While the new schedule has added to the strain of trying to claim what can be a career-defining major championship, most players believe it is worth it for two chief reasons: Golf no longer goes head-to-head with the N.F.L. in the fall, and players can take a break and put their clubs away earlier.
Moving the P.G.A. Championship from August to May does both because it allows the PGA Tour’s season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs to start, and end, sooner.
“If you poll all the players, I would think they would be happy about the way it is now,” Jordan Spieth, a three-time major winner, said this week. “We can finish our season in August and not compete with football. And then create a little bit of an off-season for ourselves.”
Playing the P.G.A. Championship in the spring rather than the summer also allows the event to be played in more parts of the United States. Scheduling the tournament in August meant that areas of the country that experience especially hot summer conditions, which are ruinous to greens, could not stage a P.G.A. Championship. That eliminated wide swaths of the country.
“We think the cadence of the schedule is just better for fans — better for players,” said Seth Waugh, the chief executive of the P.G.A. of America, which conducts the P.G.A. Championship. “Obviously it’s exhausting for them to go April, May, June, July, and then if this year you’ve got an Olympics. It’s a long grind.”
The P.G.A. of America represents more than 28,000 teaching and club golf professionals nationwide who serve the recreational golfing public. More golf majors early in the year theoretically enhances overall interest in the sport. Said Waugh: “Our chance to kind of light the fire for the game in May is pretty significant.”
In the end, Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters winner, thinks that tour players will be better adjusted to the new schedule after having done it a second time in 2021. He pointed to Brooks Koepka, who won two U.S. Opens and two P.G.A. Championships in a 26-month span beginning in 2017, as inspiration for his colleagues.
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