Not to brag or anything, but in my last blog post I predicted (correctly) that the PGA of America would move the 2022 PGA Championship away from Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. I didn’t think it would happen this quickly (I tended to lean in the direction that John Feinstein indicated where it would be announced after Joe Biden was sworn in).
"The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster." — Jim Richerson, PGA of America President
— PGA of America (@PGA) January 11, 2021
So now it’s gone, and the R&A have also indicated that they have no desire to bring any of their championships to Turnberry.
Pretty clear. I don’t know if the USGA has put anything out (as of this writing they haven’t), or if there is an internal understanding that they will never pursue that option. Honestly either one works at this point, although on some level Trump has to know that he will never see another major championship (his course in Sterling, Virginia hosted the 2017 Senior PGA Championship and his course in New Jersey hosted the 2017 US Women’s Open) at one of his courses.
So what to do with the 2022 PGA Championship? My thoughts keep going to the idea that 2021 is going to be a ‘highly limited or no fans’ option (in which case you have options you otherwise wouldn’t have) and that Kiawah would be smart to agree to move to 2022, opening up this year. But, the logistics then become a nightmare. So, if you’re hosting it in May of 2022 (and Kiawah isn’t moving off of this year) and need a venue, here are my suggestions, in no particular order:
- Bethpage Black. It’s very much on the PGA’s radar, and is slated to host the Ryder Cup in 2025. In the same general area as New Jersey. A good trial balloon for security and routing come 2025, which should be bonkers. Going to a public course would be a good statement about accessibility of the game if that’s something the PGA of America cares about.
- Chambers Bay. Has the space to hold a major championship and by all accounts they don’t have the turf issues they had in 2015. Reminder that west coast events mean a prime time finish on the east coast. Also means thunderstorms aren’t really an issue. Do not let anyone from the USGA on course grounds unless they buy a ticket.
- Riviera. Move the Genesis Open to Sherwood for one year (which can accommodate fans), and play the PGA at Riviera. West Coast prime time finish on a course that everyone respects. May in California would be perfect.
- Hazeltine. One of those PGA shortlist venues that has hosted PGA-run events. May in Minnesota is a bit of a lottery weather-wise, but Minnesotans have long shown they will turn up for events.
- TPC Potomac. Not sure if the PGA would ever go to a TPC network course, but it’s shown it holds up to modern pros when you look at scores from the last year of the AT&T National. Not slated to host anything so not like nearby Congressional having to give up their course for renovations, then majors.
- Pebble Beach. It “has” hosted a PGA (1977). The ultimate in “plug and play” courses. Long history, everyone knows the course, and west coast takes thunderstorms (and dangerous heat/humidity) out of play.