During a week when professional golf is shining brighter than it has in decades, leave it to the golf deep state to try to turn out the light.
We should be talking nonstop about Jordan vs Rory, a story so ready-made even golf writers can grasp it.
Instead the golf establishment drops the news that the PGA Championship — the strongest and best major — is being moved.
A typical headline: “The PGA Championship is moving to May and players are on board.” By all means, push the idea right away the the players are “on board.” As proof of that, the article quotes Zach Johnson:
Oak Hill coming up [in 2023] … can you play in the northern part of the country in May? You can, but you probably shouldn’t. You’ve got to get lucky [on the weather].
Hmmm… One foot on board maybe…?
They laid it out in front of us. First for TV negotiations, you want a Players Championship in a prime spot and maybe a better time of year for course conditioning, and then the reality is we want golf done before football. Football runs TV in that time of year. Only time will tell. Everyone was against the FedEx Cup at the start, and it’s turned into a great thing for the tour. And I think it will be a great thing for the PGA.
And Hoffman lays it out in front of us. “TV negotiations.” Of course, I’ve mentioned the problem with football for years, but the Happy Talkers dismissed that. But let me say this… I love Charlie Hoffman. In fact, if you look back a couple of days, he was my non-Rory/non-Jordan rooting favorite for the Firestone. But let’s keep it real: He’s been on Tour 18 years and has six wins. As I’ve said before, such a record is extraordinary, as simply making it to the Tour is a great accomplishment. But it’s hardly Needle Mover territory. So, if FedEx is willing to give Charlie a ton of money at the end of the year, he’s certainly not going to turn it down.
Be that as it may, Charlie’s “time will tell” is itself telling. He obviously doesn’t consider this happy narrative to be a slam dunk.
From a scheduling standpoint, it might be a lot better for us to have an actual off-season like every other sport. The schedule will be more uniform from March to August as far as big events, which will probably be a good thing.
Might be. Probably.
I’ve written a lot about the lack of an off-season. Gee, I think I wrote about that as recently as… oh, that’s right, this morning.
But when is that off-season, after this world-changing move? And how exactly was the PGA Championship preventing it in the first place? The four-week “playoffs” are great for the off-season, but the one-week PGA ruined it?
On board, indeed. Players are “on board,” or players “express concerns”? After those three quotes, the latter seems at least equally appropriate.
Adam Scott, a man unafraid to speak unpopular truth:
I would prefer that there was a real break with no events in the fall. Why not have a few months off and starve everyone of PGA Tour golf? If they run tournaments the whole time and [players] do take the fall off, then you are so far behind when you do come back. I don’t see the value in running tournaments all the time. It seems to weaken the overall product.
Not that’s refreshing.
An attentive reader finishes the piece and asks, “Where exactly are those ‘on board’ players? Those sound more like ‘lukewarm’ players.