We've heard hints and now we know the plan is serious: new PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan would like to move The Players back to March. This opens up May for the PGA of America to host the second major of the year, the PGA Championship, all while freeing up August for the PGA Tour playoffs. Then, America can turn to football.
Once every four years this would allow for Olympic golf to not be played so close to a major championship. This will not, however, end the wraparound silliness, Rex Hoggard reminded us.
John Feinstein and I debated this on Golf Central Tuesday (13:00 mark), with Feinstein saying the new schedule is a done deal.
I can't see enough compelling reasons for the PGA of America to give up their August date, particularly as they prepare to cash in on a new TV deal starting in 2020, making it an uncertainty this actually happens.
So let's make lists!
- Main PGA Tour season finishes prior to NFL and college football starting
- Clears a major out of the Olympic path every four years
- Strengthens PGA Tour playoffs by killing primary storylines of fatigue or whether will players skip a week
- Puts strongest possible tournament on the schedule two weeks prior to the Masters
- Creates new possibilities for PGA Championship venues in places like Texas, Arizona, Florida
- Ends "glory's last hope" sensibility that taints PGA Championship
- Agronomically eliminates Northernmost venues that have been PGA Championship venues (Hazeltine, Whistling Straits, Oak Hill)
- Places greater agronomic and infrastructure-construction pressure on northern venues still able to host
- Ends PGA of America's hold on sports-light August, weakening their position for next TV contract
- Likely ensures permanently smaller audience watching the PGA (sports-busy May vs. sports light August)
- Condensces majors schedule between second week of April to second week of July
- Introduces new weather issues for PGA Championship venues in places like Texas, Arizona, Florida
- Ends traditional Masters-U.S. Open start to major season
- Endorses the PGA Tour playoffs as a competition worthy of bumping a major to May