GET INTO GOLF: A lot of moving parts
As the other major sports begin or resume their delayed 2020 seasons, we again recognize how fortunate we are as golfers. Not only can we play our game, which only had a brief interruption, we continue to see the world’s best playing week after week.
The spectacle of televised events is not wholly different. The absence of grandstands is conspicuous, yet with a significant number of socially distanced spectators (PGA officials, media, host staff, family) the typical camera angles still seem normal.
There are even enough voices and pairs of hands to hear applause or cheers following a noteworthy golf shot.
The big difference, as we move deeper into the year’s second half, is the schedule. We’re accustomed to the so-called majors being spread out on the calendar. The Masters kicks off the spring with an April event. The PGA Championship had recently been repositioned to May. June brings the United State Open Championship and the British Open (cancelled for 2020) would be the final major in July.
We don’t anticipate a ‘new normal’ in coming years, but here is the brief on a compressed remainder of 2020.
The PGA Championship takes place next week. Although it is just a few driving hours away, Harding Park Golf Club in San Francisco, our only option is to watch this one from the couch.
That adjustment on the calendar is fairly straightforward, but here is where it gets a little weird. Remember that the annual FedEx playoffs have concluded the season in August and the new season slated to begin at September’s Safeway Open in Napa.
The annual FedEx playoffs have to be consecutive. Players gain entry into the playoffs through a points system and each week of the playoffs eliminates lower point earners. We can’t move or reschedule one, we need consecutive dates. So, a couple of weeks after the PGA Championship, the three FedEx playoffs events run back to back to back.
Then, the odd, uncrazy thing is that the 2021 season opener, the aforementioned Safeway Open, has not changed and will be on schedule in early September.
Literally, the next week, insert the 2020 United States Open Championship at Winged Foot in New York. Then, for the most part, we resume the 2021 schedule.
But wait, there’s more. What happened to the Masters? Played in April since time began (okay, 1948) the Masters Tournament is the year’s final major in November.
Whew, that’s a lot of moving parts. The good news is that we won’t have to miss out on these celebrated events. For the time being, we’ll have to watch from afar (with the largest TV we can find). Hopefully, we will soon be able to walk alongside our favorite players and let them hear us cheer them on.
John Renslow is a PGA professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides golf instruction at local courses.
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