Why this Tour pro would shorten the PGA Tour season

The days are long, but the PGA Tour season is longer.

In 2021, the PGA Tour is embarking upon its self-proclaimed “super season,” a 12-month marathon packed with the most events of any season ever. Of course, some of that is owed to the Covid-shortened 2020 season and the bevy of significant events (including a pair of majors) that were postponed to after the Tour Championship. But some of it is owed to the Tour, which has managed to create more alternate-field events and spread its growth further throughout the golf world with the help of its relentless schedule.

Sure, the season length is promising for competitive balance and for the financial health of the Tour, but what about for the players?

On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, Keith Mitchell explained to hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz why if he could make one change to the PGA Tour, it’d be to shorten the season.

“I would just say to make the fall series shorter,” he said. “This year I had, what, four weeks off? You look at every other major sport, they have time off.”

Mitchell says he understands the financial ramifications make such a decision unlikely, but he wonders if, in the Tour’s case, less is more.

“We could lose sponsors, we could lose market share, but it’s a lot of golf,” Mitchell said. “It never ends. I think that’s why you see so many young guys coming up and their stamina’s better.”

But there’s a flip side to Mitchell’s argument, too — older players are routinely competitive at major PGA Tour events. If the season is too long, how are those 40-somethings able to survive? Mitchell argues that only underscores his point.

“The fact that you see guys like Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk and Brian Gay competing at 40-something years old against us and traveling that much and playing that much,” he said. “It’s insane. It’s amazing.”

To hear the rest of Mitchell’s Subpar interview, including his prank war with Phil Mickelson, check out the video below.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.