Golf In A Plague Year May 11: Alternatives
This week, we are missing the PGA Championship, although at this point it is rescheduled for August 3 – 9, 2020. We shall see.
Visit the link for a list of Past PGA Championship Winners.
As is usual for a Majors week, the European Tour did not have any separate events scheduled. The LPGA is missing the Pelican Women’s Championship.
For my own part, I’m missing an opportunity to play a round at Plum Hollow Country Club during one of the Golf Association of Michigan’s “Golf Days.” Those are special events where public links golfers like myself can play some of Michigan’s more exclusive venues. Fortunately, the GAM Days have for the most part been rescheduled.
Plum Hollow has long been on my list. Designed by architects Harry Colt and Charles Hugh Alison, Plum Hollow hosted the 1947 PGA Championship. I thought it would be neat to play a former PGA Championship venue the same week as the PGA, so I signed up.
The PGA Offers Alternatives To the PGA Championship This Week
In lieu of live action, the CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, ESPN and Sirius XM are offering a full slate of old tournament replays and highlights. The more than 100 hours of programming will include promotion of golf industry efforts around the Back2Golf initiative, including a social distancing in golf public service announcement, and the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, which is providing financial assistance to certain golf industry workers impacted by COVID-19.
You can find the full alternative PGA Championship Television Schedule at the link.
The European Tour Offers Alternative Competitions: Virtual Golf Tournaments
The European Tour launched the BMW Indoor Invitational powered by TrackMan, a new series of virtual golf tournaments. The first of the18 hole stroke-play tournaments was played at The Old Course and won by Joost Luiten.
Luiten posted a six under par round of 66 for a two shot win over seventeen other European Tour players. His first prize of €10,000 towards a charity of his choice, was split between his own charity, the Joost Luiten Foundation, and Eramus Medical Centre, a hospital in his native Rotterdam.
Footage of the BMW Indoor Invitational powered by TrackMan is now available on the European Tour’s social media channels (Twitter: @europeantour; Instagram: @europeantour; YouTube: EuropeanTour) and via https://bmw.trackmaninvitational.com.
Next week’s course will be Royal Portrush, followed by Golfclub München Eichenried (Saturday May 23, Real Club Valderrama (Saturday May 30) and Wentworth (Saturday June 6)
I never thought that watching someone play a video game would be interesting, but at this point …
Has Corvid-19 Doomed The European Tour?
And speaking of the European Tour: The rumor mill says that it is in serious trouble and commissioner Keith Pelley is in talks with the PGA TOUR for a partnership — or even a merger.
It seems that in the best of times, the European Tour is not exactly flush. The current plague may have pushed it closer to the brink.
There are a lot of details at Morning Read, but the thing that most intrigues me is that a merger — or buyout — would give the PGA TOUR one of the things it has long wanted: a piece of the Ryder Cup. While the US Ryder Cup side is owned by the PGA of America, the European side is under the auspices of the European Tour. Interestingly, that would put the PGA TOUR on the opposite side of the PGA of America in terms of its own interests.
The other thing the PGA TOUR has long wanted is a Major to call its own. They desperately have tried to convince people that the Players is a “Major,” but to no avail.