It took the PGA Tour nearly 2,000 words to explain all of the new changes to their 2024 schedule, which was officially released Monday afternoon. That’s a lot of words for something that shouldn’t change much from year to year – but these are strange times in pro golf. This was not a regular schedule dump.
There are new events, new sponsors and new intrigue in some of the tour’s most important traditions. Here are six key takeaways from pro golf that we’ll see next year.
1. Get used to “signature events”
In the last 12 months there has been a resurgence from Elevated Events, a name change to Designated Events and now another change of nickname “Signature Events”. In short, these are the fields with last year’s best players and some of the year’s hottest players playing for the biggest purses on the schedule.
They start with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January and are spread throughout the rest of the calendar, with at least one signature event per month except in July. Add in the Players Championship in March, the four Majors in April, May, June and July, and then the three playoff events in August and we can do it generally Expect the top players to meet 16 times a year.
2. The events at Tiger, Jack and Arnie have continued to escalate
There are the Majors, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Players Championship, which are generally considered to be something special that stand out from the rest of the events on the PGA Tour schedule. Now we have another set of events that are a little more notable than the others.
The Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and Memorial Tournament will all be expected to be Signature Events, but they will also feature a 36-hole cut, a controversial piece of the tournament puzzle in 2023. Should a 70 to 80 players have a cut? Should sponsors benefit if the entire field makes it to the weekend? Those were the questions many golf pros debated this summer. With these three events we remain connected to this tradition.
Notably, the departure from tradition will be how these events award winners. For the first time, the winner of these tournaments will receive 20% of the prize money, up from the usual 18%. That means your 2024 Genesis Invitational champion will be holding a check for $4 million by Sunday night.
3. The money keeps getting bigger
Included in the press release was the fact that the winner of the 2024 FedEx Cup – the year-long battle for points culminating in the Tour Championship – will earn $25 million alone. That’s an increase of $7 million (38%) over 2023, meaning those birdies and bogeys down at East Lake are more valuable than ever.
When the bonus money is withdrawn we will inevitably ask the winner what they plan to do with that wealth. And we’ll likely witness another time-honored tradition then: the winner will no doubt struggle to respond with definitive plans for the batter. Why? Because I don’t really gamble for money, they will say. And that will be true and false at the same time.
In addition to the mega-funds available at the Tour Championship, the Comcast Business Top 10 – which rewards the top FedEx Cup players over the length of the regular season – will now award $40 million, double that, starting in 2023. That’s $8M to the regular season champion, which means if someone gets first place in all divisions, we could see their first $50M season of earnings on track.
4. Pebble Beach will look different on your TV
The golf course will look the same, don’t worry. But the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will look very different. First off, it will be a signature event and will feature a $20 million prize pool. It will be the first signature event, featuring the best players in the Fall Series and creating a real sweepstakes on one of the best golf courses in the world.
Most importantly, the feel of the event will change as the “Am” portion of the Pro-Am only takes place on the first two days of the tournament. For the past several years, weekend rounds of the Pro-Am have been a bit of a drag as the pace of play can falter and many amateurs play alongside the tournament’s leaders. Now those amateurs will be swept off the field as we move into the final two rounds. It will improve the TV product and possibly even improve the game. Who knows. But it will feel different in many ways.
5. New event(s), new sponsors, new locations!
The schedule may have been released on Monday, but it’s not fully finalized yet. The late-February event, which attends the PGA National in South Florida each year, will—at least for now—be called “The Classic at the Palm Beaches.” A sponsorship announcement for this event is expected in the coming months.
An additional event called the Myrtle Beach Classic is being held concurrently with the Wells Fargo Championship, providing another way to play for players outside of the Signature Series. This takes place at Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, SC.
A similar supplementary event will then take place later in the summer during the Scottish Open. We just don’t know where. In previous years, PGA Tour players who did not qualify or wished to commute to Scotland have been able to compete in the Barbasol Championship. This event no longer exists. What will take its place? We’ll see, but the tour has made room for a “TBA event” on their calendar.
6. The next 10 and the swing 5
These names will be for the nerdiest of PGA Tour nerds, but will still be important. They will decide who will join the FedEx Top 50 Players at all signature events in 2024 beginning in 2023. So, for example, you want to see Joel Dahmen play at the Wells Fargo Championship? Joel finished outside the top 50 this year, so he must qualify through the Next 10 or the Swing 5.
The Next 10 Is Simple: The next 10 players in the current season’s FedEx Cup leaderboard who have not yet qualified for a spot in the Signature Events will earn their way there through their final game. This will give players who perform well in January and February access to March’s signature events. And if they play really well, maybe they can keep that honor all summer long.
The Swing 5 ticks a slightly different box, awarding five spots in tournaments based on performance over a shorter, specific period of time: up to four events and only two between Signature Events. For example, players who play well at the Myrtle Beach Classic, the Charles Schwab Challenge, and the Canadian Open could advance directly from not participating in the “Signature” Wells Fargo Championship to a spot in the “Signature” Memorial tournament And the “Signature” Travelers Championship.
https://golf.com/news/6-takeaways-from-pga-tour-schedule-dump/ 6 takeaways from the official PGA Tour schedule dump