Traditions and History

Please click on each link below to learn more about our Tournament's Traditions and History.


The Charles Schwab Challenge honors the history of golf by using an official Scottish royal tartan plaid jacket for its champions and top committee chairmen. This practice began at the 1952 event. The following year a tradition began which featured hometown boy Byron Nelson always hitting the first ball of each tournament, this lasting until his final appearance in 1966. During this time Ben Hogan always had the honor of starting the event in a featured pairing that included the defending champion.

Another tradition feeding Colonial history is the beautiful Wall of Champions on the first tee. Engraved with the name and score of each champion dating back to the 1941 U.S. Open, the marble display casts a reverence over the start of any player's round. Many will spend several minutes gazing at the wall, and reviewing the long list of the game's greatest: Hogan, Snead, Boros, Casper , Palmer, Trevino, Watson, Nicklaus, Crenshaw, Price, etc. The Wall was first erected in 1975 prior to the Players Championship held here that year. Originally designed to hold 50 champions, it was expanded in the 1990s to accommodate 100 winners.

Each champion’s name also appears on the tall and impressive Leonard Trophy, which resides year round at the club, and bears the name of all winners dating back to 1946. The trophy was created for the 1949 tournament, which was cancelled due to a monstrous flood that swamped the entire city the week before. Thus it made its debut at the 1950 championship one year later. When the champion returns to defend his title the following year, he is honored at the annual Champions Dinner with a small replica Leonard Trophy, featuring a silver bowl and eagle atop a traditional wood base. Ben Hogan’s five replica trophies are on permanent display in the clubhouse Hogan Trophy Room.

  • Every year, Colonial champions select two deserving young players to compete in the tournament, who otherwise would not have been eligible. It's a unique PGA Tour tradition known as the "Champions' Choice" invitation. Pros who made their first appearance at Colonial as a Champions' Choice include Al Geiberger, Tom Weiskopf, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange, Mark O'Meara, Paul Azinger and Davis Love III. Dave Stockton won the event as a Champions Choice in 1967, and five other choices through the years have eventually won the event during their careers.
  • Jordan Spieth -- the 2015 Masters Champion, 2015 U.S. Open Champion, and 2016 Charles Schwab Challenge Champion -- was a Champions' Choice invitee in 2014.

A relatively young tournament tradition is the hosting of the annual Hogan Award Banquet. Held just prior to the PGA Tour event, this prestigious event honors the top male collegiate golfer for the year. Co-sponsored by Colonial Country Club, the College Golf Coaches Association of America, and the Los Angeles-based “Friends of Golf” organization, the award has been given since 1990. Colonial Country Club began hosting the event in 2002. The black tie affair features luminaries from throughout the golf industry, and brings in the top three finalists for a Heisman Trophy-like presentation ceremony. Recent finalists have included Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas, and D.J. Trahan. For more information on the Ben Hogan Award, please CLICK HERE.

  • 1946: Ben Hogan
  • 1947: Ben Hogan
  • 1948: Clayton Heafner
  • 1949: No Tournament due to Flooding
  • 1950: Sam Snead
  • 1951: Cary Middlecoff
  • 1952: Ben Hogan
  • 1953: Ben Hogan
  • 1954: Johnny Palmer
  • 1955: Chandler Harper
  • 1956: Mike Souchak
  • 1957: Roberto De Vicenzo
  • 1958: Tommy Bolt
  • 1959: Ben Hogan
  • 1960: Julius Boros
  • 1961: Doug Sanders
  • 1962: Arnold Palmer
  • 1963: Julius Boros
  • 1964: Billy Casper
  • 1965: Bruce Crampton
  • 1966: Bruce Devlin
  • 1967: Dave Stockton
  • 1968: Billy Casper
  • 1969: Gardner Dickinson
  • 1970: Homero Blancas
  • 1971: Gene Littler
  • 1972: Jerry Heard
  • 1973: Tom Weiskopf
  • 1974: Rod Curl
  • 1975: Al Geiberger
  • 1976: Lee Trevino
  • 1977: Ben Crenshaw
  • 1978: Lee Trevino
  • 1979: Al Geiberger
  • 1980: Bruce Lietzke
  • 1981: Fuzzy Zoeller
  • 1982: Jack Nicklaus
  • 1983: Jim Colbert
  • 1984: Peter Jacobsen
  • 1985: Corey Pavin
  • 1986: Dan Pohl
  • 1987: Keith Clearwater
  • 1988: Lanny Wadkins
  • 1989: Ian Baker-Finch
  • 1990: Ben Crenshaw
  • 1991: Tom Purtzer
  • 1992: Bruce Lietzke
  • 1993: Fulton Allem
  • 1994: Nick Price
  • 1995: Tom Lehman
  • 1996: Corey Pavin
  • 1997: David Frost
  • 1988: Tom Watson
  • 1999: Olin Browne
  • 2000: Phil Mickelson
  • 2001: Sergio Garcia
  • 2002: Nick Price
  • 2003: Kenny Perry
  • 2004: Steve Flesch
  • 2005: Kenny Perry
  • 2006: Tim Herron
  • 2007: Rory Sabbatini
  • 2008: Phil Mickelson
  • 2009: Steve Stricker
  • 2010: Zach Johnson
  • 2011: David Toms
  • 2012: Zach Johnson
  • 2013: Boo Weekley
  • 2014: Adam Scott
  • 2015: Chris Kirk
  • 2016: Jordan Spieth
  • 2017: Kevin Kisner
  • 2018: Justin Rose
  • 2019: Kevin Na
  • 2020: Daniel Berger