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Everything you need to know for 2022

10 Min Read


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MARCH 14:  Justin Thomas plays his approach shot near the water on the 18th hole fairway during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 14, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MARCH 14: Justin Thomas plays his approach shot near the water on the 18th hole fairway during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 14, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

A primer on all that’s new in the New Year

    Written by Sean Martin @PGATOURSMartin

    A new year is upon us and, to serve you, the good reader of PGATOUR.COM, we offer this primer to get you ready for the PGA TOUR in 2022.

    We’ll get you caught up on the current PGA TOUR season and let you know about the biggest changes ahead. Enjoy. It’s going to be a great year.

    Q: What are some of the highlights of the season thus far?

    It was an eventful fall. Rory McIlroy earned his historic 20th PGA TOUR win. Hideki Matsuyama added a win in his homeland to his reign as Masters champion. Max Homa once again proved that Twitter is just his second-best skill, winning for the third time in less than three years. Young stars Sam Burns, Sungjae Im and Viktor Hovland added to their impressive resumes and Lucas Herbert became the latest Aussie to win on TOUR.

    But the name to know is Talor Gooch. He’s the FedExCup leader and a player who looks ready to reach the next level. He has played six times this season, and finished T11 or better in all but one of those starts. That includes his first PGA TOUR win at The RSM Classic, the final official event of 2021. Gooch had six rounds of 64 or better in the fall; no one else had more than three. One of those came in the RSM’s final round, where he shot an impressive 64 after starting the day with the first 54-hole lead of his TOUR career.

    Gooch’s win is a testament to patience and perseverance. He won just a few days after turning 30, and five years after a tough start at Q-School had him wondering if he’d need to work at Best Buy to fund his career. Former Oklahoma State teammate Wyndham Clark calls Gooch “a gamer.” Some of Gooch’s best finishes have come alongside the game’s biggest names.

    After having his appendix removed in the midst of the 2018 season and starting 2019 with conditional status, he finished third at the Farmers Insurance Open. Only Justin Rose, the reigning FedExCup champion and World No. 1, and Adam Scott beat Gooch that week. He tied Hideki Matsuyama, while McIlroy, and Jon Rahm and Jason Day finished directly behind him.

    Gooch finished fifth at this year’s PLAYERS, the tournament with the game’s strongest field, behind only Justin Thomas, Lee Westwood, Bryson DeChambeau and Brian Harman. And earlier this fall, Gooch shot a final-round 62 in THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT to get in the mix with McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and his fellow Oklahoma State alum, Rickie Fowler.

    Oh, and in case you somehow missed it, Tiger Woods is swinging a golf club once again. Though he said his future is as a part-time TOUR player, just seeing him play alongside son Charlie again was one of 2021’s top moments.

    Q: Speaking of Tiger …

    This will be the year that his incredible career is immortalized in the World Golf Hall of Fame. He’s one of four people who will be inducted March 9 – the eve of THE PLAYERS Championship – at PGA TOUR Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Also being inducted this year are former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning and former U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and course developer Marion Hollins.

    Among the items that Woods donated for display in the World Golf Hall of Fame are trophies from all four majors – his three wins in 2000, as well as the 1997 Masters – and lesser-known items, like a plaque from his first hole-in-one (at age 6!) and his MVP trophy from the 1992 Western High School golf team (we’re guessing he was a unanimous selection).

    Q: Are there any new rules I need to know about for 2022?

    I’m glad you asked. Golf’s newest rules will impact players’ performance with the longest and shortest clubs in their bags.

    The USGA and R&A announced in October that the new year will see a new local rule that caps driver length at 46 inches. Previously, clubs could be up to 48 inches long.

    Phil Mickelson used a 47.9-inch driver in his victory at the PGA Championship, and Bryson DeChambeau had a 48-inch driver in the bag for his Thanksgiving-week match against Brooks Koepka. DeChambeau will only be able to use it in his long-drive competitions from now on.

    Don’t worry, this rule does not cover all levels of golf. You can still pull out the big stick in your club championship. This is a local rule, which allows any tour to apply it to their competitions. The PGA TOUR will enact the rule in 2022.

    Another local rule taking effect Jan. 1 will render greens-reading books a thing of the past on the PGA TOUR.

    Players and caddies will use a “committee approved” yardage book that contains only general information about a green’s contours. Players can add notes to the books, but those must be based on first-hand observations on the course or during a telecast. Players cannot use tools or devices to measure the slope of greens and cannot add notes to their yardage books based on the use of such tools.

    “The purpose of this local rule is to return to a position where players and caddies use only their skill, judgment and feel along with any information gained through experience, preparation, and practice to read the line of play on the putting green,” read a memo sent to players by the PGA TOUR.

    Q: Where can I watch my golf?

    CBS, NBC and Golf Channel will still have your weekly telecasts. The biggest change is coming to PGA TOUR LIVE, which is moving to ESPN+. LIVE’s coverage will be tripled to more than 4,300 hours of live streaming. All PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will be available to ESPN+’s more than 17.1 million subscribers.

    The change will be evident right away. For the first time, PGA TOUR LIVE will cover the two Hawaii events that kick off the new year.

    Even more changes will be seen when the TOUR returns to the mainland. Beginning with The American Express, the third event of 2022, LIVE will feature four live feeds per tournament: the main feed, marquee group, featured groups and featured holes. The main feed will bring the best action from across the course. The marquee group will showcase every shot from the players in a single, premiere group. Featured groups, the traditional PGA TOUR LIVE stream, will concurrently show two top groups, while featured holes will show shots hit on the par-3s and iconic holes.

    When network television coverage begins, the four streams will pivot to two featured groups and two featured holes.

    If you have any more questions, this FAQ page is a good place to start.

    Q: Where are the majors being held?

    I don’t need to tell you where the first one is being played. The next three are visiting venues that are returning to the major rota after several years away.

    The PGA Championship is returning to Southern Hills for the first time since Woods’ win there in 2007. That event will be remembered for two things: Woods’ absolutely brutal lip-out on the final hole of his second round that denied him the first 62 in major history, and his duel down the stretch with Woody Austin. Southern Hills will have a much different look this year after undergoing a dramatic renovation from Gil Hanse.

    The U.S. Open returns to the Country Club of Brookline for the first time since Curtis Strange’s win in 1988, the first of his two consecutive U.S. Open wins. Brookline is best known as the scene of Francis Ouimet’s historic upset of Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in 1913 and as the scene of the United States’ record-setting comeback in the 1999 Ryder Cup.

    After a one-year delay, the 150th Open Championship will be played at St. Andrews, a fitting venue for a landmark Open. The one-year delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means it will have been six years since St. Andrews’ last Open, a win by Zach Johnson in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman. Oosthuizen won there in 2010, and Woods claimed the preceding two Opens at St. Andrews. This will be the 30th Open held at St. Andrews, and little has changed since its first one in 1873. The list of winners at St. Andrews includes many of the game’s greatest players, such as Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Bobby Jones, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Peter Thomson.

    Q: What else do I need to know about the schedule?

    The biggest change may lead many PGA TOUR players to spend a fortnight in Scotland this summer. As an outgrowth of the PGA TOUR’s strategic alliance with the DP World Tour, the Genesis Scottish Open is now co-sanctioned by the two circuits. The Genesis Scottish Open will be played July 7-10 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, one week before The Open at St. Andrews.

    The Scottish Open will count both towards the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai. Two events in the U.S., the Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship, also will be included in both season-long races.

    Another schedule change will see the Farmers Insurance Open end on Saturday, Jan. 29, to avoid conflicting with the NFL’s conference championship games. There will still be professional golf on Torrey Pines’ South Course that Sunday, however, as the APGA’s annual Farmers Insurance Invitational will be expanded to 36 holes and conclude Sunday on the South.

    In May, the Wells Fargo Championship will move from Quail Hollow Club for just the second time, but for good reason. The event will be conducted at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland, to allow Quail Hollow to prepare for the 2022 Presidents Cup. The only other time that the Wells Fargo wasn’t played at Quail Hollow was in 2017, when the course hosted the PGA Championship won by Justin Thomas.

    A week before the Wells Fargo, the TOUR will play a new event, the Mexico Open, at Vidanta Vallarta in Vallarta, Mexico. Though it is in first year as a TOUR event, Mexico’s national championship dates back to 1944.

    In June, the TOUR will return to Canada for the first time in three years after the previous two RBC Canadian Opens were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. McIlroy is still the defending champion after his thrilling 2019 win that included a final-round 61.

    Q: Anything new with the FedExCup?

    Yes, there is. The Playoffs kick off with a new event at a familiar venue, and the TOUR’s debut in a new state.

    The TOUR’s annual trip to TPC Southwind will now be the opening event of the FedExCup Playoffs. The FedEx St. Jude Championship will be the first of three Playoffs events, followed by the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship. The 2022 BMW will be played at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware; it will be the first PGA TOUR event played in Delaware.

    The FedExCup’s first prize also has been increased to $18 million. The total FedExCup payout for 2022 has increased $15 million to $75 million.

    Q. The U.S. Team kicked butt in the Ryder Cup. What’s next for them?

    Their sights turn to the Presidents Cup on Sept. 20-25 at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow. A familiar venue will be a welcome sight for the home team after its close call at Royal Melbourne in 2019. Davis Love III, a UNC alum, will lead the U.S. Team after captaining the 2012 and 2016 Ryder Cup teams.

    There will be new selection criteria for Love’s squad. Only six players will earn automatic spots. The captain will get to choose half the team. U.S. players have been earning points since fall 2019, but points are tripled this season, which means there’s still plenty of moves to be made in the standings.

    Trevor Immelman will assume the International captaincy after a successful stint by his countryman, Ernie Els. While the International Team didn’t win in 2019, Immelman will be seeking to continue the positive momentum from the previous Presidents Cup.

    Immelman has his own ties to Quail Hollow. He was runner-up in the 2006 Wells Fargo Championship, a finish that he said helped him to take a “big step” in his career. He won the Masters the following year.

    Immelman’s close friend, fellow South African Rich Davies, lives on the course, as well. Davies was a kicker at Clemson in the 1980s, and through him Immelman has become a fan of the Tigers and friends with coach Dabo Swinney.

    Sean Martin manages PGATOUR.COM’s staff of writers as the Lead, Editorial. He covered all levels of competitive golf at Golfweek Magazine for seven years, including tournaments on four continents, before coming to the PGA TOUR in 2013. Follow Sean Martin on Twitter.

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