PGA, USGA Combine Centuries of History in Golf Archive Partnership

Two of the largest golf bodies in the world plan to collaborate to bring a major golf archive under PGA of America’s control into the USGA’s official museum.

Keeping the history of your industry safe and sound isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it always helps to have a partner at your side.

That’s the strategy PGA of America is taking in a fresh partnership with the U.S. Golf Association, which will see the professional golf league’s primary collection of golf history moved to the USGA’s main museum.

The Colonel R. Otto Probst Library, which the PGA has managed for more than four decades, will move into the USGA Golf Museum, bringing together two of the largest archives of golf information in the world. Probst’s collection, interestingly, predates the PGA’s possession of it; Probst was a private collector of golf memorabilia who started his collection in 1923 and expanded it by acquiring from other major collectors. By the time he died in 1986, the collection included more than 800 rare books and 1,400 periodicals, among other interesting works.

The Probst collection, mixed with the USGA library—which, among other things, has more than 30,000 scorecards from golf clubs globally—creates a bit of a historical juggernaut for an iconic game. PGA Historian Bob Denney did not underplay the significance of the move.

“The PGA of America views this partnership with the USGA as a groundbreaking moment in the preservation of more than the printed word of golf,” Denney said in a news release. “It also extends Otto Probst’s dream—that future generations of golf aficionados and researchers worldwide may discover the rich history of the game. The USGA Golf Museum is now the undisputed epicenter of golf literature.”

Colonel R. Otto Probst, the golf collector who created the PGA’s prominent archive. (Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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