Report: Premier Golf League seeks to partner with PGA Tour

According to a report from ESPN's Bob Harig, the PGL is seeking to partner with the PGA Tour on their proposed big-money golf league.

PGL / Getty Images

While the news of Greg Norman being named CEO of the newly formed Liv Golf Investments sent shock waves through the golf world, plans for the Premier Golf League are still trudging ahead.

According to a report from ESPN’s Bob Harig, Andy Gardiner, CEO of the PGL, said his league still plans to pursue its original idea for the venture. However, it’s now attempting to do so under the umbrella of the PGA Tour.

Garnder told Harig the new proposal would create a new division under the PGA Tour, essentially co-sanctioning the PGL’s 48-player, 12-team, 54-hole events.

Greg Norman at the 2020 QBE Shootout.
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“It’s not destructive,” Gardiner told ESPN. “And the PGA Tour has shown there is value in the alternative fields.”

Gardiner’s pitch to the PGA Tour comes in the form of financial security. According to Harig, “the idea would potentially enhance all players, not just those who play as part of the PGL, because of the financial backing the PGL can provide.”

Gardiner said his group sent the proposal to the PGA Tour but has not yet received a response.

“It’s difficult for them to engage with us because this is an innovation that applies to 250 voting members of PGA Tour Inc. and they also run five other tours,” Gardiner told Harig. “They have a responsibility to probably 1,500 other guys plus whatever they’ve undertaken with European Tour members. So I can see it being difficult.”

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had previously stated that no member of the PGA Tour would be able to participate in any alternative golf leagues. But Gardiner has not been deterred by the threats.

“I do believe a lot of the apprehension could overcome if we are able to get around the table,” he said. “I think a nudge from the membership would probably enable us to.”

According to the report, one of the proposed incentives for the PGA Tour to take the PGL’s deal are amendments to its non-profit status, and granting the Tour 50% ownership in the new league. Other incentives include committing 10% to the PGA Tour staff, broadcast partners, Korn Ferry Tour and other involved agencies, with another 10% committed to a foundation with the goal of growing the amateur game. The remaining 30% would go to the World Golf Group, the parent company overseeing the league.

Gardiner said he projects the PGA Tour would be worth $5 billion by 2029.

“It’s really a rebalancing as we see it,” Gardiner said. “There is no loss of income potential for those who remain [on the PGA Tour].”

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.