PGA TOUR Signature Events Explained

The PGA TOUR schedule has undergone some changes over the last few seasons. The most notable is the addition of signature events. Many golf fans may have questions about what are these tournaments and what makes them different from other events. The biggest difference is the amount of the purse, but there is more. No worries, PGA TOUR Signature events are explained in this article along with some basic information about how the PGA TOUR schedule will play out.

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What Are PGA TOUR Signature Events

PGA Tour Signature Events can be explained this way. They are tournaments that we’re all familiar with, they’ve been played in the past, but they are now elevated above regular PGA TOUR stops. There are a total of eight of these events and they do not include any of the four Majors, the PLAYERS Championship or any of the tournaments included in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs.

What sets these events apart from regular PGA TOUR tournaments that we are all familiar with is that the field is limited and there are no cuts. Also, the amount of purse money has dramatically increased compared to what the same events have awarded in the past. All of the tournaments on the PGA TOUR schedule have seen purses rise, but Signature events have had the largest increases.

This gives top players on the PGA TOUR and on the Official World Golf Rankings more opportunities to shine. Also, it will allow golf fans to see the best golfers in the world play all four days of an event because there are no cut lines with Signature events. So, what are the PGA TOUR tournaments that have been elevated to being PGA TOUR Signature Events? They all start with The Sentry!

PGA TOUR Signature Events 2024

Let’s clean up some confusion! When the schedule started to change and Signature events were added, they were named something different. You may remember the terms of “Elevated” or “Designated” tournaments. Now the PGA TOUR seems to have settled on the wording of Signature Events. Now that the season has progressed and events have been listed for 2024 we can now report what the 2024 Signature event schedule will look like. As mentioned above, there are eight of them with increased prize money and 700 FedEx points to each winner. Here’s how they break down.

The Sentry: The Sentry tournament is the first PGA TOUR event on the schedule that is designated as a Signature event. It kicks off the calendar year as it will be played in January 2024. It is generally played on the Island of Maui in Hawaii, but some changes may come due to recent fires in 2023. The event is traditionally held on the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort. Jon Rahm won this tournament in 2023, with Cameron Smith and Harris English winning before that. The event is not known for ending in a playoff. Since 2015, it has ended in a playoff three times or a two-stroke difference. Jack Nicklaus won this event five times and he’s the only player to have done so. For context, Tiger Woods won the Sentry Tournament of Champions only twice.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: The next Signature Event on the schedule is the fan-favorite contest known as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – aka – Pebble Beach! This legendary tournament has slipped in popularity among players over the years while fans have flocked to it. If you are a fan of golf or classic movies you may know the names of Bing Crosby – the Crosby Clambake – and Bob Hope. How about more recent names such as Bill Murray, Ray Romano, Chris Berman, and Kenny G? This event is a classic on the schedule and one that incorporates the traditional elements of a PGA TOUR event with a pro-am that includes some of the most famous names in entertainment, music and professional sports aside from golf. The issue over recent years was that the event fell on the schedule and only a few big names felt the need to participate. The PGA TOUR recognized this problem and made the “Clam Bake” a Signature event which instantly brought the classic tournament back to the limelight!

The Genesis Invitational: The month of February kicks off with the Geneisis Invitational. This classic tournament is a direct descendant of the Los Angeles Open which was first held in 1926. This tournament is one of the oldest on the PGA schedule with only a year being skipped due to World War II in 1943. Legendary names such as Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Bubba Watson have won this event three times. After that, the record book is packed with winners including everyone from Max Homa to Jon Rahm. The tournament is held at the Riviera Country Club, which is a course known for its classic design and use of sand bunkers. It is also a course where Golden Age movies centered around golf were filmed such as The Caddy with Jerry Lewis.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational: The schedule moves onto March and the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational at the legendary course at Bay Hill, Florida. This is a venue that was designed by Dick Wilson and made famous by Palmer and his tweaks to the course. Palmer was the owner of the venue until he died in 2016. Bay Hill is played across a terrain that includes gently rolling hills, marshes, areas with oceanfront breezes and traditional spots that look like any golf course around the Southern United States including Augusta. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is always a tight race as it has ended in a Playoff only once since 1999. The tournament is generally decided by one stroke and has been won by Tiger Woods eight times. Other than Tiger, only journeyman player Matt Every has won this event twice in the last decade.

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RBC Heritage: April signals the start of Spring for the PGA TOUR schedule and teeing up of the RBC Heritage PGA TOUR tournament. The RBC, often called the Heritage, is held at the Harbour Town Golf Links which is located on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. This classic tournament dates back to 1969 and has been held at several venues over the years, but seems to have found a permanent home at Harbour Town. This is only one of five events on the PGA schedule that has invitational status and now that it is a Signature event the prestige has only risen. Harbour Town is a course that owes its looks to Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Davis Love III. It is short compared to other PGA Courses on the schedule, but makes up the difference with small greens, tight fairways and well-placed hazards. This event is often decided by a playoff!

Wells Fargo Championship: The Month of May starts with the Wells Fargo Championship, which is one of the newest tournaments on the PGA TOUR schedule that seems like it has been around forever! This is because the event is well attended by both high-profile players and enthusiastic fans. The tournament is held at Quail Hollow Golf Club in North Carolina which has become one of the most legendary venues in the sport. Let’s skip past the long history of tournaments at Quail Hollow and focus on this fact – this venue has seen professional golf played here in one form or another since 1969. Rory McIlroy is the only player to have won here three times and Max Homa has won this event twice. This is a classic course with an exclusive list of Champions.

The Memorial: Jack Nicklaus founded the Memorial Tournament in 1976 and it has become a tournament that is known for being one of the most contested since its inception. The Memorial has seen winners that include Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland over the last several seasons. The event has ended with a Playoff several times over the last couple of years and has only been won by four strokes twice since 2004. The Memorial Tournament is held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio which was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The course was continually adjusted by Nicklaus over the years as club technology changed and players developed. This event is often said to be equal to a USGA event due to the setup and course design.

The Travelers Championship: For many PGA TOUR golf fans, the Travelers Championship is an event known for the iconic umbrella logo situated on several holes on the course at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. The original tournament dates to 1952, but has been held at TPC River Highlands since 1984. This course challenges players with a wide range of situations due to its design and layout. You can expect tricky fairways, deep roughs, well-placed bunkers and unforgiving water hazards. If played well, this course can reward players with amazing scorecards. The Travelers Championship is one of the most well-attended events by fans on the PGA TOUR schedule.

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The Final Details About the PGA Tour Signature Events

Just to be clear, not all of the PGA Tour Signature events are the same. Yes, the amount of money in the purse has increased when compared to regular events. The field for all PGA TOUR Signature events is limited to the top players and those others who qualify. But contrary to popular belief, not all PGA TOUR Signature events will be non-cut tournaments.

The three invitationals, which are The Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial Tournament by Workday will feature a 36-hole cut to the top 50 players and ties. After the three invitationals, the remaining five Signature events on the schedule will not include a cut. Remember, Signature events do not include any of the Majors and the PGA Championship. They don’t include any PGA TOUR tournaments which are part of the Playoffs or the FedEx Tour Championship.