

The British PGA Matchplay Championship was first held in 1903 and its association with the News of the World newspaper lasted from the very first edition until 1969, two years before it became a European Tour event. Sadly, the commercial world of the 1970s didn’t offer much support to match play competitions and it was discontinued in 1979 when a suitable sponsor could not be found.

British PGA Matchplay Trophy

It originally started out as a tournament for British professionals but overseas players from other Commonwealth countries were gradually invited to participate. Americans occasionally made an appearance, such as in 1949 when the US Ryder Cup team accepted an invitation to take part. In its formative years, the Matchplay was considered as one of the top events on the calendar, attracting the biggest prize pot in British golf.

In the beginning, 32 golfers qualified from the five different sections of the PGA, with numbers based on the membership in each region. Matches were decided over 18 holes and extra holes were played in the event of a tie. The final was a 36-hole affair and medals were given to everybody who reached the semi-final stage: gold for the winner; silver for the runner-up; and bronze for the losing semi-finalists.

The format was changed as the years went by. Final stage entrants in 1919 numbered 64 and that ballooned to 149 in 1945, forcing the Committee to use both the Old and New courses at Walton Heath to accommodate the huge field. During the 1950s, first round matches were played over 36 holes, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals reduced to 18-hole matches.

The inaugural News of the World Matchplay, as it was commonly called, was played at Sunningdale in October 1903 ...

British PGA Matchplay host courses

Dalmahoy (East)

19th Lothians - Best in Area

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club's East golf course was designed by the great James Braid, and it’s set amongst 1,000 acres of rolling, wooded parkland.

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Downfield

5th Angus & Dundee - Best in Area 65th Scotland Ranking

On the outskirts of Dundee, lies Downfield Golf Club, a lovely James Braid-designed parkland course little known outside Scotland.

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Fulford

5th Yorkshire - Best in Area

Fulford Golf Club will always be remembered for the tree-climbing exploits of Bernhard Langer in the 1981 Benson & Hedges International.

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Ganton

1st Yorkshire - Best in Area 9th England Ranking 26th Britain & Ireland Ranking 77th World Ranking

This sandy, gently undulating site was once a North Sea inlet. Consequently, Ganton Golf Club has all the characteristics of a links and a heathland course.

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Hillside

4th Lancashire - Best in Area 23rd England Ranking 52nd Britain & Ireland Ranking

Hillside Golf Club is an underrated gem, separated only by a footpath, but hiding in the shadow of its noble next-door neighbour, Royal Birkdale.

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Kings Norton (Weatheroak)

8th Worcestershire - Best in Area

Kings Norton Golf Club members have the option of playing on three different 9-hole loops, which are each colour-coded – Blue, Red & Yellow. The three loops pair up to create the Weatheroak (Blue & Red), Brockhill (Yellow & Blue) and Wythall (Red & Yellow) courses, each of which ends with a par five.

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Lindrick

4th Yorkshire - Best in Area 59th England Ranking

Lindrick Golf Club is remembered passionately because it was here in 1957 that Great Britain beat the USA to win the Ryder Cup.

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Moor Park (High)

5th Hertfordshire - Best in Area

Moor Park Golf Club oozes quality. The High is a classy golf course and a warm welcome awaits in the spectacular clubhouse mansion.

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British PGA Matchplay Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Brian Ward Courses Played 22
2 Andy Newmarch Courses Played 21
3 Keith Baxter Courses Played 19
= James Reader Courses Played 19
= Ed Battye Courses Played 19
= Paul Sherman Courses Played 19
7 Andrew Cooke Courses Played 18
= Steve Williams Courses Played 18
= Michael Courses Played 18
10 Angus wink Courses Played 17