Who are we?
We come from media sales, media buying, broadcasting, sports production, tournament operations, digital, rules officiating, team operations, legal and golf administration backgrounds. From some of the biggest names in sport and media, including: NBC, FOX, Golf Channel, ESPN, IMG, Omnicom, the Olympics, UEFA Champions League, the R&A, IMG, the IPL and Manchester United.
Owned by World Golf Group Limited, Premier Golf League Limited is a UK Company that will own and operate the League and pay its full share of tax. Our c.60 group shareholders include large corporates and high net-worth individuals who cover all of our working capital requirements.
Eighteen frequently asked questions, answered
WHY DOES GOLF NEED A LEAGUE?
Leagues are the life blood of sport because they allow the dynamics of one week’s play to create extra tension going into the next week, with drama and excitement mounting until the end of season play-offs. Golf needs this. The sport deserves a high-quality league that allows the game to weave its way into fans’ lives through the week in the way that isolated major tournaments do not.
SO, PLAYERS WILL PLAY IN THE PGL RATHER THAN THE MAJORS?
No, they’ll play both. The schedule has been designed to put our players in the right place to prepare fully for the Majors and The Ryder Cup. This League will offer better tournament golf in between but the attraction of the Majors will, if anything, increase. The Majors will offer fans the chance to see PGL players compete with the best from other tours.
BUT PGL PLAYERS WON’T GET RANKING POINTS, SO WON’T BE ABLE TO QUALIFY FOR THE MAJORS?
Golf is a sport based on honour, integrity and fair play. In the commercial world, the principles of fair play are enshrined in competition law. We’ve been advised that the rules that would currently deprive our players of ranking points, infringe competition law. So, we’re confident those rules will be changed or disapplied. We’re also confident the Majors will not choose to exclude PGL players.
WON’T THE BAN THREATS DETER PLAYERS FROM JOINING THE PGL?
We’ve been advised that any ban threat used to deter players from joining the League would be unlawful. Players have a right to play wherever and whenever they choose, free from fear of exclusion or prejudice. Participation in the PGL would not justify any player exclusion. It would be an unfair and unconstitutional and a punishment that would set a dangerous legal precedent.
So no, we don’t think players will be banned, and look forward to working alongside the other tours to make professional golf the best it can be.
SO, YOU WOULD STILL BE WILLING TO WORK WITH THE TOURS?
Yes, of course. The door is always open, for both tours. We plan to gift 50% ownership of the PGL to members of golf’s community. That includes professional golfers, men and women, touring and non-touring, plus the charitable and commercial operators of existing tournaments and fans.
We’ll work out the structure, terms and allocation in consultation with those that represent professional golfers and promote the amateur side of the game. We’d also be happy to make purse contributions and to prioritise the events of other tours in our schedule. We see the PGL as an opportunity to unify and unite golf, for the good of the game, globally.
ARE YOU CONNECTED TO THE SGL?
No. The Premier Golf League is entirely separate from the SGL and we have no Saudi backing. We’re keen to end the confusion by sharing details about the PGL, our plans and our vision to make professional golf better.
WHO ARE YOUR BACKERS AND HOW MUCH BACKING DO YOU HAVE?
We have an incredible shareholder base that loves golf and is providing the required backing. But it’s not just about the money. You could have all the money in the world and still not get this right. It’s about being fair, inclusive and rewarding. It’s also about creating the right ownership structure and sharing with those who make up golf’s community.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THE PLAYERS MAKE?
We want the best players in the world, playing in the best league in the world, and will structure the purse accordingly. In the first three seasons, the league will pay a total prize money of around $390m; this will rise to about $440m in the fourth season and $480m in the seventh season. The individual player championship will pay a weekly purse of $20m, with $4m to the winner. The team championship will be decided by the play-offs – another $20m, winner takes all.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPONSORSHIP OR BROADCAST DEALS DONE?
Not yet, but we’ve had extensive discussions with leading sponsors, broadcasters and media buyers. Our team includes the former heads of media sales for NBC, FOX and the Golf Channel plus people, internal and external, who’ve sold broadcast and sponsorship rights, so we’ve everyone in place to close the negotiations once the players are ready to sign. As you’d imagine, the opportunity to sponsor or broadcast the best players playing the best professional format in golf is an attractive one.
WHEN WILL WE SEE PLAYER ANNOUNCEMENTS?
You will see player announcements later in the year once we’ve named our team owners.
WHO WILL THE TEAM OWNERS BE?
We’ll be announcing our team owners soon. Team golf is nothing new, but this extraordinary opportunity is. Think about the unrivalled access, unparalleled experiences, unimaginable fun, at 18 unforgettable events every year. The opportunity to help change the game for the better, just as the greats did 50 years ago. A chance to make history, as well as a great return on investment.
You can expect to see a heady mix of global stars (not just golfers) and high-profile globally representative individuals from the world of business.
CAN YOU DELIVER A WORLD CLASS FORMAT FROM SCRATCH?
Our operating model is streamlined and efficient. We have a strong, experienced core team packed with experts in all the key disciplines and we’ll be working with the best service providers in the market. We’ll also be spending over $13 million per tournament, excluding the purse. That’s considerably more than the average across other tours and not far off a Major or The Ryder Cup – so you can be sure to expect something special.
WHEN DOES IT BEGIN AND WHERE WILL YOUR EVENTS BE PLAYED?
It all starts in January 2023. The League will play out over 18 different courses around the world. Twelve will be in the US.
WILL WOMEN PLAY IN THE LEAGUE?
Embedded within our DNA and long-term vision is an absolute commitment to raising the profile of and benefitting the women’s game.
As well as being picked by fans to play for the 13th team, leading women golfers could also play the same league format, on the same courses, the week before the men. A 2-week festival of golf that would boost the profile of the women’s game, increase its revenues and dramatically reduce its operating costs.
WHAT’S THE 13TH TEAM ALL ABOUT?
It’s about truly engaging the fans and getting them involved. Three wild cards picked by fans each week. Legends, rising stars, local favourites, men and women. That’s up to 51 additional players with a chance to win each season. The 13th team will be owned by our foundation and add an extra dimension to the League. We can’t wait to see who the fans will select?
The PGL Foundation has been created to ensure the PGL delivers on it’s commitment to fund and support charitable purposes that are linked to the long-term benefit of the game and the golfing community. It will be overseen by a board of independent Trustees who will be announced in due course.
WHAT ABOUT JUNIORS?
This is one of our favourite things about the PGL. The JPGL will involve 48 juniors per week (816 per season across 17 events), boys and girls aged 12 to 18, playing for our teams. Same kits, same course, on the Monday or Tuesday of each tournament week. With team and individual scoring, incredible access and amazing prizes. Plus, most if not all of our teams will operate junior academies.
THIS IS A LEAGUE FOR THE VERY BEST PLAYERS, WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF GOLF?
The official world golf rankings recognise over 20 professional men’s tours and over 400 tournaments a year. That’s a robust pyramid that will only be strengthened by the League. The whole of professional golf should benefit from the amazing showcase the PGL will provide.
We’ve seen in other sports how restructuring can grow a fanbase and generate more revenue for the pyramid. Indeed, we saw it in golf when the best players broke away from the PGA of America to create the PGA Tour. Plus, there’s the opportunity for golf’s wider community to own part of the PGL and to secure other financial benefits.
WHEN WILL WE HEAR MORE?
Very soon so stay tuned, we will be making more announcements over the coming weeks and months.