Top 5: Golf changes to look out for in 2017
2017 golf changes
For many years golf fans and experts have been saying that the sport has needed change. This year both the PGA and European Tour’s will be looking to increase their own and golf’s popularity by attracting new viewers and fans.
There will be new venues and new tournament styles on the PGA Tour. As well as this, the European Tour schedule will attempt to attract big names to it’s high profile events.
Both Tour’s have noticed the need to make changes in order to excite fans and attract the same anticipation as the Ryder Cup. Here are four of the changes that are coming to this years schedule.
Zurich Classic turns into team event for 2017
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana will become a two man team event that will contain 80 teams. The competition will feature two rounds each of foursome (alternate shot) and four-ball (best-ball) formats. The change will see the first and third rounds played as foursomes and third and fourth rounds played as four-balls.
The PGA Tour’s decision to change the format came after the success of one of the most anticipated Ryder Cup‘s in history. It will add a different format to the Tour and hopefully attract more fans to the tournament. Any prize money and FedEx Cup points from the event will go towards the final season standings and be split between the players.
The new idea of the pairs tournament has been a success amongst players. Ryder Cup duo Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson have already announced they will team up together and world number one Jason Day will partner Rickie Fowler in the event.
European Tour Rolex Series
The European Tour has added the Rolex Series to it’s schedule. It has been seen as one of the major advancements in the tours history. The series will add an extra $7 million to the prize fund available on the tour. Adding to the $8 million available through the World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The move has been made to increase the level of playing field. The series has also been put in place to try and offer players the same amount of money as the FedEx Cup.
In 2017 it will include the BMW Championship in May, Irish and Scottish Open’s in July and will end with the Italian Open in October.
Think back to the US Open last year and how Dustin Johnson’s penalty nearly cost his major dream again. Johnson’s ball oscillated on the fifth green he was only informed a few holes later. For the next 13 holes all players were wondering whether Johnson would receive a penalty and it put the USGA under intense pressure.
Both the USGA and R&A have come together to prevent the incident occurring again. The change in rule states that when a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.
The rule change was effective at the turn of the New Year. It will hopefully clear up any confusion and prevent a similar incident occurring like the one at the US Open.
WGC-Cadillac moves to Mexico City
The WGC-Cadillac will have a change of scenery in 2017. The PGA Tour announced in December that they were considering moving the tournament from Donald Trump’s Doral Golf Resort. It will be the first time since 2007 that the course hasn’t hosted the event.
The move to Mexico will become the latest country to host a WGC event. Spain, England, Ireland, United States, China have already hosted a WGC Event.
Courses to host maiden major
Erin Hills will host the US Open in 2017 having not hosted a PGA Tour event since opening in 2006. However, the course hosted the US Amateur Championship in 2011 and was won by American Kelly Kraft.
The course in Wisconsin is a public golf course bought by Andrew Zieglar in 2010. Erin Hills is a walking only course as it has no designated cart paths in order to keep the course in excellent condition.
The PGA Championship will be making it’s first visit to Quail Hollow this year. The course is famous for the “Green Mile” and has hosted the Wells Fargo Championship since 2003. Rory McIlroy currently holds the course record at Quail Hollow with a score of 61.