Our Story

1981

Gahm buys land

Dwight Gahm dreams of the creation of a traditional "golf-only" facility with an outstanding championship course that would host a world-class championship event in his hometown, Louisville KY.  

1983

Gahm hires Nicklaus

Gahm and his three sons - Walt, Gordy and Phil - commissioned Jack Nicklaus to build a private golf facility on 486 acres of rolling Kentucky terrain that would provide its members with the highest level of service.

1986

Valhalla opens for play

Valhalla opened in June 1986 and was named among Golf Digest's Top New Private Courses that same year. 

1993

PGA makes a move

In November 1993, an agreement was negotiated whereby The PGA agreed to purchase a stake in Valhalla Golf Club.

1996

Mark Brooks captures first title

Mark Brooks defeats hometown favorite Kenny Perry in extra holes at the 1996 PGA Championship.

2000

Tiger captures the PGA Championship

Woods defeated Bob May in an epic 3-hole playoff to capture his third major championship that year.

2000

PGA purchases Valhalla

At the conclusion of the 2000 PGA Championship, The PGA exercised the right to purchase the remaining interest in Valhalla. Today, Valhalla Golf Club is the flagship property for the PGA of America being their only private golf club in the PGA portfolio.

2004

Hale Irwin takes Sr. PGA Championship

Irwin captured his fourth Senior PGA crown on the final hole, making birdie to edge Jay Haas by a single shot at Valhalla Golf Club in May 2004.

2008

USA reclaims the Ryder Cup

In Valhalla style, Team USA captures the Ryder Cup title defeating Europe, 16 -11, under the helm of Captain Paul Azinger.

2008

Gahm sees his dream become reality

Dwight & Anna Leigh Gahm witness history at Valhalla as their dream of hosting a Ryder Cup at Valhalla comes true.

2011

Watson claims Sr. PGA Championship

Tom Watson becomes the oldest man to win a major championship capturing the 2011 Senior PGA Championship at age 60 at Valhalla in May 2011.

2012

Nicklaus renovation

Jack Nicklaus was once again commissioned to redesign the golf course focusing on new green complexes and a new irrigation which further enhances Valhalla’s world-class design.

2014

Rory McIlroy captures 2014 PGA Championship

In Valhalla fashion, Rory McIlroy takes his fourth major championship and third consecutive victory defeating the darkness and a strong push from Phil Mickelson and Ricky Fowler.

2016

Valhalla founder Dwight Gahm passes

Founder Dwight Gahm passes away at the age of 96. He leaves a legacy with Valhalla and the golf community that will last forever.



Valhalla provides a championship stage for our members to experience golf at its finest.

Valhalla, the great hall described in Norse mythology where the souls of Vikings feasted and celebrated with the gods, is now the namesake of a modern paradise for championship golf. Valhalla Golf Club is the culmination of Dwight Gahm's dream to build a world-class course capable of hosting a major golf championship. It is also the culmination of a history-making partnership bringing championship golf to Louisville on a recurring schedule and resulted in The PGA of America's first owned championship site.

For Dwight Gahm (pronounced "Game"), a prominent Louisville business leader and golf enthusiast, that dream - the creation of a traditional "golf-only" facility with an outstanding championship course that would host a world-class championship event - began in 1981.

Mr. Gahm and his three sons - Walt, Gordy and Phil - commissioned Jack Nicklaus to build a private golf facility on 486 acres of rolling Kentucky terrain that would provide its members with the highest level of service. With Nicklaus’ vision, it would be the caliber of facility that could host a major championship comfortably and provide the members with an incredible golf haven. Nicklaus, described the site in 1983 as a "golf designer's dream because there is a variety of terrain, vegetation and water to work with. Everything necessary for an excellent golf course is here: room for wide, tree lined fairways and spectacular golf holes." In the spring of 1984, after considering 40 potential course routings, construction began and the final product opened for play in June of 1986.

Valhalla Golf Club, located approximately 20 miles east of Louisville, opened its doors in 1986. Named one of the top three new private golf courses in the U.S. in 1987, the first year it was eligible, Valhalla Golf Club remains the No. 1-ranked course in Kentucky. 

After Valhalla Golf Club opened, Mr. Gahm and his sons weren't content to merely enjoy the personal golf paradise they had created. Their next challenge was to become the host site of a PGA Championship. The PGA of America subsequently conducted research on Louisville as a potential host city for The PGA of America Championship and made several site visits to the club.

In 1992, Valhalla Golf Club was announced as the site for the 1996 PGA Championship. Valhalla Golf Club had all the ingredients necessary for a successful PGA Championship - a world-class golf course to challenge the best players in the world, a supportive community, and a top-ranked convention destination with excellent transportation, housing and entertainment services, and a central location reaching several major metropolitan cities within a 150-mile radius.

Later that year PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Jim Awtrey paid another visit to Valhalla Golf Club and walked the course with Mr. Gahm. Mr. Gahm shared his long-held desire to see Valhalla Golf Club grow and establish its own outstanding tradition of excellence in major championship golf. Awtrey told Mr. Gahm of The PGA's dream of owning and operating a limited number of high-quality golf facilities that could host golf's major championships. It was a time when shared visions became one.

In November 1993, an agreement was negotiated whereby The PGA of America agreed to a portion of Valhalla Golf Club. After the successful conclusion of the 1996 PGA Championship, The PGA of America assumed a majority ownership in the club and announced it would return to Valhalla Golf Club in 2000 to play the 82nd PGA Championship. At the conclusion of the 2000 PGA Championship, The PGA exercised the right to purchase the remaining interest in Valhalla. Today, Valhalla Golf Club is the flagship property for the PGA of America being their only private golf club in the PGA portfolio.

Valhalla Golf Club also made its mark on championship golf in 1996. Spectators found some of golf's most spectacular viewing areas in Valhalla Golf Club's natural amphitheaters. The scenic par-5, 542-yard 18th handled 20,000 spectators. The area surrounding the green on the par-4, 422-yard 17th accommodated a gallery of more than 8,000. Since then, the course has become known for its climactic finishes among championship events and its amphitheater views.   It will be only a matter of time before the next major brings a spectacular finish.