The golf world obviously hasn’t been immune to the COVID-19 outbreak that has rocked not just the sports world, but the globe as a whole. However, there was a glimmer of hope recently when the PGA Tour and golf’s major governing bodies announced a new schedule that, if everything goes as planned, will see three of the four major championships still played in 2020 as well as the PGA Tour‘s FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Open Championship is the only major to be completely canceled and Olympic golf in Tokyo has been postponed until 2021.
No, this situation certainly isn’t ideal for anyone. However, the new schedule sets up what could be the most exciting year in the history of golf.
What the new golf calendar looks like
Once the R&A finally made the decision to cancel The Open Championship, which was originally scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, golf’s decision-makers could finally move forward with a schedule that allowed for the majority of the big tournaments to still be played, including The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs. If all goes to plan, this is what the big events in 2020 look like.
PGA Championship: Originally slated for May 14-17, the PGA Championship will now be the first major of the year and will remain at its original location at San Francisco’s Harding Park from August 6-9.
FedEx Cup Playoffs: The FedEx Cup Playoffs have been pushed back a week from the original start date and will now begin on August 20 with the Northern Trust and conclude on Labor Day weekend with the Tour Championship.
U.S. Open: There were numerous discussions about moving the U.S. Open away from its original venue at famed Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, due to the state being one of the biggest problem areas for COVID-19. But the plan is to still play at Winged Foot from September 17-20. The U.S. Open was originally scheduled for June 18-21.
Ryder Cup: Five days after the U.S. Open concludes, the top players from the U.S. and Europe will descend upon Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin from September 25-27. This is the only event that’s remained in its original position.
The Masters: Usually the first major championship of the year, The Masters, as always at Augusta National Golf Club, has been moved to November 12-15, making it the final major of 2020.
2021 would have the usual four golf majors, as well as the Olympics
While it’s not yet been decided how the PGA Tour will handle its wraparound season, it’s highly unlikely that the schedule would include moving the majors around again in 2021, not after going through all of this to get three of the four played in 2020. The tour will be wanting to get back to a schedule that’s as normal as possible, which would see the usual spots of The Masters in April, the PGA Championship in May, the U.S. Open in June, and The Open Championship in July.
The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until next summer and it looks as if Olympic golf would take place from July 29-August 1, based on the original 2020 dates.
Just think of the year that golf would have from August 2020-August 2021
So after all of that, just look at what that year and change from the beginning of August 2020 to late August 2021 looks like. Two editions of The Masters. Two editions of the PGA Championship. Two editions of the U.S. Open. The return of The Open Championship. Two editions of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Olympic golf. A Ryder Cup. And let’s not forget about getting a full edition of The Players Championship next March. That’s absolute insanity in the most amazing way possible. Again, this is not ideal but think about how much amazing golf fans would get to watch in that timeframe.
Yes, a few PGA Tour events are going to suffer a little as the game’s top players adjust their schedules to work around this madness. But think of the possibilities that come with SEVEN, yes, SEVEN major championships in a one-year period. What if Rory McIlroy gets hot? What if Brooks Koepka gets hot? What if Tiger Woods gets healthy and gets hot? The possibilities at what could happen in that year are endless. Is seven major championships in a year enough for Rickie Fowler to finally win one? So many great moments are going to come from this.
It’s enough to make your head hurt thinking about everything that could happen in that crazy year. But these are crazy times we’re living in right now.