I hope your 2017 is off to a fabulous start! I know many of you are tuning your games up for some upcoming events. The SCGA Men’s Team Play season is kicking off, and this is always a fun way for those team members to get their year started. Whatever it is you may be gearing up for, enjoy the journey of making 2017 the best year yet! Meanwhile, the PGA Tour season is already well under way, whether you realized it, or not!
Is it just me, or does it seem like the PGA Tour season doesn’t really begin until players reach Hawaii in early January? As I was preparing for this article, I had to remind myself that we are already 7 events into the season! Brendan Steele kicked off the season with a victory at the Safeway Open way back on October 16. Meanwhile, rising superstar Hideki Matsuyama currently sits atop the Fed Ex Cup standings. That being said, let’s look ahead at what I consider to be the events, and players, we should all be excited for as the West Coast Swing is set to tee off.
For me, the West Coast Swing centers around three venues. Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach, and Riviera. Three classic golf courses that generally attract the strongest fields. While Torrey Pines and Riviera offer the greatest challenge to the players on major championship courses, Pebble Beach is just a fun event to watch because of the incredibly gorgeous setting.
Once the tour heads to Florida, the most highly anticipated event will be The Arnold Palmer Invitation played at Bay Hill. This will be the first Bay Hill event played since “The King’s” passing, and I would anticipate a strong field with plenty of emotion. Wouldn’t it be fitting if Tiger could somehow find a way to win this tournament for the 9th time?
At this point, the entire golfing universe shifts its focus to The Masters. I can’t imagine a more highly anticipated Masters than the one we have coming up. The return of Tiger, plus the overwhelming number of world-class players bidding for the green jacket will surely make this an incredible week. I am scheduled to attend the tournament for the 3rd time this April, and I can’t wait!
As the tour heads into the summer season, it’s really about The Player’s Championship and the U.S. Open. The Player’s is always fun to watch because of the final three holes. Most notably, the island green at #17. Who hasn’t watched that and wondered if they could hit that green? The U.S. Open is being played on a new venue called Erin Hills in Wisconsin. I don’t know much about Erin Hills, other than it is a links style course that will surely present a huge challenge to the players. It’s always fun seeing a new course, so this should be a good one!
Moving on to the British Open at Royal Birkdale, where Padraig Harrington successfully defended his British Open title in 2008. Is there anything better than waking up early to watch this tournament? Coffee, breakfast, and golf!
Finally the major season wraps up with the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Club in North Carolina. Quail Hollow is likely to be the most difficult venue of all the majors played this year, and it will be a great way to head into the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.
With the return of Tiger, and a list of world-class players too long to mention, this upcoming season is sure to be packed with plenty of excitement. Enjoy!