The PGA Tour is giving golfers the chance to become “owners of their league” in response to LIV Golf’s lucrative offer and the departure of some of its best players.
The PGA Tour announced the creation of PGA Tour Enterprises on Wednesday, stating that its players will have the chance to own shares through a “first-of-its-kind” programme.
Nearly 200 Tour members would be eligible to gain over $1.5 billion in equity, thanks to a $3 billion investment from Strategic Sports Group (SSG), a group of American sports club owners led by Fenway Sports Group (FSG).
According to a press release from the PGA Tour, the grants—which are only open to qualifying PGA Tour players—will be determined by factors such as career accomplishments, current achievement, future participation and services, and PGA Tour membership status.
PGA Tour commissioner and CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises Jay Monahan stated, “Today marks an important moment for the PGA Tour and fans of golf across the world.”
“By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen the collective investment of our players in the success of the PGA Tour,” Monahan said.
“Fans win when we all work to deliver the best in sports entertainment and return the focus to the incredible – and unmatched – competitive atmosphere created by our players, tournaments and partners.
“Partnering with SSG – a group with extensive experience and investment across sports, media and entertainment – will enhance our organization’s ability to make the sport more rewarding for players, tournaments, fans and partners.”
SSG had approved co-investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), who supported the breakaway LIV Golf. This would be allowed going ahead, “subject to all necessary regulatory approvals.”
Regarding the reconciliation deal that was initially revealed in June of last year, the PGA Tour and PIF are still in talks. The statement also stated that the two parties are still working to finalise a “ultimate agreement” after failed to come to an agreement by the first deadline of December 31.
Tyrrell Hatton, an Englishman, followed world No. 3 Jon Rahm, a Ryder Cup hero, in announcing his move to LIV Golf on Tuesday. Rahm made the announcement in December.
‘Best in golf to our fans’
The six PGA Tour Player Directors, which include Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, and Tiger Woods, said in a single statement that they were “proud” of the players’ unanimous vote in favour of the new programme.
“It was incredibly important for us to create opportunities for the players of today and in the future to be more invested in their organization, both financially and strategically,” it read.
This not only benefits the Tour’s financial standing but also encourages the players to devote their whole selves to provide our fans with the greatest golf experiences possible. We are excited for the upcoming chapter and an even more promising future.
Leading the SSG partnership with a $1.5 billion initial investment is FSG Principal Owner John Henry, whose holdings include the National Hockey League, Liverpool in the English Premier League, and the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball.
Other members of SSG include Wyc Grousbeck, the owner of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Steven Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets in Major League Baseball (MLB), and Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League (NFL).