The PGA of America will announce this week that its flagship event, the PGA Championship, will move to May starting in 2019, according to a Monday report from the Associated Press.
This move was expected and allows the majors to stretch their legs a bit with the PGA Championship as the second major each season instead of the fourth. Rather than the last three majors be bunched up in a seven-week span, they will be spaced out more with the Masters in April, PGA Championship in May, U.S. Open in June and Open Championship in July.
It will also allow The Players Championship, which is currently held in May, to move back to March, giving the PGA Tour five straight months of huge tournaments preceding the FedEx Cup Playoffs. It also gives the PGA Tour a little bit of flexibility to shorten the season and have everything end before football stars around Labor Day.
It's a win-win all the way around, though the PGA of America does lose some of its ability to go to more northern courses that would potentially be too cold to host a tournament in May. Now, perhaps host locations can expand to California or even Texas.
This will be tested in Year 1 of the move as the PGA Championship will be held at Bethpage Black in New York, although that didn't seem to be much of an issue for Golf Digest's Ron Whitten, who tested the track in May of this year.
Ultimately, I think this will be seen as a great move by the PGA of America for the sport. The golf season (especially on the PGA Tour) is far too long and any tightening that can be accomplished should be done. It also provides some leniency in Olympic years so we don't get a situation like we did last year where the final three majors are played in a span of seven weeks.
A formal announcement of the move is expected by the PGA of America later this week at Quail Hollow.