It's hard to win on the PGA Tour. Most tournaments are close, determined by just a few shots here and there. Throughout the course of a PGA Tour season, there are a number of sudden-death playoffs, where golfers are tied after 72 holes of golf.
In recent memory, there has seemingly been an increasing number of sudden-death playoffs on the PGA Tour. However, some seasons stand out more than others for the sheer number of playoffs in a season.
The PGA Tour record for the most playoffs in a season is 18, set back in the 2011-2012 season. In the 2014-2015 season, there were 17 playoffs.
Both of those seasons surpassed the 16 sudden-death playoffs in 1988 and 1991.
The original playoff-laden schedule was in 1972, when there were 15 playoffs on the schedule.
The PGA Tour playoff format for almost every event is sudden death, playing hole after hole until one player is left standing with the lowest score on a single hole. However, The Players Championship playoff format is a three-hole, aggregate-score playoff.
The playoff format in the major championships is not controlled by the PGA Tour but rather by the presenting body. The Masters playoff format is sudden death. The US Open playoff format is a two-hole aggregate-score playoff. The British Open Championship playoff format and PGA Championship playoff format are a three-hole aggregate-score playoff.
Most playoffs in a single PGA Tour season
- 2011-12: 18
- 2014-15: 17
- 1988, 1991: 16
- 1972: 15
- 2004: 14