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Van Cynical Mailbag: Is the Length of the PGA Season a Good Thing?

Confidential: What About the New Tour Season Excites You?
A new season is here (yes, already). From the Big Three, to Rickie on the rise, to golf in the Olympics, here's why 2015-16 has us jazzed.

The questions? Thoughtful. The answers? Cynical. The resulting column? Priceless.

That’s priceless as in, so worthless as to not be worthy of having a price. Welcome back to this week’s Van Cynical Mailbag, where you get what you pay for plus free check-writing privileges.

Hey, Van Cynical, Amazing the list of great players on the outside looking in at the FedEx Cup. Listing FedEx Cup points now is like giving the score of an NBA game a minute into it. What gives? More importantly, who cares?—Michael O’Connor via Twitter

You’re preaching to the choir, Mannix. Kind of like election night with 1 percent of the vote counted. I guess the tour cares and they force the Golf Channel talent to spew the numbers. More importantly, the numbers never matter because they reset them before the Tour Championship. I guess in some office in Ponte Vedra Beach, somebody thinks people at home are playing along, starting now. Not us, though.

Custom Vans, The PGA Tour season is now longer than the NBA and the NHL. How can that be a good thing?—Mr. Fairway ia Twitter

We have to measure length versus boring, Lawn Guy. Would you rather watch the Blue Jackets versus the Predators in November or a sunny day of golf at the McGladrey Classic? How about the T-Wolves and the Bucks or the HSBC Champions from China? It’s all just entertainment. At least one is played outdoors. Golf is the fallback position on my remote. When there’s nothing else on… there’s always golf. Or “Big Bang Theory” reruns.


Hey, Van Ice Sickle, I’m watching the World Long Drive finals. Is there an award for destroying the camera 28 inches in front of the tee?—Brian Bailey via Twitter

No, but let’s start one, Bailbondsman. We can call it the Jamie Sadlowski Award. He’s the long driver who’s broken Golf Channel’s in-studio simulator twice by hitting it too hard.

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VanChilliDipper, Why can't these Long Drivers hit the grid more than one out of 10?—Klaugh56 via Twitter

Could be because their shots stay in the air so long, Laugh-In, that by the time they come down the Earth’s rotation has caused the grid to move out from underneath their trajectories. I know that’s pretty heavy stuff and awfully scientific but I know if you sail a boat to the edge of the world, which is flat, you fall all the way to Hell. I think I learned that from Bill Nye Science Guy.

Hey, Sicklesaurus, If you were ranked about 100, would you play these early fall events? Against weaker fields in cool autumn, I sure would.—David Troyan via Twitter

It’s almost like we’re sub-letting the same brain, Man of Troy. I wouldn’t miss a fall event, they are theoretically easier to win (but probably not much easier). They are great opportunities to get a W, earn a Masters invite and move up in the world rankings. And if I won, I’d never miss the winners-only fiesta in Kapalua every January. Only 30-some players in Hawaii? Now that is the easiest potential W on the tour.

Hey Vans, Do players and fans need a longer break? Yes, I’m happy when re-seeding the fairways happens in Phoenix. That three-week forced break is nice.—BigMark via Twitter

Yeah, we’ve got the same thing in Pittsburgh, Marksman. It’s called winter, it’s longer than three weeks and it’s not that nice. Look, the pros can put the clubs away in mid-November and not pick them up again until mid-January. That’s six to eight weeks off. They’re also playing only 18-28 times during the rest of the year. So yes, the travel is tough, the schedule is long but you’re talking about competing on maybe 20 weekends of the year for big money. As for recreational golfers, maybe some of us should take June off on account of playing badly.

Van Putterman, With the anchor ban looming, who is going to be impacted the most?—Klaugh56 via Twitter

They’ve already been impacted, Laugh-In. Remember Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott? Yeah, I didn’t think so. They went conventional length this year to get ready and the results were not so good. The most impact will probably be the Champions Tour. I’m sure Bernhard Langer will figure something out, though.

Hey Van Cynical, Why are guys like Billy Andrade and Jeff Maggert and so on winning bunches on the senior tour but only have somewhat journeymen PGA Tour careers?—Brian Bailey via Twitter

Well, Bailey’s Comet, maybe they were sandbagging and just trying to get their handicaps up for now, when they can pounce cat-like on their opposition. Or maybe they kept playing hard through their 40s because they had to, unlike the stars who already had won millions more than they could ever spend.

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