How The PGA And European Tours Could Fend Off The Premier Golf League
The Premier Golf League has ruffled feathers this week after details emerged that it is planned to begin in 2022.
The 48-man 18-tournament league would offer purses of $10m each tournament and at least $2m for the winner, with events being played over just 54 holes with no cut.
The PGA and European Tours are taking this very seriously, with both leaders, Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley, sending out emails to members this week stating that players will not be allowed to be members of both their respective Tours and the Premier Golf League.
The PGL is backed by the Reine Group plus Saudi money if reports are to be believed.
Either way, it sounds like the cash is there.
Whilst there’s no concrete evidence just yet that the PGL is going ahead, the news this week will prompt PGA and European Tour heads to begin plans to combat the PGL.
Here’s an idea of how the PGA and European Tours may look at fending it off…
They say strength comes in numbers so the most obvious thing to do would be for the PGA and European Tours to join forces and create their own World Tour.
Whether that be that the PGA Tour buys the European Tour or the two simply agree to merge or work together in some form.
One thing could be to come up with a US-European Tour featuring the best events from both, with all the remaining events remaining for two second-tier tours.
For example, take all eight Rolex Series events and combine them with 10 of the best PGA Tour events to create a new 18-tournament World Tour.
Note: Majors stay the same and are separate to the World Tour – nothing changes.
Every other European event stays as the European Tour and every other PGA Tour event remains on the PGA Tour.
These two tours then act as feeder tours to the newly created World Tour.
Perhaps the PGA Tour could be division 1 and the European Tour could be division 2, with things like the Korn Ferry Tour and Challenge Tour feeding into those.
The new World Tour will thrive because World Tour players will have to commit to every single tournament, meaning sponsors are happy to put more money in and players earn more.
They commit by being paid what would essentially be an appearance fee to be signed to the World Tour, just as they’d likely have to do if they join the Professional Golf League.
Whilst all of this may take money away from the lesser-skilled pros, it will keep the top players happy and richer – something that needs to happen for fans to get the most enjoyment from the game.
112 men made over $1m on the PGA Tour last year – perhaps this is evidence that the money is spread too thin and needs to be distributed more top-heavy.
This may sound like a stupid statement when Rory McIlroy earned over $20m on Tour last year, but his commercial value is 100 times more powerful than some players who are still picking up millions.
The PGA and European Tours need to show their big stars, ie Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm etc, that they are needed and valued otherwise they may all head over to the new Professional Golf League.
How do they show them that they are needed and valued? Pay them more.
Here’s a mock up of how the 18-event World Tour schedule could look:
Players Championship, USA
CJ Cup, Korea
Zozo Championship, Japan
Genesis Invitational, USA
Arnold Palmer Invitational, USA
Memorial Tournament, USA
Farmers Insurance Open, USA
The Northern Trust, USA
BMW Championship, USA
Tour Championship, USA
BMW PGA Championship, England
Irish Open, Ireland
Scottish Open, Scotland
Italian Open, Italy
Turkish Airlines Open, Turkey
Nedbank Golf Challenge, South Africa
DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Of course there will be very important things like broadcast deals, sponsorship agreements and pension schemes that would need to be worked though – this is just a fun idea.
Let us know your thoughts on our idea and in what other ways the PGA and European Tours could fend off the new Premier Golf League
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