The second major on the men's golf calendar is here. No, it's not time for the U.S. Open. That's now the third major, still slotted to end in Father's Day on June.
Instead, for the first time, the second major of the year is the PGA Championship. As part of a big shake-up of the PGA Tour schedule, The Players Championship moved from May to early March. The PGA Championship moved from August to the middle of May, so that way the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs could conclude before Labor Day in August.
The result for the golf fan is a major calendar with the Masters in April, PGA Championship in May, the US Open in June and the British Open Championship in July. That's great news to have four consecutive months of majors, as well The Players before them in March and an August filled with the playoffs.
However, it's even more interesting news for golf bettors and punters. The nature of the golf majors schedule now has some serious implications on how we try to predict who's going to win the PGA Championship. Here are a few key changes:
- The second major of the year is now a month after the first, rather than waiting two months into June for the US Open
- The second major of the year now isn't the hardest major for scoring, rather it's likely the easiest and most like a regular PGA Tour event
Instead of looking for specialists for the difficulty of the US Open -- which has fast greens, a long course, plenty of rough and fast-and-firm conditions -- we are now somewhat left in the dark about how the PGA of America will set up their PGA Championship three months sooner than they've done for about 40 years. We believe the PGA of America will choose a setup akin to what they've done in the past, which is eminently fair and just slightly more souped-up or tricked-out version of your week-to-week kind of tour stop. It's like the Memorial Tournament, with some rough of note, some fast greens and a little bounce.
This year, though, the PGA of America is coming to Bethpage State Park's Black Course, with the facility becoming a PGA of America facility as it hosts this PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup. (Can't wait for that one!) The course has a certain reputation as being long, difficult and not all that much fun to play, except in the meta way of knowing that you're about to get clobbered for 18 holes. The PGA of America has to live up to that to some extent, or they'll upset fans watching in person and at home that are expecting some kinda bloodbath thanks to the 2002 and 2009 US Opens, although the '09 Open turned into a golf version of Woodstock with all the rain.
That all said, you need plenty of advice for the second major of the year. We're a great resource, but there are plenty of others out there to help you make your wagers for the PGA Championship, including the betting blog by 888 Sportsbook.
The next major is almost upon us, so don't wait to get prepared.