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Sunday, January 8, 2017

REMINDER: The Tour Begins Today

The Tour is experimenting with new schedules this year... and guess who's hitting the season's opening shot?

Greg Norman

That's right. Greg Norman will be hitting the ceremonial first tee shot because this week's event -- the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic -- is being played at the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course in Great Exuma, which Norman designed. If you'd like to get a preview of the beautiful scenery, you can check out this post featuring a number of photos of the course.

But the biggest news is certainly the scheduling of the event. The first two events of the season are both in the Bahamas and both are running from Sunday to Wednesday, rather than the typical Thursday to Sunday finish. is experimenting with the new schedule in hopes of increasing the Tour's profile. While Sunday rounds may not draw as many viewers since they'll be up against the final rounds of PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events, they will have a virtual monopoly on live golf Monday through Wednesday.

How well will the new scheduling work? That's anybody's guess. But a large number of industry insiders believe that this is a brilliant move by the Tour and, if it's successful, may eventually become the standard for their Tour.

In the meantime, we'll get to watch the first of the experimental events starting today at 3pm ET on GC. It should make for an interesting experiment... plus more tropical scenery for us snowbound viewers over the next few days.

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