History

Beginnings

  • In 1955, the first local tournament event was held in Fayetteville, NC with the winner receiving a free vacation to Miami Beach.
  • First national putting competition was held in 1957. The winner, Warren Gaines, took home a 1957 Cadillac.
  • Putt-Putt Professional Golfers Association (PPPGA) was formed in 1959. The name was changed after the 1960 season to the Professional Putters Association
  • Over the years the PPA has grown both in popularity and in prize money offered. More than $8,500,000 in prize money has been awarded since the PPA’s inception.
The PPA Today
The PPA continues to grow and develop, striving annually to offer enhanced programs and benefits to its members. The PPA tournaments have received national acclaim and have been publicized in major national publications.

Featured stories have been written in such renowned national publications as: USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post as well as hundreds of local newspapers. Articles and award nominated stories and features about Putt-Putt and PPA have aired on ESPN, Bloomberg TV, radio, and CNBC.

More than $80,000 has been raised to support local charities in cities where we play our national events.

PPA Highlights
1960 – The first National Tournament Program of the PPA offered $26,000
1961 – The first putting match ever to be filmed for television was the PPA “Parade of Champions” TV Series.
1965 – The PPA expanded to worldwide tournaments. The first foreign tournaments were held in Africa, with Australia, Japan, and Canada following soon after.
1969 – The Amateur Putters Association (APA) evolved. Today, amateur putters compete in their own division in all PPA tournaments.
1970 – Vance Randall was honored as the 1960’s Putter of the Decade.
1973 – The PPA sponsored the World Putting Championship tournament offering over $200,000 in prize money. Mike Baldoza captured the first place money of $50,000.
1973 – Warren Morris becomes the first player in history to score a perfect 18
1979 – John Napoli becomes the second player in history to score a perfect 18
1980 – Dick and Evelyn Florin were honored as the 1970’s Putters of the Decade.
1987 – The PPA inducted its first members into the newly created Putt-Putt/PPA Hall of Fame.
1990 – Ron Frederick was honored as the 1980’s Putter of the Decade.
1995 – The PPA TV Series is shown worldwide on ESPN.
1998 – Over $7,500,000 awarded in the 39 years of the PPA
2000 – The PPA awards $100,000 in prize money for the 2000 PPA National Championship
2001 – Greg Ward was honored as the 1990’s Putter of the Decade
2002 – The PPA World Match Play Championship returns to the schedule and is won by Greg Ward in Martinez, Georgia
2010 – Greg Ward was honored as the 2000-2009 Putter of the Decade
2011 – Rick Baird becomes the third player in history to score a perfect 18
2013 – National Database of PPA results introduced by Kevin Lacey
2014 – Top 60 Players of All time is announced
2016 – Aubrey Smith becomes the 50th inductee to the Hall of Fame
2016 – Greg Newport becomes the fourth player in history to score a perfect 18
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Thousands of putting tournaments have been hosted by the Professional Putters Association since our founding more than six decades ago in our continuing search to find the world’s greatest putter.

In a labor of love for the game, 2008 PPA National Champion Kevin Lacey has collected tournament results and created an on-line tournament historical database that is well designed and easy to navigate.

When you have a few moments to relive the tournament history of the PPA, I encourage you to visit PPADATABASE.COM. Kevin continues to collect results that have been omitted and would welcome those results.
Thanks Kevin for your efforts.

PPATV
Enjoy the television history of The Professional Putters Association on PPATV.
Many of the players that are celebrated on these pages have displayed their putting abilities on PPATV shows, which began airing in 1960. Take a trip back in time with more than 150 videos available to view. Enjoy the memories.