There were plenty of fascinating surprises and a few bold moves made the PGA Tour in revamping it schedule.
In this quick-take for Golfweek, I cover some of the questions, positives and negatives of the new 2018-19 PGA Tour schedule, the first with a May PGA Championship. Mostly, I'm struck by the idea of vacating Labor Day weekend.
To expand on what I wrote for Golfweek, I'll certainly defer to the TV Execs, Tour VP's and numbers crunchers who probably can make the case that football fans have already fled by Labor Day. And as I noted for Golfweek, Atlanta is a circus that weekend. But as a sports fan, Monday of Labor Day has been fairly uneventful, and the PGA Tour's FedExCup concluding on that day seemed like a fantastic way of saying, "that's all folks!"
Which is why in today's Alternate Shot with Matt Adams (who has a nice list of issues with the schedule), I suggest that my hope is a change in time that has golf reclaiming that weekend and finishing on that Monday.
Rex Hoggard talks to Jay Monahan about what drove the changes but sees traffic congestion issues in the new schedule before playoff time.
If that all sounds clean and easy, consider that the run up to the post-season will now feature a major (The Open), a World Golf Championship (Memphis) and the Wyndham Championship. Including the three playoff stops, that’s five must-play events in a six-week window.
He notes a similar congestion problem in the Masters lead up, with the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational very much in danger of losing top players with two WGC's events. Is this a bad time to mention (again) how I think WGC events are really doing no one any good?
Joel Beall has seven takeaways, but he sees Valspar taking the biggest hit in Florida and he may be right. But don't underestimate the player enjoyment of Innisbrook and the growing disdain for PGA National and Bay Hill hurting those two. He also makes a strong case for continued struggles mid-summer for new stops trying to lure players as they either break between the U.S. Open and The Open, or play European events.
Andy Pazdur joined Morning Drive to discuss the PGA Tour's approach: