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Total makeover: Nationwide schedule to drastically change

Nationwide Tour
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One of the unintended consequences of the PGA Tour’s new fiscal-year schedule is the need for the Nationwide Tour to dramatically make over its lineup to make room for the new three-event finals series, which will replace Q-School as the primary avenue to PGA Tour membership starting in 2013.

Fresh off a 1 1/2 -hour meeting Wednesday morning to address the logistics of the changes Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee told GTC that the need to “move the schedule up a month” has created more than a few hurdles.

“A month less in the season doesn’t sound like much, but when you have TV windows, agronomic issues, there are a lot of things to consider,” Calfee said.

The Nationwide Tour traditionally begins its season in South and Central America before holding its first event in the United States in March. But the new schedule will require the secondary circuit completes its season before the beginning of the new fiscal season, which would begin after the Tour Championship in early October.

The Nationwide Tour schedule currently plays deep into October, which means many tournaments will have to be shifted toward the spring in order to make room for the finals series, which, Calfee said, would culminate at what is now the Nationwide Tour Championship.

Current stops in Louisiana, California and Georgia will probably need to be played in February and early March in order for the final series to be completed, and its 50 PGA Tour cards awarded, before the beginning of the new season.