New PGA Tour schedule tightens season, leaves questions | by Geoff Shackleford for GolfWeek.com
The verdict is still out on other changes: the Dallas stops split up by the PGA Championship. Will players like the Byron Nelson’s links-style test the week before a PGA played traditionally on an inland, rough-lined course? Also, will the Colonial the week after draw a decent field with the Memorial looming just a week later? And most interesting of all, will the new WGC event in Memphis convince many Europeans to travel from the British Open to Tennessee the week after what is now the final major of the season?
No doubt that the local communities and charities who’ve seen their events cut from the schedule will be hurt. There will also be some nervous host cities waiting to see how having their events moved will affect their revenue. The winners, new events and those with better calendar placement, are celebrating.
On a macro-level, I think these changes are positive.
Moving the end of the PGA Tour season away from the start of the NFL season was overdue. The FedEx Playoffs have long struggled to capture the attention of casual sports fans. For them, watching golf is about the majors and, every other year, the Ryder Cup. Enthusiasts will continue to watch at least some of nearly every event no matter what time of year it’s played.
Putting the playoffs into the sweet spot right before the NFL’s return gives the PGA Tour a chance to better market to the masses. What they do with the opportunity will have to be seen.
You can check out the entire 2018-2019 PGA Tour schedule here.