What is the PGA Tour Champions?

By Ryan Watson

Person in White Pants Playing Golf

The PGA Tour Champions is the current name of the PGA Tour's professional senior tour. It is contested by the best golfers aged 50 and above. 


While senior golf tournaments, like the Senior PGA Championship, have been around since the 1930s, a formal PGA tour for seniors was not established until 1980. From 1980 until 2002, this new tour was known as the Senior PGA Tour, before transitioning to the Champions Tour until the latest name change to PGA Tour Champions in 2016. 


In general, qualifying for PGA Tour Champions events is restricted to those players who finished in the top 50 of last years competition and those age eligible players who are in the top 70 of the all-time money list from PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events. In addition, exemptions are also given to members of the World Golf Hall of Fame and winners of previous PGA Tour Champions events. As with PGA Tour events, sponsors are also allowed to bring a small number of golfer's into a given event. 

Senior Majors 

Just like the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Championship has its own series of major championships. The senior majors include The Tradition, the Senior PGA Championship, the Senior Players Championship, the U.S. Senior Open, and The Senior Open Championship. In addition, the tour ends in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the final tournament in a 3 tournament play-off series mirrored after the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup. 

Differences from PGA Tour

While sharing many similarities with the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Champions has several differences. One difference is the allowance of golf carts at some events. Most of the events take place over 3 rounds instead of 4, and because there are fewer golfers on the PGA Tour Champions there are seldom any cuts. However, the senior majors all play a standard 4 round, 72 hole tournament with a cut halfway through the tournament. 

About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.


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