Did you know…? It’s the USPGA Championship this week!
Just 2 short weeks after Francesco Molinari dominated The Open at Carnoustie, and a flying visit to the WGC Bridgestone, the top players in the world find themselves preparing for the final major of the year. It’s a whirlwind time of year for professional golf, with Majors and big events happening all around the world.
Surely though, we can’t be the only ones that haven’t really felt a buzz that a Major Championship would bring. It’s always easy in Britain to get worked up for The Open; it’s not every week that the world’s best come to this part of the world to play golf. Yet this week has seen very little build up. This has to be down to the lack of TV coverage….in fact; you’ll find absolutely no live coverage of the event on TV whatsoever. Instead, the whole week is available to be streamed via Eleven Sports – a revolutionary concept, similar to the likes of Netflix, where people pay a monthly (or yearly) subscription to stream exclusive sporting events. As people’s viewing habits change to this more on-the-go lifestyle, this, in theory, could be the way to go. However, with very little promotion or build up, I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people around the world confused as to where their regular golf coverage has gone.
One thing this does highlight is how well Sky Sports have done with their golf coverage, even dedicating a channel specifically to the sport we all love so much. This wall-to-wall showing, with special shows such as masterclasses on the range or live showing of the practice days, seems to have captured the golfing world, and has now set the bar for what we as viewers both want and expect.
Is it possible though that the lack of excitement towards the final Major of the year is simply because of the event itself. It doesn’t seem to have the same history and heritage as the other three – The Masters with its traditions and being hosted at the same course each and every year, The US Open with its typically tough conditions and The Open Championship that almost combines the two. Now, the PGA Championship just feels like a WGC or season-ending play off event. Yes all the big names are there, but just the feel of the week doesn’t feel as special as it should. There’s been several ideas thrown around recently, these include: expanding the possible host locations to make it more of a worldwide event (rather than having three majors in America), or maybe even change the format of the event to give it a fresher and more appealing look, or possibly try and spread the gap between Major Championships to make them more special.
No matter what, one thing is guaranteed – there’s bound to be some high class golf!