Yes, I know technically, the PGA Tour season is a wrap-around season, starting in the early fall, but let’s be realistic, the real season starts this week with what is now known as the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
With most of the country suffering through freezing weather, this is the time of the year we get to watch in prime time, the best golfers in the world knocking it around the Plantation Course in Kapalula in wonderful weather with sensational vistas.
This could be one of the best years in recent history for the PGA Tour. The young guns are primed and ready for a big season. Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and Jordan Spieth have energized a younger generation of new golf fans unlike we have seen in a long time.
The trio have given a big dose of personality to the Tour, making some of the best players in the world seem like next-door type of guys. Using social media, they have shared their vacations – often with each other – and really make you feel like they are guys you could grab a beer or three with on a regular basis.
They are great with the fans – young and old alike – and have brought a fan base to the game that was sorely missing.
If that wasn’t enough, we have – hopefully – the return of Tiger Woods to the Tour. There are plenty of people that wish ill-will on Tiger and trash him every chance they get, but as I have said before, he moves the needle when he plays.
Even the young guns were energized when playing against and along side of Tiger in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in early December.
If Tiger can say healthy – and by every indication, he looked as healthy as he has in a long time, with a swing that appears to be less stressful on his body – he can not only play, but could be a contender to win tournaments again.
Numbers don’t lie and if Tiger is in contention in a tournament, the TV ratings soar. Imagine if Tiger and Thomas, Spieth or Fowler are paired in the last group of a tournament on Sunday. The interest will be off the charts, all of which benefits golf!
In addition to the regular Tour, 2018 is a Ryder Cup year and for the first time in a long time, the United States should enter the competition set for September 28-30 in France as the prohibitive favorite.
For years it has seemed the U.S. could only hope to stay close, but thanks to the infusion of young talent mixed in with savvy vets, the U.S. could dominate the event.
It all starts Thursday with TOC and I for one, can’t wait! Here’s to a sensational season, full of excitement on the Tour.
Cheers and hit’em straight this year!
By Dennis Miller