In an interesting move, PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua has released a video explaining why the organization is considering moving the PGA Championship to May. I don’t think the PGA of America would do this unless they are laying the groundwork for just such a move.
Moving the PGA Championship to May makes a lot of sense, for both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR. In October of last year, well before the PGA TOUR made public its consideration of a schedule shakeup, I published a post on how to fix the PGA TOUR schedule. My thesis is that the PGA TOUR season is too long, and faces increasing competition for eyeballs from college and pro football. Moving the PGA Championship to May, and the Players back to its original spot in March would enable the tour to begin the FedEx Cup playoffs in early August and end by the time college football Mack Truck hits second gear. The WGC Match play could be moved to February, after Pebble Beach; its location in Mexico makes weather a non-consideration.
The schedule I proposed places an important event in every month from January to September.
January: Tournament of Champions
February: WGC Match Play
March: The Players
April: The Masters
May: The PGA Championship
June: The US Open
July: The Open Championship
August: The FedEx Cup Playoffs
September: Ryder Cup/President’s Cup
The abbreviated schedule DOES reduce the chances for players to keep their cards. I am not certain that is a bad thing, however. If a player is hanging on to his card at the bottom of the standings, perhaps it is time for some fresh blood. The young players coming in now are quite exciting. However, if the TOUR is overly concerned about this, the effect could be mollified with occasional off-season events for padding player pockets, as well as extended Web.Com and Champions seasons through October, November and December. Three months open in late fall/early winter also would allow for some experimental events similar to the Sixes event on the European Tour, par three contests, and mixed Tour outings (LPGA v PGA TOUR v Champions).
And finally, with the announcement that Olympic Golf will extend through at least 2024, this schedule keeps the PGA Championship from bouncing around every four years.