The 72-year-old becomes just the eighth person to lead the PGA and a home Ryder Cup team.
Gallacher, who captained Europe in the biennial event in 1991, 1993 and 1995, joins a distinguished list comprising PGA co-founder J H Taylor, Ted Ray, George Duncan, Sir Henry Cotton, Eric Brown, Bernard Hunt and Dai Rees.
“It’s a great honour to be made captain and follow in such illustrious footsteps,” said Gallacher, who cuts his golfing teeth at Bathgate and now lives in Ascot in Surrey.
The Scot, who won 22 professional tournaments and played in eight Ryder Cup matches, became a PGA Member in 1971. In succeeding Peter Hanna, he has become the PGA’s 80th captain.
“I am a proud PGA member and I am honoured and humbled to captain the Association,” he added.
“When I turned pro my mission was to become a fully qualified PGA Member. It’s the pinnacle for a professional.
“The PGA is a strong brand, represents excellence, service and a lot more besides. That’s what it means to me.
“I’m really looking forward to representing the PGA Members and doing do my best to promote the Association at all times.
“There’s a paradigm shift going on at the moment in The PGA with the introduction of the 2020 Vision initiative.
“I think it’s great the way there are different facets of membership. You can be a PGA professional, you can be a PGA coach, you can be a PGA manager.
“This is the way forward and I think it’s a very good idea. And, of course, the letters PGA are at the front of those descriptions, which is a sign of excellence.”
Gallacher was made a PGA honorary member in 1994 and awarded the OBE for services to golf in 1996, the same year he relinquished his role as head pro at Wentworth after a quarter of a century.
During that time, he combined his duties at the exclusive club with his tournament career and spells as Ryder Cup captain.
“There’s no chance that could happen now,” he said. “The demands on Tour players make that an impossibility."