The PGA Tour needs a legitimate off-season each year

Sep 2, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A view of the FedEx Cup during the first round of the Tour Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A view of the FedEx Cup during the first round of the Tour Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /

The seemingly endless march of PGA Tour golf might scratch our itch as fans. There’s always a tournament to watch as we dose off on the couch on a Sunday afternoon or scroll through golf Twitter firing off pithy comments.

In the middle of the winter, PGA Tour events provide an escape to warmer climates – Kapalua warming our bones as snow piles up in the northern states. However, the golf could be better and more dynamic and entertaining if the PGA Tour took a true off-season.

If the PGA Tour did have an off-season, the game as a whole would have room to breathe, and we’d very likely find ourselves still watching golf, but it would look a lot different than 72 hole events.

Some sports have found a way to make the off-season relevant.  The NFL has their draft extravaganza, and the NBA has their frantic free agency period with superstars moving teams and requesting trades.

International competition and summer leagues help stem the tide for those that need hoops in their life. Scroll through social media and pick-up hoops games in Los Angeles starring LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, and James Harden (when he’s not at the club…) might fill your feed.

If there were a three month off-season on the PGA Tour (let’s say October-December), there would be time for golfers and agents and charities to produce events that aren’t 72 hole dart-throwing spectacles that we see basically 48 weeks a year.

Asking for an off-season isn’t the same as asking for no golf.

An off-season is more about providing time for different golf — challenge matches are the low-hanging fruit like Bryson vs. Brooks or Billy Horschel vs. Steve Stricker.

The entrepreneurial spirit of independent contractors could provide other awesome opportunities. Maybe we see a team event, a golf trip or a mixed event with PGA and LPGA players. Fans love to watch outstanding golf. There’s no doubt about it.

However, golf fans also love watching versions of the golf they play on the weekends: best ball match play or alternate shot with some trash talk and a touch of humanity. The possibilities are endless. If players had a little time, they’d fill the void if they wanted. Even if they didn’t want to, that PIP money would be beckoning.

The pandemic forced golf to have an off-season in 2020 from March to June. The break created charitable opportunities and crossover competition. It produced a few made-for-TV golf events, like giving us the Tom Brady ripped pants hole-out while Charles Barkley trash-talked him.

Those events were slapped together to give golf fans something to chew on in the heart of a horrible time when we were all cooped up in our houses waiting for the next episode of The Last Dance to air.

The golf hiatus also produced the Bryson DeChambeau transformation. Say what you will about DeChambeau, but if he didn’t have that period of time to focus 100% on his body’s transformation, it likely isn’t happening.

If it doesn’t happen, golf is in a very different place right now, both in the mainstream media and in the deep recesses of golf Twitter. What DeChambeau did is the same as a lot of athletes do in their off-season. He chose to develop a skill and showed up at the start of the season, ready to show it off.

The players, especially after the last 18 months, have also said they’re tired. Rory McIlroy has been the most vocal.

However, guys like Collin Morikawa, who looks flat out exhausted, or Matthew Wolff, who is dealing with some truly challenging mental health issues, make it clear a bit of time away, without the FOMO of missing out on massive purses, would do the game and its players some serious good.

No sport has a true off-season anymore. The news cycle moves too fast. However, if the PGA Tour stepped aside for a few months, the sport would have room for new stories to develop and create some anticipation for the PGA Tour season like other sports do.

The PGA Tour sometimes feels like the jealous boyfriend, planning and keeping his girlfriend busy with endless weekend plans and nights out to keep her occupied.

Next. Ryder Cup: Padraig Harrington Wise to Choose Ian Poulter. dark

With the Premier Golf League snooping around and promising huge payouts to small fields, it doesn’t seem like the PGA Tour is ready or willing to let its players have three months to explore the game in different ways. That’s too bad because, in the long run, it would make the game more interesting.