Golf Establishment Geniuses Play Musical Chairs, Deflecting Attention From Golf’s Rumble At Quail Hollow

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…?

Charlie Hoffman:

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.

Rickie Fowler:

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.

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18 Responses to Golf Establishment Geniuses Play Musical Chairs, Deflecting Attention From Golf’s Rumble At Quail Hollow

  1. hennybogan2 says:

    Lanny:

    Like your take on the PGA Championship moving its date and I agree it’s more of a wait and see attitude than it is a full blown “the players are on board” type of reaction from the players asked. Also like your take that it’s the strongest major championship, but I The Masters is my favorite!

    • lannyh says:

      All we get, it seems, is propaganda. Instead of “Changes Made, Players On Board,” it could have been “Changes Made, Players React.” Additionally, people don’t really tell the truth in such situations; they say what’s best for them to say. In fairness to the piece, I’ll say the Adam Scott quote was a departure from the norm for the media — controversial, dissenting SUBSTANCE — but then Adam has a history of saying what he is truly thinking.

      • ThreeWiggleExpert says:

        This is one of the (smaller?) reasons tour pros hit it so far. They have complimentary access to technology like this that would likely cost the average golfer hundreds if not a few thousand to gain access to. And, even then, it wouldn’t be at the same level.

        Now, of course these guys are immensely talented, but when you have this kind of access to get every ounce of talent out of them, well, it’s not a bad thing.

        As another example, take the beginner who is playing with 40 year old clubs and lucky to get the ball in the air. Put new technology in their hands and immediately the bad shots become better bad shots (i.e. not as bad). But that costs money that a beginner may not be willing to invest and therefore is more inclined to lose interest out of frustration.

      • lannyh says:

        I must admit, that, for me, I don’t think clubs ever made any difference. Maybe I’m wrong. No objective studies were done on me. But I never got three shots better or anything by buying new clubs. In fact, I’m not sure I ever got three shots better after my first ten rounds. But I’m a poor player. My best (and probably not far from my worst) was an honest 18.

      • ThreeWiggleExpert says:

        Like I said, it’s certainly more than just equipment but using a personal example….once upon a time I went from the old Callaway Steelhead Plus to, I think the Titleist 975J, and then the Callaway Great Big Bertha II. Each step of the way, without doing anything other than moving to new technology, I gained about 20 yards off the tee. Now admittedly, the jump in distance from the 975J to the GBBII did involve some technique and fitness training, but the jump from the Plus to the 975J was pure technology. One day it was about 240 and the next was 260, just by changing clubs.

      • lannyh says:

        That, to me, is evidence we need to roll back the ball/gear. You didn’t improve, the gear did.

  2. Speedy says:

    It doesn’t matter what musical chairs they play. Until another “Messiah” comes along, TV ratings will generally be in the toilet. #1 of the Month doesn’t interest many.

    The PGA execs are promoting Olympics golf this morning, and just about anything else that comes into their tiny skulls.

    Rain, lightning strikes, and weather delays will be this week’s news. That’s one positive for a May move.

  3. ThreeWiggleExpert says:

    I didn’t mind the shift in attention. I mean, Jordan/Rory has been discussed at length ever since Jordan won The Open. At this point, what are they going to say that hasn’t already been said? For me the talking is over and it’s time to get on the course. So, why not a little (big) news while we wait for tomorrow to officially begin….

    • lannyh says:

      For you, but this is a story that should be told in the general sports media.

      • ThreeWiggleExpert says:

        Me too. I generally watch pregame on Monday and a little on Tuesday, if at all, because that’s when they hit the major points. After that, Wednesday is just repeating what they already said.

      • lannyh says:

        Yeah! The repetition, and the dragging out of points to fill the hours upon hours they are on air.

        A good course overview, a rundown of the players — what else could someone want or need?

      • ThreeWiggleExpert says:

        I know this will come as a shock but the general sports media are whores to the almighty dollar. Case in point, most, if not all, the talk I heard today was Mayweather/MacGregor (spelling?) and all things NFL…outside golf channel. A couple of ESPN shows mentioned the PGA move but I didn’t hear Spieth or Rory mentioned (Side bar, not sure why I prefer to refer to Spieth by his last name and Rory by his first)

      • lannyh says:

        The golf establishment should be pushing Rory-Jordan so the sports generalists will get the clue. Funny about Mayweather/MacGregor. Such a gimmick, but massive money and attention.

    • lannyh says:

      I should mention, too, that I’ve had enough pregame. I don’t even watch the Live Froms any more. I read a few articles first thing each morning, and that’s it. That’s enough. My suggested theory in the past was that enjoyment of tourney was almost inversely proportional to “preparation.”

      I do hope weather doesn’t ruin it. However, I think they are locked in a pattern of muggy air and rain, so it’s probably fait acompli. (If I spelt or used that correctly I’ll be shocked.) Oh well.

  4. ThreeWiggleExpert says:

    I’ve read that Adam Scott quote several times now, and I suppose I see that as support for the move even if not out right stated. I mean, by moving the PGA earlier in the year, it allows for the playoffs to be moved up, thereby shortening the season, which is basically what he said without outright supporting the PGA move.

    Rickie said a very similar thing.

    Also, by putting the Players back in March, I think you’ll see more guys coming back earlier to get warmed up for a premier event, even if not a major.

    On paper, it’s a great move, but as ZJ alluded to, it does bring weather back in as a bigger factor, which I think was a big reason for the shift of the Players later in the first place.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, I think you lean “Pollyanna” — cheering the golf establishment as a natural reaction, not wanting to ruffle feathers. I see Scott’s comment as off-topic, basically, but he complained specifically about the fall schedule, which isn’t going to meaningfully change.

      Rickie said “probably” and “maybe” as I recall. I maintain “lukewarm” was more accurate than “on board.” Not to mention that they chose the quotes they liked best. “Sucks big time” reactions would not see the light of day.

      I like that August is a hot summer month (and generally drier) that encourages play in northern areas.

      Oh, one other thing: I don’t remember anything about the Players moving, but… there was such a push to make it the “fifth major,” that probably played some role. Maybe, too, like you suggested, they had a spell of bad weather years.

      I have another point I’ll make in a post…

  5. ThreeWiggleExpert says:

    To expand, I just heard ZJ’s comment and it was basically “I think it’s good but my (short term only concern) is the north venues earlier in the year. Once we get past the current contracts, you’ll see the PGA in the lower 50 states more, I would guess, and that weather issue, to a degree goes away. I heard several players echo that thought and if they can work through the current northern sites, ultimately, it’ll be better, and showcase new venues (I would assume) and I personally love that.

    Chambers Bay had it’s issues but I think overall Erin Hills was good and I loved seeing some new blood in the tourney rotations we’ve seen the last couple of years.

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