Basketballs are bouncing, bouncing, bouncing on the rim. Pucks are flying down the ice, and baseball fans still wearing winter coats to the ballpark.
And for the first time since 1949, the PGA golf tournament is being played in May, not August.
After years unfolding in brutal summer heat, the lesser of golf's four majors begins its new springtime schedule Thursday at Long Island's Bethpage Black, the tough municipal course where two U.S. Opens have been held. With cool weather rather than the traditional sweat-fest, the tournament will seem more like the British Open.
The PGA and TV carrier CBS believe the move will boost the tournament's standing. Or perhaps announcer Jim Nance wanted a longer vacation before calling NFL games. That transition from Nick Faldo to Tony Romo can be jarring without a sojourn on the beach.
While the move means the PGA won't compete with the always popular NFL exhibition games, the tournament still will have to contend with the NBA and NHL playoffs and Major League baseball games.
With no spring and early summer sports offerings after the Masters and NCAA basketball tournament, CBS saw the PGA move as a profitable entry into the season's sports market. Even preseason football rules the sports world, and as a major football broadcaster, CBS wanted to move away from late summer golf.
CBS hopes that Tiger Woods follows his comeback win in the Masters with a strong PGA performance. If Woods is in contention for a second straight majors victory, ratings will soar. In his prime, Woods won a U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.
The Long Island venue marks a historic return for the tournament, as The New York Times noted in a compelling feature Wednesday. Running photos of old-time champions Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Tommy Armour, the newspaper noted that the tournament was first played in the early 20th century on Long Island courses. Those were some of America's first exclusive country clubs, unlike the public Bethpage Black.
The PGA's old August arrival marked the end of the season, the coming of autumn. Now the tournament will be the second step of a truncated majors season. With the Masters in April, the PGA in May, the U.S. Open in June and the British Open in July, winning the grand slam looks even more challenging.