There's a lot to look forward to next year in the world golf...
10 Things To Look Out For In 2019
2019 looks set to be a massive year for golf, with broadcasts up in the air, new rules, a completely new schedule and much more.
Below, we list 10 things to look out for next year…
10 Things To Look Out For In 2019:
Tiger continuing on from where he left off
2018 has been a year for Tiger Woods to see if he could compete at the highest level again and he passed with flying colours.
He knows that his game is still more than good enough and next year for him is all about winning again, whether that be PGA Tour titles or majors.
The 14-time major winner admitted that he played too many times this year so expect him to play less events and peak for the big weeks.
World’s best to focus on March to August
With the new schedule, the world’s best will be playing almost exclusively from March to August, where each month will be hugely important.
Here’s how the big months will look –
March – The Players Championship
April – The Masters
May – USPGA Championship
June – US Open
July – The Open
August – FedEx Cup Playoffs
Four amazing Major venues
Yes The Masters always takes place at Augusta National and that is one of the world’s greatest courses, but there are three other awesome venues in the Major calendar next year.
Bethpage State Park’s Black Course will host the USPGA Championship, Pebble Beach will host the US Open and Royal Portrush and Northern Ireland hosts the Open Championship for the first time in 68 years.
Wentworth to attract a bigger field
With the schedule changes, the BMW PGA Championship may well get a bumper field next year.
The likes of Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey and more have given it a miss in certain years, although 2019 could be the year where they all tee it up together.
The PGA Tour will be done and dusted by the end of September and the BMW PGA Championship takes place three weeks later, giving plenty of time for big name Europeans to rest up and play.
This three week gap also means that some Americans, usually criticised for not playing, may opt to tee it up in the European Tour’s flagship event as well.
Rory to give up European Tour membership
The four-time major winner has hinted that he’ll be giving up his European Tour card next year as he focuses on that crucial March to August spell.
During that period, he’ll only be playing in the European Masters and Scottish Open according to reports, so he’ll need to play two more after September to keep his card.
He could easily play two, like the BMW PGA Championship and one of the finals events like the DP World Tour Championship, however that currently looks unlikely.
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More free agents?
All four majors this year were won by players without full-bag equipment contracts and that may well continue in 2019.
Ryan Palmer recently said on the GolfWRX podcast: “You know, honestly, some of the contracts aren’t worth what the money we’re playing for.”
With the emergence of Nike as an apparel and shoe only brand, many players are earning so much from those contracts that they don’t need to sign equipment deals.
New Rules of Golf
From 1st Jan 2019, the new Rules of Golf come into play.
We’ll be doing things like putting with the flag in, repairing spike marks, dropping from knee height and searching for our strayed golf balls for a maximum of three minutes.
Tour players putting with the flagstick in
The new Rules, of course, also apply to Tour Pros and we can expect to see players on our TVs putting with the flagstick in.
Bryson DeChambeau is one of them, after a study on the Coefficient of Restitution.
Padraig Harrington to be announced as Europe’s 2020 Ryder Cup captain
After Lee Westwood removed his name from the hat, Padraig Harrington became the overwhelming favourite for the job.
The Irishman has won the USPGA Championship, run by the PGA of America who also run the US side of the Ryder Cup, as well as three other events in the States.
Harrington has been a Vice Captain in the last three Ryder Cups and made six appearances during his career as a player.
UK major broadcasts
This year saw Sky give up the rights to the USPGA Championship for the second straight year, with coverage going over to Eleven Sports after the BBC showed 2017’s tournament.
As it stands, we’re unsure whether Sky have got the rights to show The Masters either.
After agreeing a deal to show the 2018 tournament, there was no announcement about future years.
The USPGA Championship still doesn’t have a UK broadcast partner either.
What other things can we expect to see in 2019? Let us know on our social media channels