The COVID-19 PGA Tour

As we know, the PGA Tour is optimistically coming back in early June, and the first four events (at least) will be without fans. That will be a change (and Brooks Koepka was his usual candid self in acknowledging that fans not being there means more balls will get lost — both because they won’t ricochet off the fans and grandstands, but also because fans won’t help them look for balls.

Welcome to our world, Brooksie!

But this tweet this morning caught my eye even more:

As the kids say, HUBBA-WHAA? (Note: Fairly sure the kids don’t say this.) The “Brown” referenced here is Len Brown, EVP/Chief Legal Officer of the PGA Tour, so this isn’t a random thought, it reflects the tour’s thinking here.

Color me INTRIGUED. Players pulling their own clubs (so…no caddies? Or they carry the bag but don’t touch the clubs?) is wild, man. If they putt with the flagstick in, but the cups aren’t raised (that would be … astonishing if they were), there’s still a chance that multiple people are touching the flagstick, right?

No rakes in the bunkers is just the goddamn BEST, though. I can not wait to see how mature, calm golfers like Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed or Bryson DeChambeau react to finding a ball wedged into a footprint. (Well, we know how Reed will deal with it, he’ll just improve his lie.) The temper tantrum potential is off the charts here.

Just wait…Sergio could bring this performance STATESIDE.

I played last weekend for the first time with the social distancing rules, and the bunkers were a goddamn fire zone. I landed in maybe three bunkers and didn’t have a lie that wasn’t in a clear footprint. I considered calling in CSI to take footprint casts to try and determine the make and size of the offending golfer, but the reality is … you don’t like it? Don’t hit it there. Honestly, it will be interesting (at least to me, don’t judge) to see which golfers just walk straight out of the bunkers like they’re used to, and which will try and improve the bunker with their FootJoy’s.

And honestly, this is all in good fun but let’s think this out — how long will this last? The Masters doesn’t even like it when sand gets splashed out of a bunker onto a green. We’re going to buy that they’ll let the outcome of the tournament be decided because a green isn’t immaculately raked? Or that someone loses by a stroke because their golf ball wasn’t found by a patron, or there was no backboard (grandstand) behind the green? I remain skeptical.

But I’ll surely be watching.

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