Ah, Hawaii. Land of blue waters, surfing, gorgeous women in grass skirts, really ugly flower-print shirts ... OK, I've never been to Hawaii, and all I know I glean from TV. Which is interesting, because right now TV is showing me that there's almost nobody in the gallery at the SBS Championship.
That's right, the 2010 PGA season is now under way, and there's almost nobody paying attention. Why is that? We could blame Tiger Woods -- everybody else is -- but that's not the issue here; the PGA has begun its season with a whimper rather than a bang for a few years now.
So some changes are in order. To get a season going right, you need buzz and you need star power, and right now, the SBS is woefully short on both. (All apologies, Geoff Ogilvy.) You could obviously try to force the big names to play, but that's usually about as successful as trying to force cats to run the no-huddle offense. (Stupid cats. They're always jumping offsides.)
Thus, if we can't bring the best players to the tournament, why not bring the tournament to more people? Why not start the season out with a splashier golf-oriented location? (Nothin' but love for you, Kapalua; we can hook up with you further down the line.)
Weather is obviously a concern, so pretty much everywhere outside of the Southwest and Miami is out, but there's plenty to work with there. Why not kick off the season at Riviera, Doral or Torrey Pines? Make it more like Opening Day in baseball or kickoff weekend in football -- an event, not just another tournament. Rotate some schedules by a couple weeks if you need to ... this isn't a major logistical problem.
Look, there's no season longer in pro sports than golf, which runs from the first week in January all the way to Thanksgiving ... and later, if you throw in all the end-of-year charity tourneys. So it's easy to understand that for all but the hardcores, golf is just kind of a perpetual presence on TV. You lose track of it during football season, and then sometime after the Super Bowl you wake up and say, "hold on, golf's started?" We need to do more, we need to get things going with a bang rather than a tee shot.
Pyrotechnics and pregame shows might be over the top ... or they might not. Everything's on the table here, people! Give us your best ideas for how we can start off the PGA season with more excitement!
Perhaps we ought to take this up with the PGA Tour officials. A quick call to their office and ... oh, they're in Hawaii? And they're going to be there for a couple weeks? Wait a second ... suddenly it's starting to make sense ...