Behind the Scenes at the 2020 PGA ChampionshipPresented by
We are proud to announce our content series in collaboration with Chase Sapphire the Official Credit Card of the 2020 PGA Championship. Click on a link below or scroll to watch the content, join the livestream or send in your video to improve your game.
The PGA Championship: The Hardest Tournament in Golf
It’s a landmark year for professional golf. With tournament delays, cancellations, spectator bans, and player isolation efforts, 2020 will be filed away in golf’s history books with an envelope that might read “DO NOT OPEN”. The major championship deck this year has been completely reshuffled, as worldwide competition at the major championship level will commence where it has often culminated: the PGA Championship. The 102nd PGA will return to California for the first time in a quarter-century, with players throwing down the gauntlet at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park, August 6-9. And despite the absence of spectators at this year’s tournament, the players will undoubtedly bring the drama to viewers tuning in from around the globe.
The PGA Championship wrangles a unique field of competition for major championship golf. The tournament offers members of the Professional Golf Association of America, a network of nearly 30,000 teachers and club pros, the chance to compete on one of golf’s biggest stages. Most PGA professionals spend their days tirelessly whittling the swings of country club members and hungry up-and-comers—but if those pros grind over enough of their own putts and finish in the top-20 of the annual PGA Professional Championship, they’ll punch their ticket to the next big dance.
If the PGA professionals didn’t have it hard enough even reaching the PGA Championship, the tournament itself poses the toughest challenge they’ll ever face on the course. Each year, the PGA Championship extends invitations to the top 100 players in the world, where the season’s other majors limit to the top 50. The added dose of talent makes the PGA Championship the hardest tournament in golf to win, with the average PGA TOUR player toting less than a 1 percent chance at claiming victory.
Beyond top-class golf, there’s something in the water at the PGA of America that binds its members together—a set of underlying beliefs, principles, and values that all of us can learn from. The concept of family is strong among PGA members, as is the foregone expectation to extract the very best out of themselves and those they teach golf to.
Erik called up three of these PGA of America professionals, along with 2002 PGA Champion, Rich Beem, in the lead-up to this year’s tournament. The journeyed careers made by Beem, as well as by Rob Labritz, Ryan Vermeer, and Marty Jertson, are each distinct, and illustrate the various approaches taken to play and grow the game. It seems the only constant between these four competitors is a fervent passion for golf and all that comes with it.
Catch the stories from these gutty competitors below, and be on the lookout for their performance at the 102nd PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park throughout the week.
The Journey to Harding Park: Home of the 2020 PGA Championship
Public golf in the San Francisco Bay Area has some serious soul. It’s not often that municipally-owned golf courses can claim host to major championships, but San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park will check that box for the 102nd PGA Championship this week. Erik recently had the opportunity to dig in and feel the heartbeat of public golf in the city before the world’s best take the stage at Harding Park for the season’s first major. Erik’s journey by car from Los Angeles had him meandering up the coast of California, dropping into some of his favorite spots along the way.
After an early start from LA, Erik screeched in for a chilaquiles-fueled pit stop at The Shop in Santa Barbara. Erik took in the ocean views and hopped back in the driver’s seat, linking up with the Pacific Coast Highway toward the Bay. Erik crested the cliffs near Big Sur and rolled into town as the summer sun began to fade, catching a bite at the acclaimed Dumpling Time, where he dove head first into a rack of steamer baskets loaded with golf ball shaped pillowy bao. Food coma sufficiently underway, Erik made way for his hotel to unwind. A quick check-in, and Erik was kicked back in his room at Hotel Emblem in downtown San Francisco, catching up on his favorite shows streamed from his phone.
Early to rise the next day, Erik gassed up with Four Barrel Coffee and zipped to Harding Park for the grand unveiling of this year’s inaugural major championship site. Local members of Random Golf Club’s San Francisco chapter joined Erik for a socially distanced round, and helped explain the significance of Harding Park to the community.
Harding Park is publicly owned and operated by the city of San Francisco, meaning that all are welcome to test themselves against this championship layout ahead of tournament time. The course is just the fifth municipal golf facility to host a major championship in the U.S., but is no stranger to hosting heavy hitters. Since its large-scale renovation in 2003, Harding Park has welcomed three season-ending events on the men’s senior tour and a Presidents Cup. Not a bad résumé for your local city track.
The strongest tournament field in golf will tee off at TPC Harding Park this week—a phenomenal opportunity to showcase the vitality of municipal golf in the U.S. Golf brings us to incredible places around the world, opening up new experiences along the way. What are some of your favorite golf travel adventures and places to eat while you’re there? Use the comment section at the bottom of the page to join the conversation after you watch the video.
Final Round Livestream Watch Party
Sunday, August 9 at 1:00PM – End of Play
We’re excited to bring you a Livestream Watch Party of the PGA Championship final round on Sunday, August 9. We’ll be joined by some very special guests popping into the Livestream throughout the day and you’ll watch alongside Erik as he breaks down some lessons he learned from traveling to San Francisco and playing the course in the weeks leading into the Championship.
Join the watch party here:
Golf Instruction Series
We’re excited to announce our Instruction Series brought to you by Chase Sapphire with a goal of helping you improve your game.
Over 500 people submitted videos of their golf swings and Erik along with Dana Dahlquist, a top 100 instructor in the United States, selected several swings to break down and offer ways to improve
Watch the videos below or on Random Golf Club films on YouTube.
The final part of our Icelandic journey.