The Masters on Halloween? Golf Weighs Tradition Against the Calendar

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The United States Open, which airs on Fox Sports, would rather not ignore its plans to play an event at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County, NY this year early September will be weighed. But could there be a more challenging place to try and plan a big event right now than just outside New York City?

The P.G.A. Championship would also like to have its original location, T.P.C. Harding Park in San Francisco, where the weather is favorable even late in the year. But the P.G.A. also said it hoped that would play its championship "this summer", and in this difficult year there will be some status associated with the inaugural wave becoming major disputed – a privilege usually reserved for the masters. CBS has both rights to air.

Often considered the least prestigious major, the P.G.A. The championship may begin in early August, now that the Olympic Games in Tokyo have also been postponed. If it is workable and has been approved by health and government agencies, would that be too good to pass up?

Augusta National normally closes from mid-May to October due to the blazing temperatures of a typical Georgia summer. The club prides itself on playing tough and fast fairways and greens, conditions that may be more feasible in November than in October.

Augusta National also has the deepest pockets. It can make autonomous decisions that the other groups would struggle with, such as hosting the tournament without spectators if that would make it potentially safer. When corporate sponsors of the 2003 Masters television broadcast came under pressure from a heady controversy over Augusta National's then-male membership, the club briefly announced that it would be broadcasting the tournament without commercials, although it meant that millions of dollars in revenue had to be missed.

Organizing championships without spectators or, perhaps more relevant, without acres of on-site catering tents would be a more difficult decision for the other golf governing bodies, who are not used to losing eight digits at the end of a national tournament. That economic reality could lead to cancellations rather than postponement.

The PGA Tour naturally wants to resume its event program leading to the seasonally ending playoffs of the FedEx Cup, currently scheduled for August 13-30. Also keep in mind that the Ryder Cup, an international team event, takes place in Wisconsin in late September. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Ryder Cup was postponed for a year. Something similar may be in the offing.

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