When changes to the PGA Tour schedule occur, it typically doesn't mean a whole lot for us here at Golf Advisor.
But the shuffling of the major championships resulting in the PGA Championship moving to a May slot on the calendar is proving to be a big exception. This change matters for golf travel after all.
Specifically, it appears we're about to get a brand new major championship venue to play.
And a Gil Hanse design, to boot.
As originally reported last year by Art Stricklin at Golf.com and confirmed today by The Dallas Morning News, the PGA of America is moving its headquarters from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to Frisco, Texas.
Frisco, which is about 25 miles north of Dallas, is rolling out the red carpet with $160 million in economic incentives. Not only are jobs and two municipally-owned golf courses coming to Frisco, so, too, are big-time events. The AP reports two PGA Championships have already been scheduled.
As part of the agreement, the PGA Championship will be held at one of the two courses in 2027 and 2034. It will be the first time the PGA Championship is held in the Dallas area since Jack Nicklaus won his first Wanamaker Trophy in 1963 at Dallas Athletic Club. The PGA of America also said it would consider its new headquarters for a Ryder Cup.
Of course, hosting a major championship in Dallas in August wouldn't be ideal (Oklahoma and Missouri were plenty swampy). But May? Temperatures should be similar to previous "Texas Swing" events held in April-May. That isn't to say heat waves tipping 100 degrees won't happen, but the likelihood of more pleasant conditions is certainly better.
One other fun fact about the PGA and Texas: The 1968 PGA Championship was held in San Antonio at Pecan Valley Golf Club, a public course that met its demise in 2012. That year it was held in July, though the old-timers in my neighborhood here in Austin tell me summers weren't so bad 'round these parts back then.
For Dallas-Fort Worth, the new PGA HQ and resort creates another high-end, multi-course resort to go along with the Four Seasons Las Colinas (former host of the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson). Dallas and Houston have typically been lacking in great stay-and-play golf resorts compared to the Hill Country connecting San Antonio and Austin.
Meanwhile, still on the Texas news beat, another golf development is afloat again in the capital city. The City of Austin, which is currently in extended negotiations with the University of Texas over the fate of Lions Municipal Golf Course, is also revisiting the idea of two championship "PGA quality" courses on the city's east side. At least one would be designed by local legend Ben Crenshaw. When proposed originally in 2014 - unfortunately timed during the height of a historic drought and soon tabled - the suggestion was that it would vie for a major championship as well.
In other Austin developments, Dallas-based Omni Hotels, which will operate the PGA's resort in Frisco, is currently overseeing an extensive renovation at their 72-hole Austin golf resort, Omni Barton Creek. And in the Hill Country, Horseshoe Bay Resort is also in the midst of a big makeover.
Sawgrass move to March means a green course this winter
In 2019 and for the foreseeable future, The PLAYERS is moving back to a March slot on the schedule, ending a run from 2007-2018 when it was played in May. Holding The PLAYERS in May meant warm temps played on warm-weather bermuda turf. During these years, Sawgrass did not overseed in the winter months in order to keep its bermuda turf as healthy as possible. That meant that anyone playing the North Florida layout during the winter encountered a course with brown, dormant grass .
But the new date means it's time to welcome back green rye grass. Our own Mike Bailey spoke with the Sawgrass staff about details to the changes in this article posted this week.