The PGA Tour will require most of its players to diversify their schedules starting with the 2016-17 season.
According to Golf Channel, the PGA Tour Policy Board has approved a new rule, dubbed the Strength of Field Regulation, compelling players to add an event to their schedule that they haven't played in during the previous four seasons.
With most top players competing anywhere from 20-25 times per year on the PGA Tour, adding an event isn't that onerous. However, rank-and-file players will largely fall out of the purview of the rule. Players who make 25 or more starts in the current or prior season and life members of the PGA Tour -- players with 20 or more wins, like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson -- will not be subject to the rule.
The majors and limited-field events, like the World Golf Championships and FedEx Cup playoff tournaments, won't be included in the policy.
Players who violate the rules will be subject to a fine of at least $20,000 or a possible suspension.
The idea somewhat mirrors the LPGA Tour's long-standing One-in-Four Rule, requiring players to compete in each event on the schedule every four years. The PGA Tour's new policy is not that ambitious, but the PGA Tour schedule typically has around 45 events on it, so asking players to get through it all, even with the exclusions made for majors and limited-field events, would have been a tough sell.
JOIN GNN PLUS AS AN ANNUAL MEMBER & YOU'LL GET:
- A FREE USGA handicap ($30 value, annual members only)
- Entry into member-only giveaways
- Special discounts and member benefits
- An ad-free experience
- Equipment testing data
- Exclusive fantasy golf and betting research