GET INTO GOLF: It won’t be business as usual, but it’s a step closer |

GET INTO GOLF: It won’t be business as usual, but it’s a step closer

John Renslow
Golf Columnist
John Renslow

Another step closer to normal. The PGA Tour is back in action next week!

There will be, however, some conspicuous absences.

Viewing players during the middle of their round will appear as usual for the most part. Television crews will pick up a player in the fairway. We might see a brief discussion about distances and club choice.

The player makes their swing and the ball is followed to its destination. We’re very familiar with this. The spectators would blend into the background and end up being in ‘fly over country.’ Literally.

Even the tee shots won’t seem too out of place. The camera angle we receive is typically positioned well down the fairway or rough, outside the reach of most players. That long distance look will result in a ball flying over a couple of hundred yards, bouncing along some short grass and coming to rest.

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Yet, those last couple of holes, certainly if the winner is in doubt, will be very different. We might see a certain amount of people rummaging around. PGA Tour officials, perhaps a few socially distanced family members, and media folks positioned for their essential roles.

No grandstands. No large crowds. No reverberating cheers. No shouts for a favorite player.

Broad views of landscape versus a fan filled erector set may be disconcerting as well as intriguing. Top players hitting fabulous shots with little to no reaction. The silence will be deafening.

Fortunately, we’ll have the boys and girls in the booth to amplify each moment.

A cool benefit to all of this is the field of players. Outside the major tournaments, each week on Tour is comprised of several household names, as well as a number of unknowns trying to make a name for themselves.

Top ranked players participate in events they choose. They have access to virtually every tournament throughout the year. Players down the list must wait and see if there is space available for their entry.

Under normal circumstances, elite players will take certain weeks off, opening up doors for the journeymen to enter the tournament and play their way up the list.

Right now, everybody just wants to play. By the time the players tee off this coming Thursday, we will not have seen a competitive tour event for three months. So, the field for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, is like a major tournament.

Most of the world’s best, including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and Brooks Koepka will be there.

With all of the headlines we’re seeing in 2020, most of us will take any normal we can get. It won’t be business as usual next week on Tour, but it’s an entertaining reminder that we’re getting one step closer.

John Renslow is a PGA professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides golf instruction at local courses.

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