With the 2015 recreational PGA and LPGA golf seasons well underway, the following are a few issues to watch for:
1. It’s my opinion that the PGA, R&A and LPGA are about to announce the coming of a new Global World Tour (GWT) to commence in 2017.
2. The PGA will announce that the Seniors Champions Tour will continue allowing players to use anchored putting; however, it will become a thing of the past, and banned on Jan. 16, 2016, for the Regular Tour, whose players must then use the standard length putters.
3. The USGA will announce a maximum five-yard ball distance rollback commencing Jan. 1, 2016.
4. The Chinese, with their debt free cash development arrangements, will begin scooping up land in Brunswick County and eventually will receive approval to develop 5-star casinos and horse racing.
5. Playing golf will continue to be the only recreational sport offering incentives to play, like two free beers and lunch, with your green fee payment or at completion of round.
6. With the number of U.S. and International 20-something phenoms dominating Sunday’s winning circle on the PGA and LPGA, it will be a year of parity. The shut-out word will be: “Who’s that” when making reference to leaders, pairings or winners.
7. Watch for the PGA Players Policy Board to play a major input role in the naming of the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup players and Captain selections. It’s been reported, in the opinion of numerous Tour players, that they feel the current selection process lends itself to a built-in disconnect, allowing very little player input.
8. Expect major changes recommended from the newly formed 11 member U.S. 2016 Ryder Cup Task Force committee, especially toward more U.S. team onsite intimacy emphasis before and after play.
9. In our “time crunched society”, recreational golfers will have the option to play novelty golf using 8inch to 10 inch putting golf holes or standard play using 4-inch holes.
10. Various leveled lighted driving ranges will be built along the Strand by the Chinese.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach