Premier Golf League makes its case in ‘open letter to the world of golf’

Premier Golf League letter

Premier Golf League released an "open letter to the world of golf" on Tuesday.

@premgolfleague on Twitter

For more than a year now, rumors about a new star-studded golf tour have popped up occasionally, stirring debate on the internet, in the media and no doubt in the PGA Tour’s headquarters. Now the upstart tour, known officially as the Premier Golf League, is taking its case directly to the people via a message on in its Twitter feed.

In the message, designed as “an open letter to the world of golf,” organizers for the proposed league aim to dispel inaccuracies and rumors about the tour, in addition to explaining why they think their tour can be “better, for the fans, players and golf’s wider community.”

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First and foremost, the letter again attempts to clear up any confusion between the PGL and the SGL, another proposed golf super league believed to be financed in part by the Saudi Arabian government, stating that the Premier Golf League “is entirely separate from the SGL.”

The proposed format for the PGL is an 18-event schedule, with many of the events featuring 12 teams of four top-level pros, in addition to a 13th team chosen by fans. The PGL imagines fans being treated to “dream fields and match ups, the best versus the best each week, a compelling team dimension with added storylines and rivalries, no cut, 3 days, team play-offs, relegation and promotion, a 5-hour broadcast window, exceptional production and a range of viewing options to suit a range of fans, existing and new.”

Ultimately, the letter states the the PGL’s “sole objective is to get more people watching and playing the game we love.”

The key to success for such a plan would be attracting the best players in golf to participate, which has proven to be a tall order. Despite offers rumored to be in the range of millions to tens of millions of dollars, the PGL has yet to officially get a star player on its side.

Meanwhile, lots of opposition among players is evident, especially from pros like Rory McIlroy, who is among the elite players the PGL will need to get on board to get it the tour off the ground.

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The PGA Tour has fought back, too. This season they created a new $40 million bonus system for the Tour’s most popular players, which considers, among other things, a player’s Google Search popularity.

Rumors have also swirled about possible bans on pros who play in the PGL, something the PGL’s letter addresses directly.

“There has been talk of possible player bans, suggesting they should not be free to choose how, when and where to play,” the letter reads. “We’d rather engage in discussion with the existing tours to understand why they think the status quo is better for fans, sponsors, broadcasters and the world’s best golfers.”

Finally, the open letter mentions the PGL’s plans to “gift 50% ownership of the Premier Golf League to golf’s community,” though it fails to mention how such a scenario would work. The league’s official website offers a few more details, including that the “golf community” is defined as “professional golfers, men and women, touring and/or non-touring, the charitable and commercial operators of existing tournaments and fans.” However, the website states that the “basis” of such ownership has “yet to be determined.”

Only time will tell if the open letter can help the PGL fight through the major headwinds that have so far prevented it from becoming a reality. You can read the full letter below.

Kevin Cunningham
Golf.com Editor

As managing producer for GOLF.com, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on GOLF.com, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep GOLF.com humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.