The PGA Championship is officially changing dates starting in 2019.
A day after the Associated Press reported the tournament going to May beginning that year, the PGA of America confirmed the move. That means the 2019 PGA Championship, played at Bethpage Black, will mark the first time the event takes place in May in 70 years.
The PGA Championship will soon move from the year’s final major to its second of the year, and transition the PGA of America supports.
“The golf calendar is dramatically different, especially in the latter portions of the schedule, than it was in the 1970s when our PGA Championship took up residence in August,” said Pete Bevacqua, the PGA of America’s CEO. We are excited about this move to May. It provides our PGA Championship a strong landing spot on the calendar and a consistent major-championship rhythm that golf fans can embrace.
Along with that change, the PGA Tour announced the Players Championship will move back to its original March date starting in 2019.
As the AP reported, the catalyst for the PGA Championship’s move was golf’s return to the Olympics, which would force the PGA of America to adjust the date of its signature championship every four years if it stayed in August. There was also the PGA Tour’s desire to end the FedEx Cup Playoffs before the NFL season begins.
Moving up the Players and the PGA Championship, put the PGA Tour in a better position to reach that objective.
The PGA Championship’s move to May likely eliminates courses in the Northeast and Midwest from future consideration as PGA Championship sites. Bethpage Black, in Farmingdale, N.Y., is already on the 2019 docket, as is Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., for 2023.
But those were scheduled before the move to May. With the change in calendar, any upcoming PGA Championship years not already booked are unlikely to go to a track in the Northeast or Midwest regions.