The Western New York Section, PGA of America (WNYPGA) is a group of approximately 300 PGA Members and Associates serving the needs of golfers across Buffalo, Rochester and Northwest Pennsylvania. The Section was founded in 1925 and is one of the 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. The PGA of America, founded in 1916, has grown into the world’s largest working sports organization with more than 27,000 Members and Associates. Geographically, the Western New York Section is bordered to the west and north by lakes Erie and Ontario respectively. The southern border dips about 2 miles into Pennsylvania and includes the cities of Erie, Warren and Bradford. The eastern border is a line that extends along and beyond NYS Route 14. There are approximately 200 golf facilities in the section.
The Western New York PGA also operates a non-profit and charitable foundation called PGA REACH Western NY that focuses on its three founding pillars: youth, military, and diversity/inclusion.
The Western New York Section, PGA of America is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (C) 6 non-profit professional trade organization. PGA REACH WNY is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (C) 3 non-profit charitable organization.
The mission of the Western New York Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America is to establish the Section as a viable, valuable and visible organization in promoting the growth of golf and the advancement of the golfing professional. The Western New York Section shall be the leader in the promotion of golf, a provider of job opportunities for its PGA Members and Associates, a professional force for PGA Members to maintain and upgrade their skill level to allow them to compete in today’s business world, a leader in teaching and tournament operations, and finally a trainer of future Golf Professionals and other career positions.
When the PGA of America was formed in 1916, there were seven original sections, one of them being the Metropolitan Section, which was the entire state of New York.
On June 3, 1925, the Western New York Section officially became a part of the PGA of America by the submission of a check from Mr. E.L. Worrell, who was affiliated with A.G. Spalding & Brothers Sports Division in Buffalo, NY. The check was for $55, which was a $5 annual due for each of the original 11 members.
By 1929, there were 24 PGA Sections, with a total of 2,000 members, and the membership of the Western New York PGA grew to 48 professionals. Today, there are 41 PGA Sections, with a total of over 29,000 members and associates nationwide.
Until 1984, the Western New York Section was administered by the officers of the Section who had to help administer programs while also performing their duties at their clubs. The Section now has a office building and staff located at Glen Oak GC in East Amherst, NY.