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With changes aplenty, the 2018-2019 PGA Tour schedule is here

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Calendar lovers, scheduling enthusiasts, and golf fans too: the long awaited day is here. The PGA Tour today presented its 2018-2019 schedule.

“A cadence of events highlighted by significant championships every month,” the Tour called the 46-tournament schedule, which now concludes before the NFL season starts.

A few quick notes

  • The FedEx Cup is now three events instead of four.
  • Two new tournaments: the Rocket Mortgage Classic June 24-30 in Detroit and the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minneapolis.
  • The RBC Canadian Open moves from late July to June 3-9.
  • The Players Championship moves from May to March (11-17) and the PGA Championship moves from August to May (13-19).
  • The final World Golf Championships event of the season will now be held at TPC Southwind in Memphis as the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
  • The Houston Open and A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier move to the fall.

Here’s the whole darn thing, as posted to PGATour.com

DATE TOURNAMENT COURSE LOCATION
10/1 – 10/7 Safeway Open Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) Napa, California
10/8 – 10/14 CIMB Classic TPC Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
10/15 – 10/21 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Nine Bridges Jeju Island, Korea
10/22 – 10/28 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions Sheshan International Golf Club Shanghai, China
10/22 – 10/28 Sanderson Farms Championship Country Club of Jackson Jackson, Mississippi
10/29 – 11/4 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open TPC Summerlin Las Vegas, Nevada
11/5 – 11/11 Mayakoba Golf Classic El Camaleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort Playa del Carmen, Mexico
11/12 – 11/18 The RSM Classic Sea Island Resort (*Seaside Course, Plantation Course) St. Simons Island, Georgia
BREAK
12/31 – 1/6 Sentry Tournament of Champions Kapalua Resort (The Plantation Course) Kapalua, Hawaii
1/7 – 1/13 Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae Country Club Honolulu, Hawaii
1/14 – 1/20 CareerBuilder Challenge PGA WEST (*Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course); La Quinta Country Club La Quinta, California
1/21 – 1/27 Farmers Insurance Open Torrey Pines Golf Course (*South Course, North Course) San Diego, California
1/28 – 2/3 Waste Management Phoenix Open  TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) Scottsdale, Arizona
2/4 – 2/10 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am *Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore Course) Pebble Beach, California
2/11 – 2/17 Genesis Open The Riviera Country Club Pacific Palisades, California
2/18 – 2/24 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship Club de Golf Chapultepec Mexico City, Mexico
2/18 – 2/24 Puerto Rico Open Coco Beach Golf & Country Club Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
2/25 – 3/3 The Honda Classic PGA National Resort & Spa (The Champion Course) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
3/4- 3/10 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard Bay Hill Club and Lodge Orlando, Florida
3/11- 3/17 THE PLAYERS Championship TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course) Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
3/18 – 3/24 Valspar Championship Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf and Spa Resort (Copperhead Course) Palm Harbor, Florida
3/25 – 3/31 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Austin Country Club Austin, Texas
3/25 – 3/31 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales Golf Course) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
4/1 – 4/7 Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course) San Antonio, Texas
4/8 – 4/14 Masters Tournament # Augusta National Golf Club Augusta, Georgia
4/15 – 4/21 RBC Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
4/22 – 4/28 Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana
4/29 – 5/5 Wells Fargo Championship Quail Hollow Club Charlotte, North Carolina
5/6 – 5/12 AT&T Byron Nelson Trinity Forest Golf Club Dallas, Texas
5/13 – 5/19 PGA Championship # Bethpage State Park (Black Course) Bethpage, New York
5/20 – 5/26 Charles Schwab Challenge Colonial Country Club Fort Worth, Texas
5/27 – 6/2 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Muirfield Village Golf Club Dublin, Ohio
6/3 – 6/9 RBC Canadian Open Hamilton Golf & Country Club Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
6/10 – 6/16 U.S. Open # Pebble Beach Golf Links Pebble Beach, California
6/17 – 6/23 Travelers Championship TPC River Highlands Cromwell, Connecticut
6/24 – 6/30 Rocket Mortgage Classic Detroit Golf Club Detroit, Michigan
7/1 – 7/7 3M Open TPC Twin Cities Blaine, Minnesota
7/8 – 7/14 John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run Silvis, Illinois
7/15 – 7/21 The Open Championship # Royal Portrush Golf Club Portrush, Northern Ireland
7/15 – 7/21 Barbasol Championship Keene Trace Golf Club (Champions Trace) Nicholasville, Kentucky
7/22 – 7/28 World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational TPC Southwind Memphis, Tennessee
7/22 – 7/28 Reno-Tahoe Tournament Montreaux Golf and Country Club Reno, Nevada
7/29 – 8/4 Wyndham Championship Sedgefield Country Club Greensboro, North Carolina
8/5 – 8/11 THE NORTHERN TRUST Liberty National Golf Club Jersey City, New Jersey
8/12 – 8/18 BMW Championship Medinah Country Club (Course No. 3) Medinah, Illinois
8/19 – 8/25 TOUR Championship East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, Georgia

With respect to the early opinions, here are a few.

Writing for PGATour.com, Jim McCabe riffed on discussions with Olin Browne and Joe Durant.

“What caught Browne’s attention was the climactic finish to next season – three consecutive weeks of the FedExCup Playoffs culminating with the TOUR Championship Aug. 22-25. Reducing the FedExCup Playoffs by one and concluding the season before Labor Day and the onrush of football are definitive exclamation points, in Browne’s view, and two former PGA TOUR competitors who helped give shape to the FedExCup Playoffs agree.

“It’s more dynamic, instead of the season petering out like it used to,” said Joe Durant, who was a member of the Policy Board when the FedExCup debuted in 2007. Another Policy Board member was Brad Faxon, who recalls that “we always had the thought to eliminate competing against the NFL when the FedExCup started. This new schedule is good. I think it’s better to have only three playoff events.”

Writing for GolfChannel.com, Rex Hoggard offered praise and approval but cautioned that there will be an adjustment period to the condensed schedule.

“Essentially, the Tour had to shed four weeks off the season to move out of football’s shadow. Losing the Boston playoff event and the post-season “bye” week was half the bill. The Houston Open was relocated to the fall portion of the schedule, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was replaced by an existing event in Memphis.

“If that all sounds clean and easy, consider that the run up to the post-season will now feature a major (The Open), a World Golf Championship (Memphis) and the Wyndham Championship. Including the three playoff stops, that’s five must-play events in a six-week window.
How this congestion impacts events like Bay Hill or the AT&T Byron Nelson, which will now be played the week before the PGA Championship, remains to be seen, but there will be tough choices made.

“Consider the RBC Canadian Open, which has been mired in a post-Open Championship vortex, will now be played the week before the U.S. Open. Depending on where the American championship is played, the move could give the field in Canada a boost, but it’s hard to imagine how it’s going to lead to long-term improvements.”

ESPN’s Bob Harig praised moving the PGA Championship to May, however, he worries that given the host venues and time of year for that tournament, weather and conditioning could be problems. He praised wrapping the Playoffs before the NFL season begins, and also said, “golf-mad markets in Minneapolis and Detroit are rewarded with PGA Tour events, the Canadian Open moves off a tough date after The Open, the WGC event in Akron loses a sponsor in Bridgestone but picks up a big one in FedEx.”

Those are a few thoughts from long-serving scribes. What do you think about the new schedule, GolfWRX members?

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  1. Bryan from Boston

    Jul 10, 2018 at 11:04 am

    RIP TPC Boston. I’ll certainly spend some extra time to enjoy it this year. Cutting that tournament out of the schedule makes me sad because I love going to it, and love watching the other rounds that weekend. The Monday finish was always great too.

    • 3PuttPar

      Jul 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Agreed…I had a chance to play TPC Boston about a month ago and loved it. I’ve been to the tournament twice and once I found out it was most likely going to get the boot on the new schedule I made sure I got tickets this year. I’ll miss that tournament. Looks like we’ll be making the drive to CT for the Traveler’s.

      • Konklifer

        Jul 11, 2018 at 9:32 am

        As of now, TPC Boston and Liberty National will be alternating. Northern Trust will sponsor at TPC Boston in 2020.

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Wednesday’s photos from the 2019 Terra Cotta Invitational

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GolfWRX is live from the 2019 Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples National Golf Club, which will be contested April 26-28. Past winners of the amateur event include Justin Thomas and Emiliano Grillo.

Denny Glass, chairman of the Terra Cotta Invitational, was kind enough to give us a little more information about the tournament.

For GolfWRX members who aren’t familiar, tell me a little bit about the tournament and its history

Glass: The Terra Cotta Invitational began in 1996 and was originally a combination stroke play/match play event. 20 players were invited and they played 36 holes of stroke play then the top four finishers went on to match play with the others playing an 18 hole consolation match.

I changed it to a 54-hole stroke play event with 50 players in 2006 when I took over as Tournament Chair. This was done to be eligible for Titleist/Golfweek Amateur Ranking Points. The field increased over the years and now has 75-81 players. The tournament is now ranked as a “B” level event in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) run by the USGA and R&A. This ranking is one level below the top-ranked events in the world. The WAGR rankings are based on the strength of the field so we are proud to be ranked so highly.

As it’s an invitational tournament, can you tell me a bit about who gets invited in general and who’s in the field this year, specifically? Tournament format?

Glass: It is an invitational so we invite as many of the top-ranked amateur players as are available. The field consists of many juniors (up to age 18), mid-amateurs (19-25) and some seniors (50+), along with collegiate players. While it is an invitational, we still receive more than 150 applications to play.

Can you talk about the host course and the relationship with Naples National?

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I know the charitable impact is important. Can you tell us about that?

The net proceeds are donated to Naples based children’s focused charities. The tournament has donated over $517,000 since it began.

Wednesday’s photos

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Winner of the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge to receive a 1973 Dodge Challenger Restomod

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Under new sponsorship, the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge which takes place at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, will have a special prize on offer for its champion – a fully restored and customized 1973 Dodge Challenger.

The vehicle pays homage to the year which Schwab Corporation was founded and is equipped with tartan fabric seats and custom glacier blue paint. The car will serve as a complement to the Leonard Trophy and tartan jacket awarded each year at the tournament.

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The tournament runs from May 23-26. In 2018, Justin Rose won the event by three strokes.

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Honma EVP John Kawaja on marketing, tour strategy, working with Justin Rose, and putting a rumor to bed

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John Kawaja, executive vice president at Honma golf, spoke with our Johnny Wunder in the latest edition of the Gear Dive.

The industry veteran touched on a number of topics under the marketing and tour strategy umbrellas, including plenty about staffer Justin Rose. And while the entire podcast is well worth your time, we understand that some WRXers are more textually inclined.

So, as we often do, here are a few highlights from the ‘cast.

On working with Justin Rose

Kawaja: Mark [King] and I have worked with Justin for many, many years…he’s a consummate professional. He is by far and away the best brand ambassador one could have when it comes to playing great golf, being a great spokesman for your brand and really knowing equipment, which is helpful for a company [that is]…trying to get better every day…”

What was a bit surprising, to be honest, is how quickly we were able to switch out the No. 1 player in the world to Honma equipment…we’ve got 11 clubs in his bag, including a driver that has a Honma shaft…that’s probably the biggest surprise…People were saying, “he’ll probably never play their driver.” And I’m not sure there are many people on the planet that would have bet he was going to play a Honma driver with a Honma shaft.

With Justin, everything is always in the pursuit of getting better. We’ve got a 47-degree wedge and a 52-degree wedge. We a 56-degree wedge in his bag for most of the year, but the 60-degree wedge, we’re working on. He has a certain feel and a sensation…all these guys have fantastic feel, but I think Justin is the most extraordinary I’ve worked with…so, we’re working on the wedges We’re working on CGs and bounce and grind and grooves and groove spacing…but until we can make something that’s better than what he’s got in his bag, we don’t expect him to change what he’s playing.

He’s really happy with the irons. He’s delighted with his long iron…that is a prototype of a set that we’re introducing in June called the Tour World X iron…fairway woods, we actually haven’t even started…we’ve just been focused on other parts of his bag. We don’t want to force him to feel like he needs to have 13 clubs in his bag…and we’re never going to touch a putter. But we’ve just started to work on fairway woods. Next time I see him, we’ve got some product for him to hit.

On the company’s approach to professional tours and what’s next

Kawaja: We wanted to start with Justin and…establish ourselves with the No. 1 player in the world…he’ll be the face on tour of our brand for the foreseeable future. Anybody that Justin has played with this year, we’ve heard from, because they’ve noticed what Justin has seen. We’ve worked with tour players–some of the non-contracted guys, some of the guys that are curious…We’re not in any rush.

We’re never going to have the tour presence that a Callaway, or a Titleist, or a TaylorMade have…but we do intend to grow our presence…we do want to have a few more players…we’re going to look for players that have global reach, and we’re going to look for younger players. Younger players are always riskier, but we’re looking at kids that are making the transition from collegiate golf to professional golf…we think that we’ll grow our tour presence next year…but one or two.

On the importance of a tour presence

Kawaja: I think it’s extremely important. It always has been. You could always correlate No. 1 on tour with No. 1 in the marketplace in literally every single category. That, I think, says enough. Golfers are, we may all be different, but I think there’s one thing in the psychology of a guy that calls himself a golfer…there’s a gene we all share, and that’s the aspiration to hit one like a tour player.

They’re the best influencers. It doesn’t matter social media followings or whatever…if you’re watching golf and following golf, they have an influence on the bags, on the apparel, on the look of most golfers.

On dealing with rumors in general and the suggestion Honma’s TW 747 driver is too hot in particular

Kawaja: Well, [the rumor] is simply not true. …Our core message is about the beauty of our products and not performance, so it’s kind of ironic people are worried our drivers are illegal. We’ve been making the highest-quality golf equipment for 60 years. We know what we’re doing. We’re not a startup.

I think I understand where it comes from. We’ve been working with several PGA Tour players. Universally, they’re seeing faster ball speeds with Honma. Not incremental gains, but two, three, four miles per hour…One of the big four equipment companies…they’ve seen these results…and unfortunately, that rumor started. And I don’t know how it started, but it’s hard to believe. It’s not true. And frankly, it’s bush league.

On the competitiveness of the tour environment

Kawaja: It is a competitive environment. I remember when we were over at the other place, we talked every day about what our competitors were doing, and we tried to beat the crap out of them every day…We’re kind of new out there. I think the people that are out there every week, there’s a kinship among the tour reps who are working with players and working the range every week…we show up, we’ve got the No. 1 player, we start to work with guys, guys are curious…it’s competitive…

I’m a competitive guy by nature from a business perspective and from a previous life [Kawaja is a two-time curling world-champion for Canada]…and we welcome the opportunity to work with more tour players and show them what we’ve got.

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