Updated: August 13, 2013, 4:42 PM ET

No rest for weary as FedEx Cup playoffs loom

By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

If you feel the need to take a breath from the whirlwind of golf activity of the past several weeks, think how the players must be dealing with it.

After two major championships were contested within three weeks with a World Golf Championship thrown in between, there is hardly any time for rest. For those not competing in this week's Wyndham Championship, it is but a short respite, as the FedEx Cup playoffs are set to commence next week in New Jersey.

The lucrative four-tournament series of events is played over five weeks. Then, after another week off, the top American and international players convene for the Presidents Cup.

It's nothing new, but it isn't any less daunting.

"I knew this stretch was coming at the beginning of the year," said Brandt Snedeker, who won't see his Nashville home for weeks.

"I took a lot of time off in the middle of the summer, so now Im kind of in my big part of my schedule, important part of my schedule, and I feel like Im rested, ready to go. Golf game feels as good as its felt in a long time, and Im excited to keep playing.

"I did the exact same schedule last year, and it worked out pretty well. So hopefully I can do it again this year."

Snedeker is high-energy, and he did win last year's FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

Although nobody is going to feel sorry for golfers -- they're playing golf, after all -- the schedule is daunting, especially when you consider travel, practice time, and the usual aches and pains golfers endure.

For Snedeker, he took two weeks off before the Open Championship. He tied for 11th in Scotland, then went straight to Toronto for the RBC Canadian Open, where he won. Then it was on to Akron for the WGC-Bridgestone, and a tie for 33rd there was followed by a tie for 66th at the PGA Championship.

It should be noted that Snedeker has an endorsement deal with RBC, hence his trip to Canada. And he's involved with Wyndham, which is why he is playing this week in Greensboro, N.C. Still, that's five straight weeks heading into the FedEx Cup.

When the FedEx Cup was devised and put into play in 2007, some of the thinking behind the plan was to keep the PGA Tour from going head-to-head with football, especially the NFL.

But it does so anyway. Two of the FedEx Cup events are played on NFL weekends. And the new 2013-14 season, which begins at the Frys.com Open just three weeks after the Tour Championship, also will be going head-to-head with football.

So why not spread things out a bit, move the schedule back two weeks, just to give a bit of a break between major championships and the FedEx Cup? This was the third straight year that the PGA followed the Open by just three weeks (it'll be worse in 2016 when the schedule gets crammed thanks to the Olympics). And it seems rushed.

There needs to be more time to build up to a major, and even one extra week would be beneficial. Then wait two weeks between the PGA and the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, meaning they end in early October. True, this would be tough in Ryder Cup years, but, if the PGA Tour is going to go up against football anyway, why not give the schedule a little air?

Bob Harig | email

ESPN Senior Writer

Fans' chants getting out of hand

By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

Jim Furyk stared one of them down in the final round of the PGA Championship, and Ian Poulter took to Twitter to bash the incessant "fans" who seem intent on yelling something stupid whenever a golfer gets a ball airborne.

Could this be the first steps in the various golf organizers doing something to get rid of the behavior?

What started out years ago with chants of "You the man" when a player struck a ball to "Get in the hole" has now devolved into the absurd, with all manner of ridiculous chants and sayings coming from a handful of spectators whose mission is to annoy.

The fact that it is getting on golfers' nerves - or at least causing them to speak out - means that maybe the powers that be will do something about it.

"I'm calling for @PGATOUR to step in and stop this shouting out right after shots," Poulter wrote on Twitter. "Message in to @PGATOUR with your thoughts. Tazer [sic] them?"

The Englishman's solution won't work, and finding the offenders isn't easy. But an attempt should be made to weed them out through a public service campaign at golf tournaments with a threat of removal for anyone caught.

Certainly, cheering is an important part of any fan experience, but the loud comments upon impact haven gotten out of control, to the point that it's embarrassing and sounds even more ridiculous on TV. As Poulter pointed out, such craziness is not tolerated at the Masters, so if Augusta National can do it, why not everyone else? It's worth the effort to eliminate the practice.

"It isn't an easy thing to handle," Ty Votaw, PGA Tour executive vice president, acknowledged in an email. "We discuss it periodically and we will probably discuss it again."

Here's hoping the PGA Tour does so soon -- and comes up with some solutions.

Bob Harig | email

ESPN Senior Writer


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