Photo courtesy of

The summer of 2016 altered the men’s golf major championship landscape in many ways. A little event called the Summer Olympics took place in Brazil and for the first time, golf was included in the competition. Adding another major golf event to the LPGA and PGA Tour season proved to be very challenging for all of the governing bodies;  there just wasn’t room to bring in another championship for the Top 50 players in the world mid-season. In the end, something had to give, and that something was the PGA Championship. 

What looked like a forced move on behalf of the Olympics and FedEx Cup playoffs has turned out to be major opportunity. I remember volunteering for the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. The Brazil games moved the PGA Championship to late July. It seemed odd at the time that a first-year event would move “Glory’s Last Shot.” Remember that PGA Championship slogan?  Move the PGA did, and it ended up in late July, right after the Open Championship, and now prior to the Olympics. 

As it turns out, it didn’t work, and the Allied Associations in golf came together. By the time we reached the 2017 PGA Championship, there was a plan. Then PGA of America CEO, Pete Bevacqua, announced the PGA Championship would be moving to May. The initial reaction from the golf world was mixed at best. In golf, change is a four-letter word. Yet, Pete and the PGA said they wanted to moving to May- and they did. 

It took a couple years to make the move, but in 2019 the 101st PGA Championship was played at famed Bethpage State Park outside of New York City in… May. Critics of the new schedule were still all over the PGA even leading up to the 2019 Masters. You can’t change the “Major” schedule. Well, change it they did, and believe it or not, they were rewarded for their courage. The 2019 PGA Championship become the most anticipated major Championship in decades once Tiger captured his 5th Green Jacket in Augusta that April. The speculation disappeared, and what followed was an outpouring of support for Bethpage Black. 

Being decisive can be difficult. It takes courage, thoughtfulness, and confidence to make a move like PGA of America team did. The 2019 major season carried on, Brooks Koepka captured his second PGA title in a row, and the Championship had found its new home. As we know, 2020 and all of its challenges pushed the PGA back to, of all places, early August; a unique turn of events to say the least. The world’s largest sports organization rallied its resources and now kicked off the 2020 major campaign. 

Once again, the PGA was presented with a unique opportunity, and they took full advantage. They successfully managed the first major tournament of the year all while keeping everyone safe. The golf world appreciated the hard work of the PGA of America once again. More majors followed to finish 2020 and very soon we were back preparing for what was to come next in 2021. 

The PGA Championship has moved three times in the last five years. Through all of that turmoil, the best in the business of golf have risen to the occasion. Well, as this week unfolds, consider the recent story of this championship. Now, compare it to your own local golf schedule. Somehow, we have all continued on. A major part of the reason has been the same people who run the PGA Championship also run our tournaments. 

This unique connection has not only kept the golf world going, its growing! Change is inevitable in life and the PGA of America seems to have figured that out. Although they may not be able to control the wind at Kiawah, you can bet the rest of the details will be in order at the 103rd PGA Championship along with every other Stick and Hack tournament they run this weekend.

Keith Stewart

Keith Stewart is a PGA Professional and storyteller. He has built a unique marketplace perspective through two decades in the golf industry. As a professional, he has worked at many prestigious clubs on the east coast, most notably, Isleworth Country Club from 1998 to 2003, home to Tiger Woods at the time. Currently, Keith uses his talent as the host of the ProShow on ESPN radio across the New York City market. His expertise in the industry blended with a comedic pop-culture filter entertains his listeners. He's a 5-time award winning PGA Professional who brings credibility to any discussion covering the world of sports. Keith resides in Hopewell, NJ with his wife Laurie and their two kids Owen and Abbey. He's a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and an avid golfer.