There's only one season in professional sports that feels longer than Major League Baseball's and that's the PGA Tour's.
For golf enthusiasts, that's not a bad thing. For casual golf fans, it means long lay overs between majors where watching golf on TV isn't a priority. The four majors are always must-see TV, no matter how deep your love of the game is. The WGC match play events provide a good buffer between majors and so do several others like the Travelers, AT&T National, Byron Nelson, and John Deere Classic.
Capping the season off with the FedEx Cup is proving to be a very entertaining end of the year now, and whether it's a Ryder Cup or President's Cup year aslo makes a difference in how enjoyable a season is going to be as well.
Then, there's THE PLAYERS Championship.
Outside of the four majors, there's no tournament I'm more happy to clear the schedule for than THE PLAYERS.
I've written in the past about my love of playing TPC Sawgrass in Tiger Woods video games and that still holds up to this day. Watching golfers try to conquer the course every year is just as good. To me, there's no better stretch of golf holes than 17 and 18 at TPC. The island par 3 and the challenging, water-hazard par 5 to close it out are simply outstanding.
The appeal of THE PLAYERS is that it's a regular tournament that has the feel and atmosphere of a major championship. I've argued in the past that it should become the fifth major and if the PGA Tour wanted to go against history and add another major, there's no question THE PLAYERS would be the one it added.
But I'm starting to love THE PLAYERS for a completely different reason than all that I've mentioned, and it's a reason I never thought in a million years I would.
I love it because it's NOT a major and realistically never will be.
Maybe it's odd to think that one non-major tournament could be that much better than all the others because it has the exact same value (sans monetarily), but simply having the aura of a major championship is a difficult attribute to obtain.
There's no green jacket or Claret Jug. The winner's name isn't forever etched in history as a winner of one of the four most important tournaments in a given year. But it feels that way, and that's the most important part.
Sometimes perception truly is reality.