RENSLOW: We may not like it, but change can be good
We don’t like change. Really. Consider how many things you do today that are completely different than the way you did them 10 years ago. We might rotate things we’re comfortable with, but not many things are truly different or unique. Even a relocated item can throw us off. Shoot, we have books written about this human condition, such as “Who moved my cheese?”
So, when the PGA Tour made changes to their season several years ago (we touched on this a couple of weeks back) and to their qualifying process, I immediately scoffed. It’s not my fault. It’s DNA.
Each year, hopeful players must earn the privilege of playing on tour. Gone was the traditional qualifying, accomplished in stages. Over the course of a month, players would advance week by week through a four or six round event.
Enter an essentially year long qualifier. Using the PGA Tour’s version of minor league baseball, the Web.com Tour, it is an ongoing competition that follows the entire annual schedule.
Similar to the regular Tour’s “FedEx Cup,” Web.com players accumulate points based on how they finish each week. This culminates in a corresponding Web.com Tour Championship. From this event, the top 25 players get PGA Tour cards for the following year.
The other change, as mentioned, was the move to a fiscal calendar rather then a calendar year starting in October. As soon as the PGA Tour’s final event in September is over, the new season is underway.
However, now that we’ve had a while to let this settle in, some of this change was for the better. If you really want to find out who the best players are, we need time for the “cream to rise to the top.” Granted, the historical qualifiers were multiple rounds and multiple weeks. But after 25 events in the new system, we know who the top players are.
At the same time, the fiscal calendar hasn’t won me over, yet. The fall used to entertain us with events that meant nothing to the points or money list. They were just for fun: Parent/Child tournaments, the Three Tour Challenge, and I don’t know what happened to the “Skins Game.”
The good side to the fiscal calendar is that we get to see these new young guns coming up from the Web.com Tour right way. The Web.com Tour Championship ended on Oct. 1 and we have a good number of the top-25 playing in the PGA Tour’s first event this week.
Just a quick trip over to the Silverado Resort in Napa and you can see them in person. That’s right, the Safeway Open not only includes Phil Mickelson. It also has a host of players who could become the next Phil Mickelson. If you have time this weekend, take that drive to the wine country and give the boys an up close and personal look.
We may not like it, but if we let things settle a bit … maybe change can be good.
John Renslow is a PGA Class A Professional and Instructor at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at email@example.com.
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