2017 SBS Tournament of Champions — The real start of the PGA Tour season

Welcome back to the 2017 series of GOTM previews! This week, the Tour starts it’s two week stretch in Hawaii, while the rest of us are stuck in the cold continental (I’m presuming at least) US. Here’s what to watch for, and some music, as always.

Shoutout to the flute in the chorus here. Can it be a chorus without lyrics? I’m gonna say yes.

What the hell is SBS?

My first attempt at figuring out what SBS logically involved I searched Google. Which for a hot sec led me to believe that SBS referred to this Australian Broadcasting Company thing. I half rationalized it by thinking that Hawaii was like, almost in Australia, so that’s not unreasonable for an Australian Company to sponsor the tournament! Yeah, that was dumb.

Who are you SBS?!?!?!?!?

Who are you SBS?!?!?!?!?

Then off to looking at wikipedia, where I hit an article that disambiguates SBS, and instead of having one company stick out as the sponsor, I was left with something like 50 different SBSs. I actually started clicking on all of the links there, trying to match the logo from the wikipedia page to the tournament’s logo, and then also realized that was really dumb.

Finally, after searching PGA Tour dot com and finding nothing, I landed on the tournament’s wikipedia article which chronicled the saga of title sponsorships for the event. SBS refers to Seoul Broadcasting System and actually was the title sponsor back in 2010. Hyundai took that over in 2011 (both Korean brands), while SBS was still a sponsor, though not title-wise. A little change up last year, with Northern Trust taking over a FedEx Cup event, Hyundai, who “is headquartered and heavily invested in the greater Los Angeles area” will take over the event at Riviera, and SBS is back titling the ToC!

Excellent sleuthing by me, and all that was left to do was edit the tournament’s wikipedia article with the new information. Though really, you’d think the PGA Tour would do a little more at making it easy to figure out who’s sponsoring their events. But that’s just me.

No issues with the NFL Playoffs

My first thought when thinking about watching this weekend’s action was about how in the world the PGA Tour could expect anyone to watch the golf, when I know everyone here is going to be glued to their TVs watching the Packers take down the Giants at Lambeau. And then I realized I was an idiot because the Tour is off in Hawaii, meaning that the action will just get started over there right after the Packer’s victory.

Sure, there might be an issue with crossovers on Saturday’s broadcast, but let’s be honest, no matter how much you like watching the PGA Tour, the final few holes on Sunday are the only ones your really need to watch.

Elevation Change!

Let’s watch nobody’s favorite golfer, Bubba Watson, hit a driver off the deck on 18 during the 2011 showing of the tournament to get a little perspective on the downhill-ness that the course offers. Also shoutout to Nick Faldo for getting very excited. Also also shoutout to Anthony Kim for making an appearance on the long drive of the day list that they show!

For real, the walkways from greens to tees must be straight uphill or something because it seems like every hole they show is a downhill, let it rip kind of hole. Which is way more fun to watch (and play) so I’m not complaining.

Coore / Crenshaw, So Hot

If you’re looking to one be of the cool kids in golf, all you need to do is mention how many of the Coore / Crenshaw courses you’ve played. And if you haven’t played any yet, then you’re not quite in the cool kid club sorry.

Although what makes you cool on Tour is probably tournaments won rather than courses played, the Tournament of Champions rookies will get to add another Coore / Crenshaw course to their list with the Plantation course at Kapalua.

I didn’t have the Plantation course pegged as a CC designed course since it deviates from what  really doesn’t look like the current design they use. Featuring washed out bunkers, native grass, and tons of roll off areas with green like speeds. Now that type of design might not exactly be fit for a course in Hawaii considering the design philosophy that they, and that of pretty much all great designers over the years adhere to — that the course should fit and look natural to the surrounding terrain. But I’m stuck wondering how different the course would be if they designed it now rather than in 1991.

The course itself measures 7,411 yards at par 73. While 74 hundred yards may seems like quite the beast, the severe downhill shots, and the extra par 5 take a lot of that yardage off and make it decently reasonable to get around. On the other hand, it’s been a little rainy in Maui this season apparently, so that might put some of the yardage back.

Jason Day with a Swoosh!?

In some big news, Jason Day is moving on from all Taylor Made, and going to Nike for some sweet looking shoes, clothes, gloves and flat brimmed hats!

Day is quoted in the press release as saying:

“Joining Nike is a dream come true. The brand is synonymous with the world’s best athletes. I’m honored and can’t wait to be part of the team and working closely with Nike to take my game, and the sport of golf, to even higher levels.”

I’m not going to talk about what this shake up means for the brands and future of golf equipment (that’ll be a different post later), but it’ll sure be interesting to see him swooshing around in Hawaii. But really though, not sure how much Nike is paying him, but they’re way cooler than Adidas / TaylorMade clothes.

Oh, and he also told the world that he’s going to play super slow again. That’ll go great.

And one more glamor shot of the course for the road.

Hole 17 with purdy mountains in the background.

Hole 17 with purdy mountains in the background.

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