The Charles Schwab Cup trophy: A star in itself

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
The Schwab Cup (right) is one of two trophies up for grabs at the season finale, along with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship trophy.
October 27, 2012
Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff

This year marks the 11th of 12 seasons that the Champions Tour's elite players have had to wait until the final tournament of the year to determine who will win the prestigious Charles Schwab Cup, a season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour's leading player.

Players receive points for top-10 finishes and ties based on each week's money distribution in official events, with $1,000 earned being the equivalent of one Charles Schwab Cup point. Double points are awarded at the five major championships and to the entire 30-man field at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz., at Desert Mountain's Cochise Course.

There have been some great photos of past champions displaying a winning smile while cradling the trophy after a successful season of hard work and stellar play. It shows how important, meaningful and satisfying it is for these champions to capture the trophy, and the $1 million bonus.

The trophy itself is a star on its own, manufactured at the turn of the century by the Boardman Silversmiths Company before the inaugural competition in 2001.

It's made of lead-free pewter plated with 24-karat gold vermeil while the wooden base is finished with five coats of black lacquer and then fitted with a lead-free pewter band also plated with 24kt gold vermeil. The handles were hand-casted separately of lead-free pewter and were later joined to the trophy body. The trophy has the name "Charles Schwab Cup" and a golfer in full swing engraved on its main body.

After the trophy was completely assembled it took a visit to the polishing department to remove any possible imperfections in the metal. A visit to the plating department was next, going through several rinse cycles to remove residual compounds prior to plating. A base coat of pure bright copper was applied to allow good adhesion of the gold vermeil before the entire trophy was plated with twelve-microns of 24kt gold. The trophy returned to the polishing department for a final high luster finish. After the addition of the wooden base, the trophy went through a final inspection, completing the process of the Charles Schwab Cup. The entire trophy and base weighs 20 lbs. and stands 27 inches tall.

Since its inception, the Charles Schwab Cup has been in the hands of just seven champions. Whoever captures this magnificent trophy at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., will stand tall and feel a little light-headed with the excitement of clinching the trophy.

Past Charles Schwab Cup champions
Year Winner Points earned Victory margin Won at event No. Clinching tournament Runner-up
2001 Allen Doyle 2,382 216 37 of 37 SENIOR TOUR Championship Bruce Fleisher
2002 Hale Irwin 2,886 799 32 of 35 Turtle Bay Championship Bob Gilder
2003 Tom Watson 4,751 1,370 31 of 31 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Jim Thorpe
2004 Hale Irwin 3,427 39 30 of 30 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Craig Stadler
2005 Tom Watson 2,980 247 28 of 28 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Dana Quigley
2006 Jay Haas 3,053 20 28 of 28 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Loren Roberts
2007 Loren Roberts 2,716 165 29 of 29 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Jay Haas
2008 Jay Haas 2,556 12 29 of 29 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Fred Funk
2009 Loren Roberts 2,670 319 25 of 25 Charles Schwab Cup Championship John Cook
2010 Bernhard Langer 3,597 826 26 of 26 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Fred Couples
2011 Tom Lehman 2,422 74 24 of 24 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Mark Calcavecchia

The Boardman Silversmith Company has manufactured other one-of-a-kind pieces such as The Presidents Cup, the Borg-Warner Trophy (Indianapolis 500) and the American Hockey League's Calder Cup, as well as many other historical pieces.