There are myriad reasons why golf’s governing bodies already lock in their major championship venues. A good deal of planning is required to complete one of the four biggest tournaments of the year, not least ensuring that the course is up to top sports standards.
Other factors are also included, such as hotel rooms, volunteers, hospitality, and ticket sales. It is a multi-dollar effort.
This is why Trump’s decision to America’s PGA on Sunday night to cut ties with the National Bedminster and move the 2022 PGA Championship to another location may be appropriate for the “brand”, but comes with many questions is.
Where to go
Many possibilities have already been raised. Here are some thoughts to make.
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Home to the PGA Championships in 1996, 2000 and 2014 as well as the 2008 Ryder Cup, it would be the easiest call for the PGA of America, which owns the venue. This reduces the financial burden on the organization, which played the PGA Championship without an audience in 2020, and the revenue-heavy Ryder Cup had to be postponed for a year.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course is already scheduled to host the 2024 PGA Championship, so some shuffling may be required. But Valhala seemingly would step in at short notice. It offers better weather prospects than other New York-area sites that could replace New Jersey’s Trump National Bedminster.
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
There was also the 2001 US Open at Southern Hills, the site of Tiger Woods’ 13th major title at the 2007 PGA Championship, won by Retief Gosain and the 1994 PGA Championship by Nick Price. Tommy Bolt (1958) and Hubert Green (1977) also won the US Open in Southern Hills.
The course has already been awarded the 2030 PGA Championship and is set to host this year’s Senior PGA Championship. Therefore the PGA of America has a solid working relationship with the club, which will make a quick turnaround easier. What could be the problem is that the Senior PGA and PGA Championship are close to such. The weather may, again, be in its favor.
Farmingdale, New York
The brutal public venue, the site of Brooks Kopka’s 2019 PGA Championship victory, has been battle-tested, hosting the 2002 and 2009 US Open. It is scheduled to host the Ryder Cup in 2025, so that could be a problem for the PGA. But if it wants to hold the tournament in the New York area, Bethpage makes sense.
Location: Springfield, New Jersey
For reasons similar to Bethpage, it may be an option for the PGA due to its proximity to New York. A staff had already been assembled at the 2002 PGA’s field plan in Bedminster. For logical reasons, these places can be considered. In 2016 Jimmy Walker’s site PGA win, Baltusrol, was awarded the 2029 Championship.
Location: St. Louis
The fact that Bellerive has not already been barred for future PGAs is interesting given the monumental success that was won by the 2018 PGA Brooks Kopka. St. Louis golf fans came full force and returned happily.
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
The venue that required all golf clubs to host racially diverse tournaments (PGA was played there in 1990) is back. It was the site of the 2018 US Women’s Open. And it can do its job in the PGA Championship rotation, if not in 2022 if there is a reshuffle elsewhere.
TPC Harding Park
Location: San Francisco
It will be a make up for the people of Northern California, who were denied the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Championship due to the epidemic. This seems unlikely, but Harding Park now has neither the President’s Cup nor the PGA Tour event in the future. If other courses are rescheduled, it may be worth altering rotation as well.