As a showdown looms between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour against the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, another entity is trying to remind the golf world it wants in the mix.
That entity would be the Premier Golf League, a group once viewed as a potential rival to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour and originally backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. However, the PIF – the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, which, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, has $US580 billion in assets – eventually went its own direction and formed LIV Golf Investments, overseen by World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman. The PGL first attempted to achieve a partnership with then-European Tour but failed, with the Euro Tour eventually agreeing to a “strategic alliance” with the PGA Tour.
Currently, the PGL concept still exists – an 18-tournament series of 48-player, 54-hole events with a team concept – and officials behind the venture have reached out to the PGA Tour about forming a partnership, but its prospects have faded with the emergence of LIV Golf.
In hopes of reviving its efforts, the PGL has drafted a letter to PGA Tour members – dated for Thursday, May 5 but first reported on Wednesday by No Laying Up with a subsequent report from SI.com/Morning Read – imploring them to vouch for the PGL to the tour’s policy board.
“Your profession is approaching an historic crossroads. The ‘International Series,’ funded and owned by LIV Golf Investments, represents an existential threat, not only to the PGA Tour’s dominance but also its mode,” the letter reads. “Change is not only inevitable, it is happening – and no amount of purse rigging, head-burying, ban-threatening, alliance-making or “moving-on” will derail it.”
The PGL asserts players could make $US20 million each in their proposal, highlighted by $2 million received upfront. The PGL claims it could eventually be valued at $10 billion.
The letter also calls out Rory McIlroy, who has previously dismissed the PGL’s proposal.
“The Policy Board has, however, refused to discuss our proposals. Based on a presentation by Allen & Co, it disputes the PGL’s ability to generate $10BN+ of value. As Rory McIlroy recently messaged, ‘We had Allen and company present to the board in Orlando about the PGL proposal. They don’t think 10B by 2030 is feasible at all. They said you’d need to create 20 Ryder Cups a year from now until then to get to that number.
“In the corporate finance world, this is technically known as ‘bullsh**.’ But, then again, Allen & CO has never spoken to us, nor had access to the information it would require in order to produce an accurate valuation.”
The letter ends by telling players to ask for an obtain an independent valuation of the PGL’s proposal.
“You should not fear the wrath of Jay Monahan, he is not on the Policy Board and works for you,” the letter reads. “You should exercise your rights. Despite it being ‘your’ PGA Tour, you do not own it (nor will you own LIV or the Super Golf League). You could own half of the PGL.
“Act now or spend a lifetime wondering: ‘What if…?’:
As of writing the PGL has not responded to a Golf Digest request for comment. A PGA Tour spokesperson told Golf Digest the organisation has no comment.