Imagining a 52-week world golf tour
European Tour PGA Tour

Imagining a 52-week world golf tour

BY Michael Urann

The World Cup of Golf lacks some of (ok, all of) the gusto of it’s futbol counterpart.


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So when Matt Kuchar said in a Australian Masters news conference that he believes a true world tour – from the Greg Norman idea that Tim Finchem outright stole – will come to pass during his playing days, only a few fans of the new wraparound tour schedule noticed.

The idea is almost laughable considering Kuchar’s partner for the World Cup, which features a purse of $8 million, is Kevin Streelman. Yes, the 20th ranked American in the world was the highest-ranked player Kuchar could convince to partner with him at one of the world’s great golf courses, Royal Melbourne. So it seems far-fetched that a 52-week World Tour could attract even a modicum of the world’s best players regularly when the Tour’s best players are only playing 15-25 weeks each year.

RELATED: What a global tour might look like

However, it does pique the interest of a keen golf observer as to which of the current tournaments on every tour would survive a merger of all their current incarnations. It’s guesswork for sure but taking tradition, financial obligations and, most importantly, travel into consideration, it’s plausible to generate a realistic schedule that will, despite Kuchar’s sentiment, probably never happen.

Some ground rules for a World Tour schedule:

1) Travel is paramount. If possible there should never be less than four tournaments in a row played in a region. Attracting top players for one week and 5,000-plus mile travel is unrealistic.

2) Seasons must be considered. Even if we wanted to move the Masters to June, Augusta National closes it’s guard gate a few weeks after the green jacket ceremony until October. And you clearly can’t play the Scandinavian Masters in December unless you want to use orange balls and sled dogs as caddies.

3) Having the game played on every continent is important. There can be opposite-field events on different continents or in different time zones but the most year-end points must be awarded to the main field events to justify their existence.

4) We’re keeping a playoff format since both the PGA and European Tours are currently using one. Again, the only stipulation is that the World Tour events must have at least 150 percent the available points as opposite field events.

5) Because of the issue of seasons, a wraparound schedule is mandatory (unfortunately).

6) For the hell of it, the week after the PGA Championship and before the first playoff event, we’re putting on a two night Skills Challenge for network TV. Who wouldn’t want to see long drive, putting, short game and accuracy contests in primetime with the world’s best players? This location on the calendar is a welcome respite after the PGA and allows a weekend break before the playoffs (encouraging players to play all playoff events). Golf has to have its All Star Game Home Run Derby. This is it.

7) The portion of the schedule between the Ryder Cup and November 1 is the time to grow the game in South America and/or other regions. No points will be awarded but at least two sponsored Tour events should take place there.

8) Finally, the PGA Championship will now become a wandering major. The region and the events around it depend on the region that it’s played in, including the first playoff event.

Without further adieu, this is how the schedule would look beginning January 1, 2014

DatesEventRegion
Jan. 9-12Dubai Desert ClassicMid East
Jan. 16-19Abu Dhabu ChampionshipMid East
Jan. 23-26South African OpenSunshine
Jan. 30-Feb. 2Dunhill Links Championship (SA)Sunshine
Feb. 6-9Hawaiian OpenN. America
Feb. 13-16Los Angeles OpenN. America
Feb. 20-23Pebble Beach Pro AmN. America
Feb. 27-March 2Phoenix OpenN. America
March 6-9THE PLAYERSN. America
March 13-16Byron Nelson ClassicN. America
March 20-23Colonial InvitationalN. America
March 27-30Doral OpenN. America
April 3-6Arnold Palmer ClassicN. America
April 10-13U.S. MastersN. America
April 17-20Match Play ChampionshipN. America
April 24-27Portugese OpenEurope
May 1-4Spanish OpenEurope
May 8-11French OpenEurope
May 15-18BMW Championship (UK)Europe
May 22-25Canadian OpenN. America
May 29-June 1Quail Hollow ChampionshipN. America
June 5-8The MemorialN. America
June 12-15U.S. OpenN. America
June 19-24Wash D.C. Invitational (AT&T)N. America
June 26-30BMW International (DEUT)Europe
July 3-6Irish OpenEurope
July 10-13Scottish OpenEurope
July 17-20The OPEN ChampionsshipEurope
July 24-27Scandanavian MastersEurope
July 31-Aug 3Dutch OpenEurope
Aug. 7-10WGC (Formerly Firestone)Same as PGA
Aug. 14-17PGA ChampionshipVarous
Aug. 21-24SKILLS CHALLENGESame as PGA
Aug. 28-31PLAYOFF EVENT #1Same as PGA
Sept. 4-7Boston/NYC PLAYOFF EVENT #2N. America
Sept. 11-14Midwest/West Coast PLAYOFF EVENT #3N. America
Sept. 18-21The TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPN. America
Oct. 2-5Ryder CupVaries
Oct. 9-12Dunhill Links (UK) -- NO POINTSEurope
Oct. 16-19Argentina Open -- NO POINTSS. America
Oct. 23-26Brazil Open -- NO POINTSS. America
Oct. 30-Nov. 2Korean OpenAustralasia
Nov. 6-9Japanese OpenAustralasia
Nov. 13-16HSBC Champions ChinaAustralasia
Nov. 20-23Malaysian OpenAustralasia
Nov. 27-30Australian MastersAustralasia
Dec. 4-7Australian PGAAustralasia

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