A decision has yet to be made on potentially moving the PGA Championship to May, but PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua shed some light on his organization's thought process in a recent video aimed toward PGA professionals.
Momentum continues to build for a re-shuffle of the golf calendar, one that would see The Players Championship move to March, the PGA Championship shift to May and the playoffs conclude by Labor Day to avoid ratings conflicts with the NFL. Bevacqua explained that the PGA of America began an "analysis" of date options four years ago, when it became clear their tournament would be affected every four years by golf's inclusion in the Olympics.
Last year's PGA was moved back to July, two weeks before the men's golf competition at the Rio Olympics.
"We started an analysis in earnest about what would be the best date or potentially the best date for the PGA Championship, bearing in mind that the championship in its now over 99-year history has been played in nine of the 12 months," Bevacqua said. "So it's not as though we've always played the championship in August."
According to Bevacqua, that analysis was "quite frankly really accelerated" 10 months ago when the PGA Tour came to the PGA of America with the proposed move of The Players to March and the PGA to "late May."
"We started to go through the process of weighing the pros and cons of an August date versus a May date," he said. "The world is changing around us. With the Olympics, with the potential changes to the FedExCup. And then you start to think about a PGA Championship conducted in May. What other parts of the country could that open up? Following the Masters and now being the second of the four majors instead of the fourth. A stronger television market."
Bevacqua reiterated that a decision has not yet been reached, and he plans to disuss options with the board of directors at the PGA Professional National Championship later this month. He added that while the organization's best interests come first, they would also consider "what's in the best interest of the overall golf calendar."
The BMW PGA Championship would likely be impacted by moving the PGA Championship to May, and last month at Wentworth European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said that he "anticipates" the switch will happen and expects a decision by the end of August.