Hoping to join rather than fight the PGA Tour, the Premier Golf League on Wednesday sent a letter to the PGA Tour players in which it outlined what they can potentially lose if they fail to Collaborate on the London-based organization’s plans to integrate a team concept into the schedule.
The PGL Originally outlined its plan in a Feb. 14 letter to the PGA Tour Policy Board that was shared with numerous players. According to the plan, it would generate significant equity value for all voting PGA Tour members, as well as those on the DP World Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.
The Premier Golf League is a separate entity from the LIV Golf Invitational Series headed by Commissioner Greg Norman.
Andy Gardiner, the CEO of the Premier Golf League, which is under the banner of the World Golf Group, told SI.com/Morning Read in March that it believes the PGL will generate $ 10 million in equity value by 2030, which would equate to $ 20 million per PGA Tour voting member and $ 3 million per Korn Ferry Tour member over the next eight years.
“Your profession is approaching an historic crossroads,” said the letter, a copy of which was obtained by SI.com/Morning Read. “The‘ International Series ’, funded and owned by LIV Golf Investments (LIV), represents an existential Threat, not only to the PGA Tour’s dominance, but also its model.
“Change is not only inevitable, it is happening – and no amount of purse rejigging, head-burying, ban-threatening, alliance-making or‘ moving-on ’will derail it. LIV’s superb format (based on our very own, original, PGL format) is capable of generating $ 10 billion + of equity value. Hence, LIV is prepared to spend $ 400 million + to demonstrate the brilliance of the model, across eight events. ”
The LIV Golf reference is to the LIV Golf Invitational Series, a Saudi-backed format headed by Norman, whose original plan was to begin a tour with 14 events this year.
That was altered in the wake of Phil Mickelson’s comments in February in which he was highly critical of the PGA Tour as well as the Saudi regime, all of which caused several reported players who were said to be ready to sign on to back out. LIV Golf pivoted to an eight-event format for this year, with no league obligations, set to begin with an event next month outside of London.
The PGL’s plan is to incorporate an 18-tour, 48-player, 54-hole events with a team concept into the PGA Tour schedule.
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PGL would issue shares equal to 50 percent to PGA Tour players, 7.5 percent to DP World Tour players, 2.5 percent to DP World Tour players, 2.5 percent to PGL’s directors (which could include commissioner Jay Monahan) , 7.5 percent to a charitable foundation (to benefit the Amateur game) and 25 percent to the World Golf Group, which PGL operates under and is based in London.
“The PGL is not just for the feted few but all of golf,” the letter said. “It is also just as capable of generating $ 10 billion + of value – so, as a PGA Tour Voting Member, you have two options. You could:
“A. own 50% of the PGL and make $ 20 million each ($ 2 million upfront), with a further $ 1 billion of value to be shared between members of the Korn Ferry and DP World Tours.
“Or you could: B. do nothing and leave LIV to generate that value, while the two oldest Tours contemplate a full Merger that would serve neither membership.”
Gardiner said that the PGA Tour has declined to take a meeting with his group, despite board member Rory McIlroy originally stating it was his duty to take the plan to the players.
Since that time, the PGA Tour’s board, according to PGL, has commissioned a report by Allen & Co. to assess the proposal and decided not to enter into discussions. According to the letter, McIlroy reported back that the assessment concluded that “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 that number. ”
PGL’s response, according to the letter: “How do you value a corporation without at least speaking to it?”
“The Policy Board owes you a fiduciary duty, ” the letter to the players said. “It should fulfill this duty, not hide behind the Allen & Co. presentation.
Only an independent valuation will confirm how much you stand to make from the PGL Proposals. And you deserve to know; just as the world’s best deserve to play for $ 20MM each week and fans deserve to be able to watch them. ”
And: “You should not fear the Wrath of (PGA Tour commissioner) Jay Monahan, they are not on the Policy Board and works for you. You should exercise your rights. Despite being “your” PGA Tour, you don’t own it (nor will you own LIV or the Super Golf League). You could own half of the PGL. ”
The letter, which included 12 pages of background and briefing notes with detailed financial proposals, said there would also be a Zoom meeting hosting calls for questions to be asked and answered.