What a world tour schedule might look like
This is a golf season I could get excited about.
Something isn't working here.
I'm not totally sure what it is but I think the top golfers in the world are starting to realize that they can basically condense their schedules to April-September and still get what they want out of the season.
That would be fine if the season actually lasted from April-September but it doesn't. It actually lasts from January-October and because of that the PGA Tour and European Tour have some problems on their hands.
Namely that Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Rory McIlroy (three of the sport's four biggest stars) don't really seem all that interested in playing golf in the months of January, February, March, or October.
Not to mention the fact that by the time the Tour Championship is over and fall season is underway everyone is burned out on golf and ready to focus on football.
So can we agree to shorten the season to eight months and stick the Ryder/Presidents Cup in September? And in the name of Seve Ballesteros can we please finally have a united world tour?
Golf is the only sport in the world where, in any given week, the strongest events might be played in separate leagues. Can you imagine if that was the case in football or basketball? If somehow the NBA was challenged by a league in South America or Australia for talent? It would be insane.
You can keep the other events, just give me one league where the world's best are competing every week.
With those two notions in mind here's a balanced, eight-month world tour schedule that I would be downright giddy to see come to fruition.
(I'm using 2014 dates when I include five weeks in a month)
Week 1 -- Tournament of Champions (US)
Week 2 -- Australian Open (Australia)
Week 3 -- HSBC Champions (WGC in China)
Week 4 -- BMW Masters (China)
Let's get rid of the wraparound schedule. The season should start the first week in January and end in August. None of this multi-year stuff. Also, keep the Hawaii Tournament of Champion and then tag your Asia-Pacific swing on for the rest of the month.
Week 1 -- Pebble Beach Pro-Am (US)
Week 2 -- Farmers Insurance Open (US)
Week 3 -- Phoenix Open (US)
Week 4 -- PGA Championship (US)
That's right, I want a PGA Championship at the end of February. It would force top players to prep for it at some of these other tournaments and bridge the gap between the British Open and/or Ryder Cup from one year and Masters in the next.
Week 1 -- Abu Dhabi Championship (Middle East)
Week 2 -- Match Play Championship (WGC in Middle East)
Week 3 -- Dubai Desert Classic (Middle East)
Week 4 -- Honda Classic (US)
Week 5 -- Cadillac Championship (WGC in US)
I want to bump the Middle East swing to the beginning of March and throw in the Match Play Championship at a course over there (clearly Dove Mountain isn't working). Then we can head to Florida.
Week 1 -- Arnold Palmer Invitational (US)
Week 2 -- Masters (US)
Week 3 -- RBC Heritage (US)
Week 4 -- Wells Fargo Championship (US)
The Masters highlights the April east coast swing. This is a rock solid group of four tournaments that would force the hands of golf's upper crust.
Week 1 -- Players Championship (US)
Week 2 -- The Memorial (US)
Week 3 -- AT&T National (US)
Week 4 -- Bridgestone (WGC in US)
Week 5 -- Canadian Open (Canada)
Another strong group of tournaments highlighted by the Bridgestone WGC event and Players Championship. I think it's important to have a major or WGC event in almost every month.
Week 1 -- BMW Championship (US)
Week 2 -- Barclays (US)
Week 3 -- US Open (US)
Week 4 -- Deutsche Bank Championship (US)
Keep the playoff tournament locations but turn them back into regular tournaments. This month will be anchored, as always, by the US Open.
Week 1 -- Irish Open (Europe)
Week 2 -- BMW PGA Championship (Europe)
Week 3 -- Scottish Open (Europe)
Week 4 -- British Open (Europe)
Week 5 -- Turkish Airlines Open (Europe)
This is our "return to the home of golf" month. Those four tournaments make up a stacked tour of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Then Turkey for some relaxation. You could create a rota for each tournament like the British Open has.
Week 1 -- Playoff No. 1 (US or Europe)
Week 2 -- Playoff No. 2 (US or Europe)
Week 3 -- Playoff No. 3 (US or Europe)
Week 4 -- Tour Championship (US or Europe)
Playoff month. This will be a great ending to the year just as football is starting up and you could rotate it between great courses in Europe and the US every year. Move it around. The playoff should be the focus, not the location or the course.
Plus with a combined tour you could feasibly make first place worth $15 million or more.
Week 1 -- Off
Week 2 -- Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup
Let's be honest here for a second, nobody watches golf during football season, so why do they play it? End the season with a great Ryder Cup and let's get geared up for another great year kicking off with week one in Hawaii.
This is a tough schedule for traveling but most of the top players (which is all you would have here) fly private anyway and with more money at stake at each tournament they could afford it even if they don't currently.
I'm sure there are a lot of problems with something like this (travel just being the most obvious) but I would be ecstatic if it was ever considered.
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