Traditionally the fourth and final Major Championship of the year, The PGA Championship is the only annual Major conducted by the PGA as part of the PGA Tour. Only once, in February 1971, was it changed to be the first Major Championship on the calendar.
Currently contested in stroke play format over 72 holes, the PGA Championship can be split into two distinct eras: the match play era and stroke play era. Indeed, from its inception in 1916 up until 1957, the PGA Championship was a match play tournament.
An official money event on the PGA Tour, European Tour and Japan Golf Tour, the PGA Championship is the only major that does not explicitly grant entry to the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, although it invariably invites all of the top 100 (not just top 50) players who are not already qualified.
PGA Championship winners are automatically invited to play in the other three majors for the next five years, and are exempt from qualifying for the PGA Championship for life. They also receive membership on the PGA Tour for the following five seasons and invitations to The PLAYERS Championship.