The PGA Championship Needs an Identity: Wild Shootout?

Today finishes up the 2018 PGA tour major season.  It will be exciting because there are many contenders still in range for the 2018 PGA Championship.  Also, Tiger Woods is in contention.  Raising the eyebrows of the nation and world.  But the PGA Championship still lags far behind in stature to the other majors.  From a fan’s perspective.  The Masters is the best run sporting event in the world.  The same course and the best course.  Unbelievable viewer experience both online and broadcast.  Few commercials or none online.  It is the one all the players want to win.  It is in April and for us golfers, it is the unofficial start of Spring and the golf season.  The U.S. Open is the toughest test in golf.  No matter how hard they make the course, and no matter how much the players complain, the winning score is always close to par.  As it should be.  I enjoy watching the slaughter and the sour grapes from players.  It is an open tournament with a rich amateur tradition.  The British Open is the world’s tournament.  Golf’s beginnings and rich history are showcased.  As well as the links style golf and the weather that goes with it.  The same rotation of familiar old courses adds to the charm.  But what do you think about when you hear the PGA Championship?  It is one of the four majors.  The PGA as an organization is important and as someone who grew up working on 5 different golf course I get the importance.  They are the ambassadors of the game.  But in terms of an event that draws interest the PGA Championship is fourth and a long way back.  So how can the PGA Championship increase interest and create a better identity for their tournament?

One idea is to have the PGA be a wild shootout where the winning score is -20 each year.  That way the viewers are seeing a lot of birdies and there will be a big group in contention on Sunday.  Who went 64 on Sunday to pull it out with a -23 total?  If the course has an easy setup in might be possible for a course PGA pro to be in contention as well.

The PGA is moving to May I believe in a couple of years.  The players and sponsors and suits want the season to end earlier before football starts.  There is also a big space currently between The Masters and U.S. Open.  This will increase PGA Championship ratings for sure.  But it won’t give the PGA a better identity.  The shootout major is one idea.


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