It’s May. Your local course is likely coming alive. There was probably a recent opening day or stag event, or else there will be one soon. The weather has turned. I hope you’re happy and excited about this. It’s a great time to start going outside and playing golf.

Or, OR, you could stay inside and invest your time in the professional game. This week, PGA Tour fans and/or semi-interested onlookers will be confronted with something called the CJ Cup Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch. Setting aside that the cup is actually a plaque, it’s a nonsensical melding of separate events offering the same appealing taste of a recent viral meme promoting a cocktail of Guinness and Monster Energy. From accounts on the ground and some photos we received, the course is in rough shape. The fairways are patchy in spots, collars are torched, and chunks of new sod clearly visible where they’ve been laid, Tetris-style, in different parts of fairways. A course being in so-so or rough shape at this time of year is not some unforgivable sin, and it’s maybe even expected. Superintendents cannot play god against the elements every year. But due to these conditions, there are rumblings the Tour may play ball-in-hand for the first two days thanks to a chance of some weather issues and an even greater chance of shouting and moaning from players should their lies be affected by substandard conditioning in any weather. 

The CJ Cup Byron Nelson. Even ignoring the underlying substance of the event, which is worth its own scrutiny, the name alone is an embarrassing indictment of a tour struggling to untangle what it actually is. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour’s would-be disruptor showed its own ass this week, with a big press release announcing its season-ending individual championship will head to a club paddling along in the exurbs of both Chicago and any list of adequate Chicago-area golf courses. That course is Bolingbrook, a daily-fee layout (admirable) that’s reputed to be substandard for amateur hack play, much less a pro event (not admirable). What an odd, seemingly random destination to select for your big, multi-million dollar finishing event. The Shark, as one sharp-witted Twitterer noted, succeeded in negotiating Bolingbrook down from their usual 100-person minimum for a shotgun-start outing.

Baby Shark, a witted Twitterer, noted that GolfPass (another product whose existence we’re trying to understand) rated it No. 1 in Illinois. So there’s that. But the press release read more like a confession.

This comes on the heels of last week’s Jupiter Links TGL reveal, which left everyone more confused than excited. That’s hard to achieve when you’re talking about something purported to occupy a good chunk of Tiger Woods’s future playing time. 

The CJ Cup Byron Nelson. Bolingbrook for many millions. Jupiter Links. It all feels like innovation for the sake of innovation, a bunch of supply for which no one bothered to confirm a demand. The Zurich Classic was up 26% this year thanks to a star-powered winner in Rory McIlroy. It still drew less than the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl between Miami University and App State. Even those peripheral bowl games carry themselves with so much less self-importance, entitlement, and pomp. They don’t crow about how they’re revolutionizing this or that in every press release.

Sorry to be blunt, but all of this stuff sucks. I feel broken down by it this week. This might read as negativity, but it’s much more straight-up apathy. If you enjoy it and want to go all-in investing your time or money in any of this, that’s perfectly fine. I won’t judge you. In my estimation, that time and money is better spent these days going outside to play your own ball. The pro game has a lot of work to do to convince us not to do anything else with our time. This week, it feels more like they’re actively trying to push us further in the other direction.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.