[PHOTO: Ben Jared]

Tiger Woods and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will hold voting positions on the newly created PGA Tour Enterprises.

The tour announced this morning that a 13-member board of directors has been established for the new for-profit venture, formed in conjunction with the private-equity investment from the Strategic Sports Group. The Enterprises division will house the PGA Tour’s commercial businesses and rights, as well as those of the DP World Tour. This will allow the tour to maximise revenue for itself and players while keeping the tour’s non-profit 501(c)(6) classification that carries tax exemptions for “business leagues” intact. SSG has pledged up to $US3 billion to PGA Tour Enterprises with an initial $US1.5 billion investment.

11 questions (and answers) on the PGA Tour’s new business deal and what it means for a LIV merger

The tour will receive nine board seats, with SSG representatives filling out the other four positions. Six of the nine tour spots were given to the tour’s existing player directors in Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth. Former PGA Tour player Joe Ogilvie was named a “director liaison” and will join both the Enterprises board and the tour’s policy board. Monahan and policy board independent director Joe Gorder round out the tour’s final positions. The four SSG spots will be filled by John W. Henry (Fenway Sports Group), Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Andrew Cohen (New York Mets) and Sam Kennedy (Boston Red Sox).

While Monahan was already announced as PGA Tour Enterprises chief executive, he will now have a vote on the tour’s policy board, solidifying his standing with the tour. Woods was announced as vice-chairman of the board. His position was the result of a petition from tour players seeking new governance and transparency measures with the tour after the surprise framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund last June.

“Today’s announcement is another milestone for our organisation, as I believe we have arrived at a PGA Tour Enterprise’s board of directors with the right composition, expertise and balance necessary to take our organisation into the future,” Monahan said in a statement. “Our current and former players will provide essential insight into our members’ priorities and needs. And we welcome key SSG members to the leadership team, whose exceptional track records and achievements in global professional sports will lend a wealth of knowledge into the opportunities ahead for the PGA Tour. Their expertise will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the success and growth of our commercial initiatives.”

Left unsaid was what role, if any, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will have in the new business. The tour announced in January that the deal with SSG will allow for co-investment from PIF in the future, but there are antitrust regulations that need to be hurdled, and US Congress has announced that its investigation into PIF and its investments in American businesses will continue. Initially, the tour sought supplemental investment to appease government antitrust regulations rather than serving as an alternative to PIF, which is the financial backer to LIV Golf. However, talks have stalled between the PIF and tour, with PIF’s renewed recruiting of tour players – highlighted by the December defection of Jon Rahm to LIV – and the tour’s private-equity courtship leading to hurt feelings on both sides.

Monahan is expected to speak next week at the Players Championship, the tour’s flagship event.