Tournament number two begins this week–the Sony Open in Honolulu.

It’s January. The NFL is at its peak. The NBA is going strong. And college basketball is preparing its stretch run to March Madness.

Somewhere, lost amidst all of these other sports, is professional golf. How much air time did the Mercedes Benz Championship get on SportsCenter last week? Maybe a minute?

tim-finchem

PGA Tour Commish Tim Finchem likes year-round golf. TV ratings show that 99% of Americans disagree. (Image: Both coasts/Flickr)

Tim Finchem’s job is to make the Tour an attractive product. Part of that, I guess, is to get as much airtime as possible, which means to have as many tournaments as possible.

But let’s be honest, the PGA Tour has no chance of ever really being popular in January, February, November and December. To the casual sports fan, there’s simply too many other intriguing events to watch during those months, and golf isn’t one of them.

I think golf has NASCAR syndrome. To clarify, I don’t watch NASCAR, but I do know that its season seems to never end. I swear the season ended like three weeks ago, but I just saw a promo for the Daytona 500. Golf, like NASCAR, has too many official events, too long of a season.

The Tour season should last from March through September. Cut back on some of these crap tournaments that no one watches.  Give the season a running start before the Masters in early April, and then about four to five more weeks after the PGA Championship in August. If you need to schedule into mid-October for the sake of the tedious FedEx Cup, then so be it.

But this Tour season is ridiculous. All other sports start with a bang. Opening Day in baseball and football is huge. Even hockey and basketball open with fanfare. Golf starts with whimper and then concludes with a fizzle, thanks to the drudgery of the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship lately.

No one is watching golf right now. No one.  It’s overkill, oversaturation. Too much product, too often. Trim the season back some, Tim Finchem. Why is the NFL so popular? Partly because we only have 5 months a year to enjoy it. So we have to appreciate it while it lasts.

Golf knocks us over the head all year long. Do we really need the silly season of golf in December–all of the meaningless exhibitions broadcast on the networks? Even I need a break from it.

I’m no expert. Shocker there, I know. But I can tell you that professional golf has problems. This is more than just an issue of Tiger being hurt. The PGA Tour needs to adopt my favorite editing mantra: “Less is more.”

Less IS more. Maybe the Tour will figure that out one day.

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