The 2017-2018 PGA Tour Season kicked off last week in Napa, California at the Safeway Open. Brendan Steele was the tournament winner, and immediately finds himself on top of the Fed Ex leaderboard.
Nothing against Steele, but I couldn’t be less excited for the start of a new season on the PGA Tour.
It wasn’t that long ago that the PGA Tour would kick off their season in early January with the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. It was tradition for the previous year’s winners to be rewarded with a trip to Hawaii to begin their new season.
That, unfortunately, is no longer the case.
When I was growing up, I remember feeling excitement to watch golfers playing in Hawaii shortly after the start of the New Year. It was beautiful, and it created a sense of anticipation within my young golf soul.
I remember thinking how amazing it must have felt for the winner of that tournament to know that they were already invited back for the following year. In my opinion, it was the perfect start to a golf season.
Back then, the PGA Tour Season typically ended at Walt Disney World. This was the last chance for players to crack into the Top 125 on the money list and avoid going to the dreaded tour qualifying school.
I would agonize over watching a player miss a three-foot putt on the 72nd hole to miss out on retaining their tour card.
After Disney, I would begin looking forward to the “Silly Season.” This season would include tournaments such as “The Skins Game” on Thanksgiving weekend, and then the Shark Shootout hosted by Greg Norman.
These were fun events to watch, and were a staple in my golf upbringing.
Now it’s different.
The Fed Ex Cup Playoffs have added a fun, new element to the PGA Tour Season. However, they have also screwed up the schedule that I was accustomed to, and loved.
I’m sure that Steele is excited to have won the first tournament of this new golf season. The problem is that it happened without me even realizing what was going on.
We are in the midst of post-season baseball, professional and college football, and the kickoff to the new PGA season just gets lost in the shuffle of it all.
I miss watching players fighting for their tour lives at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyworld.
I miss watching some of my favorite golfers battling for skins in the desert on Thanksgiving weekend.
I miss the anticipation of Kapalua in January and I miss the old PGA season.
Call me old-fashioned, but I just thought it used to be better.