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US PGA Tour is still stuck in an age of excess

The 2014 calendar is packed with too many tournaments that is only detrimental to golf.

On Monday, the US PGA Tour announced its abbreviated 2013 schedule as it implements changes to allow a transition into a split-calendar programme.

The season begins, as always, with the unaffected West Coast swing - the Hyundai Tournament of Champions through to the WGC-Accenture Match Play - and the FedEx Cup play-offs is only slightly disrupted with its "rest" week now residing in a slot after the Deutsche Bank Championship. The Presidents Cup returns just as the 2014 campaign begins.

Yes, next season's schedule - 2014 - is expected to tee off with the Frys.com Open on September 29, 2013, therefore offering very little downtime between seasons.

It is a move borne from necessity, yet when considering the FedEx Cup was apparently introduced to reduce an already hectic schedule and lighten the load on its golfers - nothing to do with its broadcast battle with American football, of course - the series always seemed hugely contradictory.

The Tour will not benefit from this ceaseless cycle. Constantly under pressure to maintain tournaments and attract sponsors, the decision makers at the Ponte Vedra Beach headquarters have missed a trick.

If the NFL does serve as a direct rival, a reason it remains more popular is its shortened schedule, where anticipation builds and matches demand full attention.

What happens if you miss a week of golf in the US next year? Just catch up the following Thursday. Monotony will replace the momentous.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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