The final major of 2013 is over. Congratulations to Jason Dufner on winning his first major and hoisting the Wannamaker Trophy.
It was especially nice to see Dufner win this. Two years ago, he squandered a five shot lead over the final four holes and lost the PGA Championship in a playoff with Keegan Bradley. This year, as Dufner walked off the 18th green, Bradley was there to congratulate him and give him a huge hug.
There is talk that the PGA of America, the governing body of the PGA Championship and organization responsible for club professionals across the United States, is considering moving its championship from August.
The PGA of America may find itself in a bind in a few years when the PGA Championship, the Olympics in Brazil, and the Ryder Cup all fall within a few weeks of one another. One consideration is to move the championship to October. This would cause a bit of conflict with the PGA Tour and its FedEx Cup finale and the end of the Tour's season when players are trying to keep their cards for the next year. It would also mean chances of cold weather keeping the event from being held too far north.
It bothers me enough that the World Series seems to fall later and later every year. I hate seeing baseball players wearing mittens, scarfs and wool beanies. I cannot imagine seeing golfers similarly attired while determining a major championship.
The other majors are almost certain to not want to move or give up their spot. The green jackets in Augusta depend on the beauty of the spring to showcase their fantastic course. The Masters isn't going anywhere else on the calendar.
The Unites States Open has been a Fathers' Day weekend staple for far too long to consider giving up its June slot. The Open Championship is the oldest of all the majors and any expectation that the Royal and Ancient would slide its championship to any month other than July is beyond silly.
Would the PGA of America consider moving its championship to before The Masters? I doubt the members of Augusta National could stop them, but being the first major of the year is a feather on their cap that they will not easily let go. Besides, holding a major golf tournament in March subjects you to the same cold weather problems you get in October.
That leaves us with the possibility of a May date. Of course, the PGA Tour would certainly balk at moving its marquee event, The Players Championship, yet again. There was a time, not long ago, that The Players was held just a couple weeks before The Masters. It was moved to put this near-major in between The Masters and U.S. Open.
So I have to ask you, my faithful readers, what you would do if you had to move the PGA Championship? By moving it later in the year, you can actually consider playing in places like Florida, southern California, Arizona and the like. Even as hot as it can be up north in August, no one wants to play in Miami or Phoenix.
In 1987 the PGA Championship was held at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. Most of the field nearly melted in the oppressive heat. Larry Nelson won the title in a playoff over Lanny Wadkins. The pair set a record for highest winning score, crushing the old record by five shots. Of those making the cut, only ten rounds in the 60s would be carded that week. There were 17 rounds in the 80s. Do you think that the sweltering heat may have had something to do with it?
I think the PGA of America has a conundrum. Moving the date for its championship seems like a great idea. They just have to figure out to when. Maybe bouncing it around the calendar is an option. One year it's in march or May, the next in September or October. Personally, May seems like the best spot to me, even though it will certainly twist the knockers of the lads in Ponte Vedra.
Later in the year just conflicts with too much unless it goes to being played over Labor Day weekend. But that isn't much of a move. However, any later and between the FedEx Cup, the World Series, and hockey and basketball seasons beginning, the PGA Championship could become lost in the shuffle. Of course, that may be just what the PGA Tour wants. That would allow the Tour to tout The Players as the 'true" fourth major.
Let me know what you would do. There are some fantastic courses in the deep south that could suddenly become an option for the PGA.
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday Night Golf Show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.