NEW YORK – While most involved with this year’s Olympics considered golf’s return to the Games a success, the scheduling crunch the event caused were still a challenge for golfers and golf organizations.
The PGA of America played the PGA Championship two weeks earlier than it normally does in July, and on Thursday at the PGA’s annual meeting CEO Pete Bevacqua said planning is already underway to avoid future scheduling issues when the Games are played in 2020 in Tokyo.
“We are huge proponents of the Olympics. We are all about the Olympics, but we also have to protect the PGA Championship and we can’t just bounce the PGA Championship around every four years,” Bevacqua said. “That’s something that, with our peer organizations in the game, with the PGA Tour, the USGA, the R&A, and the European Tour, everyone has to share in the burden of what the schedule is going to look like in an Olympic year.”
The ’20 PGA Championship will be played at Harding Park in San Francisco, which gives the organization flexibility to hold the event earlier in the season. Some have suggested the ’20 PGA could be played as early as May, and Bevacqua said that option is “very much on the table.”
Whatever adjustments need to be made, however, Bevacqua stressed that it must be a collective effort among all of those organizations impacted by the Olympics.
“To truly make it work, to make it succeed and to make sure golf is in the Olympics for the next century, the whole schedule needs to be adjusted,” he said.