Once rivals and now hoping to make it onto the PGA Tour, the Premier Golf League has so far been pushed back in its bid to secure a face-to-face meeting with Tour representatives.
Andy Gardiner, CEO of the Premier Golf League, said a letter sent to the PGA Tour Policy Board in February outlining a plan that would include PGL events in the structure of the PGA Tour had been reviewed by the Players Advisory Council as well as the Tour’s Policy Board. .
There was no direct response to PGL other than through player-manager Kevin Kisner, who told the Fire Pit Collective that an independent company investigated the proposal and “the results were presented to us: not doable”.
The PGL outlined its plan in a Feb. 14 letter to the PGA Tour Policy Board that was shared with many players. According to the plan, this would generate significant net worth for all voting members of the PGA Tour, as well as those of the DP World Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.
The idea is to incorporate PGL’s 18-tournament, 48-player, 54-hole events with a team concept into the PGA Tour schedule.
PGL would issue shares equal to 50% to PGA Tour players, 7.5% to Korn Ferry players, 2.5% to DP World Tour players, 5% to Tour business partners, 2.5% to directors of PGL (which could include commissioner Jay Monahan), 7.5% to a charitable foundation (to benefit amateur play) and 25% to the World Golf Group, which PGL operates under and is based in London.
World Golf Group says it believes the PGL will generate $10 billion in net worth by 2030, which would equate to $20 million per voting PGA Tour member and $3 million per Korn Ferry member in the over the next eight years.
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Gardiner, who has been involved with the concept for several years, said he was surprised that the Policy Board discussed the concept without inviting his team to talk about it.
He thinks the Policy Board is not doing its duty to the members without talking to the World Golf Group.
“We suggested an independent assessment in November, but this normally involves two parties (the World Golf Group and the Tour) agreeing to appoint, jointly, a suitable, genuinely independent third-party expert to assess all relevant information and then provide a unbiased assessment,” Gardiner said. “This cannot be done properly without consulting the assessed company.
The key point of PGL’s proposal is that it would impact all members, not just the elite or top players on the Tour. It includes a cash advance on future net worth of $460 million. Simply put, each of the 200 voting members of the PGA Tour would receive $2 million when the PGL kicks off, with Korn Ferry’s 200 members each receiving $300,000.
Gardiner noted the significant increases the PGA Tour has made over the past two years through the Player Impact program, Comcast Business Top 10, purses, and global FedEx Cup payout, but it’s a boon for those who perform the best.
“Why do this, but deprive a majority of your members, those who are not in the top 10 or the top 50, of the opportunity to generate extraordinary net worth?” he said.
Gardiner said if the independent company used by the Tour offered different numbers, what were they? How much could each member earn under the proposal?
“Why not at least discuss a structure that would greatly benefit all members and create the optimal format for fans?” Gardiner said. “Why don’t you sit down and let us explain our numbers to you?” If we can’t prove the case, what have you lost?”