The PGA Tour has unveiled its schedule for the 2018-19 season, and it’s going to take some getting used to. We’ve known the basics of the revamped schedule, which includes the movement of several significant tournaments and one major, for some time, but seeing them laid out together will come as a bit of a surprise for golf fans.
The new schedule features 46 events and runs from October 1, 2018 to August 25, 2019. Let’s break it all down.
The big changes
At the top of the mountain, the new schedule reworks the major lineup. The PGA Championship move from August to the week of May 13, and the Players Championship moves from May to the week of March 11.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs drop from four events to three, starting much earlier in the summer. The Tour Championship now wraps up before Labor Day, finishing on August 25.
The Tour also adds two new events: the Rocket Mortgage Classic (week of June 24), the first Tour event in Detroit, and the 3M Open (week of July 1) in Minnesota. In a scheduling quirk, the Houston Open and Greenbrier will not be on the 2018-19 schedule, but only because they’re moving to the fall and will be on the 2019-20 slate. Otherwise, they’d have been held just a couple months after their 2017-18 installments.
Here’s the schedule in minuscule print; for the complete list, tap here.
What the new schedule means for golf
The major season tightens up, and the Players gets an opening-act role rather than mid-bill. The PGA Championship now sits right in the middle of the mix, which should help reduce the perception that it’s the appendix of the four majors.
The FedEx Cup blessedly gets out of the way of the NFL, a move that everyone not blindfolded by tee flags has advocated for years. The playoffs lose one of their events, yes, but Boston and New York will rotate the opening event, and the entire month of September is now free for Ryder Cups and the like.
What kind of an impact will this have on golf’s ratings? Depends on how many of these events Tiger Woods plays. But the overall move, smoothing out the schedule and concentrating the big moments, ought to work better than the current scattershot method. We’ll start to find out soon enough.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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