On this episode of On the Green, I was joined by long-time friend and special co-host, Jeff Adams. Jeff and I worked together at the PGA TOUR for about 20 years, and he currently serves as the President of the Jacksonville Area Golf Association. Jeff and I sat down to talk about the upcoming PGA TOUR season and what fans might expect in 2022. Later in the episode, we were joined by Andy Pazder, the Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer at the PGA TOUR, to discuss the game of golf post-pandemic, the President’s Cup, and the future of golf.
Changes to the PGA Season
During the PGA TOUR’s 2021-2022 season, which stretches between September and August, there will be 50 events, which is the most since 1971 when there were 51. Out of these 50 events, 47 will be regular season events and three will be part of the FEDEX Cup playoffs. Another significant change this season is the purse payouts. The total payouts for the season—including the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Comcast Business Tour Top 10, Player Impact Program, and the Play 15 bonus—will be $838 million!
Jeff and I also discussed some changes to the PGA TOUR schedule. Three events—the Genesis Scottish Open, the Barbasol Championship, and the Barracuda Championship—will now award both FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai points. In addition, the Northern Trust will no longer be on the TOUR schedule after being one of the playoffs for the last couple of seasons. Taking its place is the FedEx St. Jude Championship which will be played at TPC Southwind in Memphis, the hometown of FedEx. The season will ultimately finish up at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta with the final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
There are four major championship events on the PGA TOUR, with The Masters being the only one held at the same venue every year.
Xander Schauffele has come so close to winning a major but has yet to do so. He was so close last year before losing it in the final holes on Sunday. Cam Smith finished in 10th last year, and in 2020, was the only player in Masters history to shoot four rounds in the 60s. He finished tied for 2nd.
This is going to be an interesting one at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This championship will have two of the longest par-5’s on the PGA TOUR.
The U.S. Open will return to The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts after 34 years. This championship will feature the 131-yard par-3 11th for the first time since Francis Ouimet’s landmark victory in 1913.
The Open Championship
St. Andrews, Scotland
The Open Championship returns to St. Andrews for the first time since 2015 when Zach Johnson won. The championship was first played at this location in 1873.
Interview with Andy Pazder
Later in the episode, Andy Pazder, the Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer at the PGA TOUR, joined us to give valuable first-hand insight into what we can expect on TOUR this year. He also shed light on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on both the PGA TOUR and the game of golf as a whole. When asked about the return of spectators to the TOUR, Andy said, “To get through 2020 as we did and gradually bring back fans is something we’re all proud of. To think we had a role in bringing back all professional sports is something we are also very proud of.”
Andy then filled us in on the 2022 President’s Cup, set to take place at the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. This will mark its first trip to the Southeastern United States in the event’s history! Speaking about the President’s Cup, Andy said, “I’m so excited! I can’t wait for it to get here. It’s nine months away, but it will be here before we know it. I hope we all get to see some really fantastic, top-play golf.” This year’s teams will be captained by Davis Love for the USA and Trevor Immelman for the World Team.
With 31 rookies this year, the PGA TOUR is set to have its largest rookie class ever. The ESPN+ deal, which quadruples the amount of golf available to fans, is also contributing to the growth of the sport. Overall, I think it’s safe to say the future of golf is very bright!
To hear more of my conversation with Jeff and Andy Pazder, tune into Episode 34 of the On the Green Podcast, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen!