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Golf

"It's not about the money" says big-spending breakaway golf league

Organisers of the upstart Premier Golf League insist their venture is "not about the money".  Th...



Golf

"It's not about the money" says big-spending breakaway golf league

Organisers of the upstart Premier Golf League insist their venture is "not about the money". 

They've penned an open letter to the "world of golf" stating their position, having come in for criticism for challenging the sport's status quo.

In January of 2020, World Golf Group announced plans for an 18-event tour, with a total prize fund of $240million (€197m). Their financial backing comes from New York-based merchant bank, Raine Group.

15-time Major-winner Tiger Woods has admitted to being approached by the breakaway league, while Rory McIlroy likened the venture to football's European Super League, describing it as a "money grab".

In their letter, Premier Golf League claim, "it's not about the money. It's just about better".

They plan to curry favour by offering 50 per cent of the league's ownership to "golf's community".

Prize money comparison between proposed Premier Golf League events and WGC Workday Championship (premiergolfleague.com)

According to their website, they say, "That includes professional golfers, men and women, touring and/or non-touring, the charitable and commercial operators of existing tournaments and fans.

"The allocation of ownership, the structure of any offer and the rights attaching to any shares will be determined following a period of consultation with those bodies that represent professional golfers and promote the amateur side of the game."

Not everyone has been so aghast at the proposal as McIlroy, with Lee Westwood describing it as a "no brainer".

Where their proposal differs from the Super League, they say, is that there will be promotion and relegation saying it's, "essential that participation is based on merit".

In their letter, they state, "We believe professional golf can and should be better, for the fans, players and golf's wider community. Our sole objective is to get more people watching and playing the game we love. For decades to come."

Their wish is to see the Premier Golf League become destination viewing in the same way the Ryder Cup and the Majors are.

They add, "There has been talk of possible player bans, suggesting they should not be free to choose how, when and where to play.

"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."

PGL statement: 

An open letter to the world of golf,

There's been a lot of rumour and speculation flying around recently regarding the proposed future of professional golf.

Firstly, we'd like to make clear that our proposition — the Premier Golf League — has been a labour of love for 6 years. We haven't entered into this lightly, we're unabashed golf fans with backgrounds in golf media sales and buying, broadcasting, sports production, golf tournament operations, golf rules officiating, team operations, digital operations and the law. In other words, we have the expertise and the financial and operational ability to deliver.

We are also entirely separate from the SGL.

We're doing this because we believe professional golf can and should be better, for the fans, players and golf's wider community. Our sole objective is to get more people watching and playing the game we love. For decades to come.

To us, that means 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.

We want those who ordinarily only watch the Majors and The Ryder Cup to tune in each week; appointment viewing, 18 times a season, as we see in other sports. And for those who don't watch golf to realise what they're missing.

Plus, we want those who come to spectate to be desperate to come back again.

There has been talk of possible player bans, suggesting they should not be free to choose how, when and where to play. 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.

Indeed, we plan to go further and gift 50% ownership of the Premier Golf League to golf's community (please see our website for more detail and an explanation as to why, for legal reasons, this does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale).

Because for us it's not about the money. It's just about better.

It's also about truly engaging with fans, without whom there would be no sponsors, broadcasters or purses. The fans who will pick the 51 wild cards each season to play for our 13th team.

If you like the sound of this or would just like to know more, please take a look at our website (premiergolfleague.com). We'd love to hear your opinion and we hope you will be as excited as we are about the launch of the Premier Golf League.

See you on the first tee,

The PGL Team

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Premier Golf Premier Golf League Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods

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