Premier Golf League – Is Golf Finally Getting A World Tour?
A new world golf tour has been announced for 2022 and if it goes ahead, professional golf at the highest level could be changing forever.
The circuit, known as the Premier Golf League (PGL), is the brainchild of the World Golf Group, and details have recently been announced.
“If you want the world to watch, you have to showcase your best product, week-in-week-out. Golf doesn’t do that currently,” the World Golf Group said.
“If you had the chance to start again you wouldn’t create professional golf as it exists today. The League is that chance.
“We believe we’ll succeed because the League is what fans, sponsors and broadcasters want — and the best players deserve. It will revitalise the sport for this and future generations.”
The new 48-man Premier Golf League is planned to get underway in January 2022 or 2023 and will run for eight months with 18 events worth a total of $240m.
That’s around £185m with first prizes at $2m (1.75m) per week, $10m (£7.5m) for the tour winner and $40m (£30m) for the winning four-man team.
The tournaments will be 54-holes with no cut and the PGL will have 48 players (12 teams of four) with both team and individual formats like Formula One.
Players could also part-own teams – a huge financial incentive to get the big names signing up.
There will be an individual champion after the 17th event, with the 18th and final event of the season team-only.
10 events are planned for America whilst eight are planned for abroad, including the Dubai Desert Classic, Singapore Open, Alfred Dunhill Championship and Australian Open, if reports are correct.
The World Golf Group, a UK-based company, says that it wants to “work with, rather than challenge, existing tours for the betterment of golf as a sport, pastime and media property.”
By working with the existing tours, we can only assume that they mean to use the likes of the PGA and European Tours as feeder tours.
Original plans by the World Golf Group were spoken about two years ago but this news is much more significant and could seriously ruffle some feathers and change the face of pro golf as we know it.
Funding shouldn’t be an issue for the tour as the PGL has partnered with New York-headquartered merchant bank the Raine Group.
Finances are also reported to be available from Tokyo-based SoftBank as well as Middle East investors.
“Our players will get four months off – without the pressure of knowing that others are accumulating points while they recharge,” the World Golf Group said in a statement.
They’ll play three days not four – putting less strain on their bodies – and will be part of a team, with team benefits. They will, of course, be required to travel, but on a sensible schedule, and we’ll place them in situ before each of the majors.”
“Those guys have been talking to a few of us for six years,” Rory McIlroy said at the Farmers Insurance Open.
“It’s a hard one…but I love the PGA Tour, I love the way golf is set up right now. I certainly wouldn’t want to lose what’s been built in the last 40 or 50 years, tournaments like this.
“I’m still quite a traditionalist, so to have that much of an upheaval in the game I don’t think is the right step forward.
“But I think it might be a catalyst for some changes on this tour that can help it grow and move forward and reward the top players the way they should be.”
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Phil Mickelson said he is intrigued about the PGL but he doesn’t know enough about it yet.
“I’m curious but I don’t know enough to talk about it. I’m listening to it. I think it’s intriguing, but I just don’t know enough about it to comment publicly. I hope to learn more.”
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