CHARLOTTE, NC – AUGUST 07: A leaderboard is seen during a practice round prior to the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club on August 7, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour is making some big changes starting in 2019, so don’t worry you have time to prepare.

The first of the major changes is that the PGA Championship will be moved back to May for the first time in 70 years. The 2017 PGA Championship is this weekend and has been in August in recent years. In 2019, it’ll be a whole three months earlier when it returns to Bethpage Black in New York.

According to The Associated Press, another big change is The Players Championship moving back to March. That’s two months earlier than the 2017 date when it was played May 11th-14th.

There are two big reasons why these changes are being made down the road: the NFL and the Olympics.

Let’s start off with the NFL. The PGA has reportedly decided it wants to finish the FedEx Cup before the NFL season is in full swing, which makes sense. In doing so, the PGA could get better ratings for the final days of tournaments because they will no longer coincide and go up against NFL games.

This season, there are three tournaments that will take place during the NFL regular season: BMW Championship (Sept. 14-17), Tour Championship (Sept. 21-24), and President’s Cup (Sept. 28-Oct. 1). That could hurt the PGA’s ratings as sports fans would likely choose the NFL or  over the final day of those three tournaments.

While the NFL is a big reason why the PGA is making these changes, another major reason behind the change is the Olympics. Back in 2016, at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, golf returned to the summer games for the first time since 1904. With golf now back in the Olympics, the PGA wants to alter its schedule to make it easier for players to play in the Olympics during the PGA season.

While a couple big changes have emerged such as the new PGA and Players Championship dates, other tournament dates and the schedule as a whole hasn’t been finished. The PGA still plans on finishing around Labor Day, it just remains to be decided what tournaments they’ll finish on and when.

The AP also reported the playoff event in Boston for example could end after 2018. Another change in the fall could be moving the Greenbrier Classic, which is annually played in or around July, to now be played in the fall.

Outside of the changes being made to work around the Olympics and NFL, another big reason behind the change was to make it easier for hot regions and places such as Texas and Florida to host tournaments. By moving the PGA Championship to May, hotter states could host the tournament before it gets too hot.

On the other hand, this makes it harder for states like Wisconsin and Minnesota to host the event due to possible poor late spring weather.

At the end of the day a lot of these changes are still being worked out and since nothing is official, a lot could still change.

[Associated Press]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.

6 thoughts on “The PGA Championship is moving to May to avoid NFL conflict

  1. This leads me to suspect the PGA will opt out of TV contact early, reopening the bids not only by CBS and NBC, but also the possibility of FOX making a bid. With CBS having the first two majors of the year, one would think they might make a play for all tournaments from February through the PGA Championship (not sure how’d they handle the Florida swing during March Madness), with a bidding war for the summer tournaments (including the complete FedEx Cup) between NBC and FOX, knowing FOX may throw top dollar for a sports property they have longed to have (and the PGA Tour knows this, which is why I think they will opt out of the current contact).

  2. These changes seem more like fixes for bad spring scheduling than a fear of the NFL. The tournament in Puerto Rico couldn’t draw a fly, never mind viewers or big name players.

  3. It’s a good move though. The PGA is the red-headed stepchild of the majors much like the Aussie Open was for tennis. The Aussie used to be the last major of the year but moving it to January to kick off the season boosted it’s importance in the tennis world.

  4. what about the pga tour media rights of opt out in 2018 and i got the media biding like fox sports,cbs sports,nbc sports,espn/abc.
    who will win the bid and i think fox sports gets the west coast and nbc or abc/espn gets march and cbs sports may contine doing the spring and summer like april to august. the fedex cup playoff will be cbs gets round 1 and fox gets round 2 and final round of labor day will be nbc Right?

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