Did you know that Britain holds the record for the shortest war? The Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896 lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 minutes. This Fun Fact Friday is brought to you by the return of the European Tour.

News and updates

  • The European Tour released its updated schedule on Thursday morning. Six straight events in the UK will kick things off in July and August. After that, the tour hopes to branch out internationally.
  • In response to strict guidelines in the state of Illinois, the John Deere Classic has been canceled. Originally slated to be the first post-pandemic PGA Tour event to welcome fans, the Deere will likely be replaced by another tournament, potentially at TPC Sawgrass. Press Release

The Storylines

Shhhhhedule changes

After months of uncertainty, the European Tour has clarified its plans for 2020. Its first six events after the hiatus will be held without fans in the UK. Venues will include Celtic Manor (twice, on back-to-back weeks), the Belfry, and two Marriott properties. These tournaments will not require air travel, will involve only 500 essential workers at each location, and will offer on-site lodging for players and staff. For now, the tour is holding off on its September-November schedule, but it plans to hold four Rolex Series events during the final quarter.

Commissioner Keith Pelley and the European Tour appear to have handled all of this with real thoughtfulness. In the face of potential financial ruin, they took their time and did not rush to release updates. The result is a logical and feasible itinerary that puts safety first—and that makes the PGA Tour’s plan seem sloppy by comparison.

Another major bites the dust

Planned as the PGA Tour’s fifth event back and the first with fans in attendance, the 2020 John Deere Classic is no more. Illinois state restrictions have ruled out large gatherings, and tournament organizers decided that going fanless didn’t make financial sense. According to the PGA Tour, the Deere’s spot on the schedule could be filled by the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky or a new event at TPC Sawgrass or Firestone Country Club.

The cancellation highlights the complexities of the PGA Tour’s return. Not only is the Tour trying to satisfy sponsors, but it also has to appease a variety of state governments. In states not expected to allow large gatherings anytime soon—states like Illinois and Ohio—tournaments will rely on exemptions from governors. Whereas the European Tour will face one basic set of restrictions during its initial residency in the UK, the PGA Tour will have to make adjustments each time it crosses state borders. This won’t be easy.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Credit Hours: Scott Cartwright of Cal Poly – In the final edition of Credit Hours, we review the career of Scott Cartwright, the retiring men’s golf coach at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). See how this local legend built one of the best programs in the Big West.

Superintendent Series, Episode 8: Steve Cook

Steve Cook, the Director of Grounds at Medinah Country Club, joins the podcast. Andy and Steve talk about his long career, including his time in France and his experience prepping courses for major championships. They also discuss Steve’s management style, which has helped produce a number of up-and-coming leaders in the turf industry today. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Shotgun Start: SGS Spotlight – Ernie Els Part II

It’s Friday! This week-wrapping episode begins with a discussion of the new Manor Swing that will bring the return of the Euro Tour and our beloved summer #CoffeeGolf. Also in scheduling news, Andy and Brendan discuss the cancellation of the John Deere and the delightful SGS catnip possibilities for a July replacement event at TPC Sawgrass (the zinc standard?). Then comes the resumption of the massive undertaking of an SGS Spotlight on Ernie Els. This is Part II (find Part I last week) and begins with Ernie’s hard-luck year of runners-up in 2000. That becomes a theme—the anguish of close calls at majors dominated by both Tiger and a cast of non-Tiger characters right as Ernie was playing some of the best golf you could ever see. The battle with Tim Finchem over Ernie’s worldly non-US PGA Tour schedule is reviewed. His last two majors, the 2002 Open at Muirfield, and the late-career windfall in 2012 at Lytham, are given the full treatment. His son’s autism diagnosis, and Ernie’s evolution of responses to that, are covered in detail. Also, his hard-partying ways are relived with some amusing drinking stories that have become folklore over the years. More than Part I, this discussion helps understand the measure fo Els the person and may leave you appreciating him more. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

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