CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Starting in 2019 at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, the PGA Championship will move to the month of May and become the second major championship on the annual golf calendar behind the Masters in April.
Here’s a list of five great things about the move:
5. A rhythm to the major championship schedule. For many years, there’s always been that 2-month plus gap between the Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June. That won’t be the case in 2019 and onward. Instead, golf fans will be spoiled with four consecutive months – April-July – of major championship golf.
4. It’s in the best interest of the PGA Championship. With golf’s inclusion in the Olympic Games, the PGA of America was forced to shift its traditional August date back into July in 2016 to accommodate the world’s top players competing in the Rio Games. This situation and schedule adjustment was going to come into play every four years. In 2016, it compacted the schedule to the point where the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the Open Championship and PGA Championship were all contested in a five-week stretch. Players in the Olympics then traveled to Rio for the Opening Ceremony before competing and then the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup kicked off right when they returned. This move to May will provide breathing room from some of the game’s biggest championships for both players and fans.
"In weighing the complex evolution of the golf calendar, the PGA of America's key objectives were to promote the best interests of our signature spectator Championship, do what is best for the game and its great players, and find the most advantageous platform to fulfill our mission of serving our nearly 29,000 members and growing the game," PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua said.
3. Stronger TV market. “Television viewership in May can be as much as 25 percent higher than August,” said PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Price. “And in 2019 we'll get the added benefit of CBS golf promotion in the run-up to the Championship and Turner promotion in the NBA Playoffs.”
2. Twenty PGA Professionals will still have the chance to qualify for the PGA Championship. With the move in date of the PGA Championship will also come a move in the date for the PGA Professional Championship. Typically contested in June with the top 20 qualifiers earning a spot in the PGA Championship, the 312-player PPC will now move to April beginning in 2019 and – as always – the top-20 will punch a ticket into the PGA Championship. The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship will not move from its current date (end of May) through 2021.
1. A May date is a strong landing spot for the majority of the PGA’s nearly 29,000 members. With May being on the front-end of the golf season for most of the country, PGA Professionals will be able to engage new players and introduce various growth of the game initiatives entering the heart of the golf season, including but not limited to PGA Junior League; Drive, Chip & Putt; USGA/LPGA Girls Golf and Get Golf Ready.
"For nearly 85 percent of our membership, May is also on the front-end of the golf season so this date change will allow them to engage new players and introduce various Growth of the Game initiatives at their facilities,” Price said. "We welcome the opportunity to be the second of the four majors in the annual major golf chronology – in large part because having our major championship occur earlier in the golf season enables us to more effectively promote, along with our media partners, the grow-the-game initiatives that our members bring to life.”