by Jeff Skinner
The PGA Tour has released next season’s schedule of tour events. Notice, I said next season’s and not next year’s schedule. That’s because next season actually starts this season, I mean this year. I mean this year is next season and next season is this year and next year…oh damn! It sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine.
Who’s on first? It’s the Frys.com Open, that’s who’s on first for the opening week of the New PGA Tour. Starting next month the 2013-14 PGA Tour season will start at The Fry’s when the Tour kicks off their season on October 10th.
With the advent of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Tour’s desire to avoid the ratings monster that is the NFL the Tour has revamped their schedule with a fall start. The sponsors of the old Fall Series, the events played after the FedEx Cup Playoffs, were screaming for a little respect and to be considered full fledged PGA Tour events.
So the Tour decided a fall start would be the best compromise. That means except for a three week break in December there is at least one (sometimes two) PGA Tour sanctioned events each week all the way to August 17th when the regular season winds up at the Wyndham championship.
After that the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin with four straight weeks of play with no weeks off. The off week comes after the Tour Championship so Tom Watson’s Ryder Cuppers can have a break before they head to Scotland to try and reclaim the cup.
It’s a long season; October to August, and beyond, but with such a crowded sports schedule in the fall the PGA Tour has decided this wrap around schedule better suits their product.
Here are the really important dates: The Masters, that annual rite of spring when the golf season begins for millions of golfers is April 7-13. The U.S. Open will try not to humiliate the best golfers in the world, just identify them from June 9-15 at Pinehurst. The Open Championship heads back to the crusty links of Royal Liverpool from July 14-20. And the major season closes out at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky from August 4-10.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs then start at The Barclays on August 18, followed in consecutive weeks by the Deutsche Bank, BMW and the season finale, Tour Championship which finishes on September 14th.
It’s a long season…mark your calendars now.