This is the eighth in a series on ways to feed your golf addiction in the off-season.
Watch Live Golf On Television
Watching live golf on television is a great way to treat the winter golf deprivation blues. I especially enjoy the early season tournaments, for they serve as a harbinger of the more pleasant times to come.
For those of us in the frozen Northeast, Midwest, Great Plains and Mountain States , it really helps that the first two PGA Tour Tournaments are held in Hawaii. The tropical vistas are a welcome relief from our own white scenery.
The Tour then moves on to California, Arizona and Mexico—three more locations whose climates couldn’t be more different from those of us who get four real seasons. Most of the early tournaments are broadcast on The Golf Channel and CBS. It winds up in Florida about the time that things start warming up here in Michigan.
The Champions Tour begins in Hawaii, and is covered for the most part by The Golf Channel. The European Tour kicks off the New Year in Africa before moving on to the Middle East. Finally, the LPGA waits until February to kick off the season in Thailand.
Of the early season events, my favorites are the WGC Match Play, the San Diego Open (formerly the Buick) and the Northern Trust. The SBS, by virtue of inviting only winners from the previous season, has a strong and recognizable field. The San Diego Open is a favorite because it’s at Torrey Pines, a course I’ve played. I just love the look of the Riviera Country Club, site of the Northern Trust. The Riviera is one of those courses I’d do almost anything to play. Match Play is the most exciting form of golf out there. And there’s an argument to be made that based on strength of field, the WGC Cadillac is one of the best non-majors of the season.