The PGA Championship appears to be changing dates in the near future.
The Associated Press reports that the year’s final major will be moving from August to May starting in 2019 (the tournament will be staged at Bethpage Black that year). This will mark the first time the event is played in May in 70 years.
This move has been rumored for some time, and the idea would include the Players Championship switching from May back to its former March date as well.
No official word from the PGA of America has yet come down on this report, but the AP notes that the organization may discuss details here as soon as Tuesday.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan spoke about the potential benefits of the PGA moving to May earlier this year.
“Let me just say this,” Monahan said. “(PGA of America CEO) Pete (Bevacqua) and the PGA of America have a tremendous focus on the 28,000 club professionals in our country. The golf season for a lot of people is more relevant early in the season than late in the season. So if you’re focused on job creation and growth of the game, and really energizing the start on the participatory side and the professional side, that’s something that might be interesting to you.”
The AP also reports that the catalyst for the move was golf’s return to the Olympics and the PGA Tour’s desire to end the FedEx Cup Playoffs before the NFL season begins.
The move to May likely eliminates courses in the Northeast and Midwest from future consideration as PGA Championship sites. Bethpage Black, in Farmingdale, N.Y., is already on the 2019 docket, as is Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., for 2023.
But those were scheduled before the move to May. With the change in calendar, any upcoming PGA Championship years not already booked are unlikely to go to a track in the Northeast or Midwest regions.