The PGA TOUR Team Charity Competition debuts. By 1987, TOUR-related contributions to charity exceed $100,000,000, and by 1992 they reach a total of $200,000,000.

The Links at Spanish Bay opens, the first true links course in the Western United States. It is a co-design by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Tom Watson, and former USGA President Frank "Sandy" Tatum.

Judy Bell becomes the first woman elected to the USGA Executive Committee.

The Nabisco Championships (later the TOUR Championship) debuts as a season-ending event for the top 30 money winners. The first winner is Tom Watson, breaking a three year victory drought.

Walter Dietz, a blind golfer, aces the 155-yard seventh hole at Manakiki G.C., California.

Links Magazine is founded (originally Southern Links), with Mark Brown as editor-in-chief.

Lori Garbacz orders a pizza between holes at the U.S. Women's Open to protest slow play.

Square-grooved clubs such as the PING Eye2 irons are banned by the USGA, which claims that tests show the clubs give an unfair competitive advantage to PING customers. The PGA TOUR also bans the clubs in 1989. Karsten Manufacturing, maker of the clubs, fights a costly two-year battle with both the USGA and the PGA TOUR to have the ban rescinded after winning a temporary injunction. Eventually both organizations drop the ban, while Karsten acknowledges the right of the organizations to regulate equipment and pledges to make modifications to future designs.

Curtis Strange wins the season-ending Nabisco Championships at Pebble Beach, and his $360,000 paycheck lifts his official 1988 TOUR earnings to $1,147,644, and thus he becomes the first player to win over $1,000,000 in a single season.

Curtis Strange
Curtis Strange

Four golfers, Doug Weaver, Mark Wiebe, Jerry Pate and Nick Price, hit aces on the par-three sixth hole on the same day in the U.S. Open at Oak Hill.

Nick Faldo sinks a 100-foot birdie putt on the second hole at Augusta National in the Masters, the longest putt holed to date in a major tournament. Faldo goes on to win the Masters.

Hall Thompson of Shoal Creek GC, on the eve of the PGA Championship at Shoal Creek, defends his club's policy of not admitting black members. Amidst a public outcry, Shoal Creek 1990 is forced to change its policy and the PGA TOUR and the USGA insist that in future all clubs submit to a standard set of guidelines on membership policies. Cypress Point Club and Aronimink, among others, decide they are unable to comply and withdraw from the professional tournament arena.


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