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https://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2020/1/25/premier-golf-league-answers-a-lot-of-questions-in-long-qampa-about-their-goals-intentions-and-vision

In my opinion it's an intriguing concept, and since they have now gone public I think it's worth discussing here.  Weigh the pros and cons of this possible new Tour and how it might affect the PGA and European Tours, and the fact that the PGA Tour just announce the upping of the purse for the Players to $15 million from $12.5 million.  But the format of this new tour seems intriguing at the least and I'll be interested to watch to see if the top 48 players in the world jump on this, especially considering these are 54 hole no cut events with a guaranteed paycheck, which if you win one of these the money is going to be insane.  It would also appear to me that they have some serious financial backers of this (Saudi Oil Money and British Bank Money) so if they can interest enough of the top players this could definitely change the face of pro golf.

As I always say, money always talks, and that seems to be the main emphasis of this thing.  Your thoughts are needed on this one as I only have one slightly intrigued opinion...

Quote

PREMIER GOLF LEAGUE LIMITED (PGL) INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Q: What is the League?

PGL: It’s a new, improved format, devised in consultation with those who fund the sport at the highest professional level – designed, simply, to be the best product golf is capable of producing.

An individual and team league format – only the best, playing against the best each week.

Forty-eight players competing to win the individual world championship. Twelve teams of 4 competing to win the team world championship – in a compelling league format that will generate the strongest possible seasonal narrative.

Each 8-month season will begin in January and be comprised of 18 events; 10 of which will be played in the US, with others airing during US primetime.

Rather than the traditional 4, there will be 3 days of stroke play competition (54 holes) per tournament, with no cut – you don’t send the world’s best players home early.

The first 2 days will have a shotgun start, to fit within a 5-hour broadcast window, so no slow air. And each final day will go to a 2-tee start, to maintain the traditional back-9 climax.

The world champion will be crowned after 17 weeks and the 18th event will be a team play- off, utilizing a seeded, match play format, to decide the league winners – one of sport’s ultimate, annual, spectacles.

The League will generate the most entertaining and enthralling content the sport is capable of producing. The best field guaranteed – the best fan and player experience guaranteed.

 

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Will be interesting to see if this fully develops and how it would/will all actually play out. That's damned near more intriguing to me than the actual proposal of the golf and even that sounds pretty cool. I'll be eating popcorn and watching the next couple years i guess

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Without big names supporting this it will go nowhere. Add in that at least for pga tour pros with me membership in the pga tour they need permission from the tour to play an opposite field event the chances of the pga commish giving permission will be slim to none. 
 

without big name players the sponsorship money isn’t going to be there and without that ir tv time it’s going to be a rough go at it

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Just now, RickyBobby_PR said:

Without big names supporting this it will go nowhere. Add in that at least for pga tour pros with me membership in the pga tour they need permission from the tour to play an opposite field event the chances of the pga commish giving permission will be slim to none. 
 

without big name players the sponsorship money isn’t going to be there and without that ir tv time it’s going to be a rough go at it

I think the concept is predicated on luring the top 48 players in the world to this new tour, and they would not be members of any other tour at that point, so ties with the PGA Tour would be irrelevant, at least for a player who plays this new tour.

  • Several things that weren't discussed within this press Q&A were how they determine which players qualify for this Premier Golf League? 
  • And once a player gains an invitation to play on this tour, are there any qualifiers for them keeping their invitation or membership for the next season?
  • What if a player (i.e. Jordan Spieth) plays on this new your, and all of a sudden loses his game and finishes dead last in every event, or nearly every event.  How would he be able to return to the PGA Tour, or Euro Tour should he lose his status on the PGL?
  • Flipping it the other way, how do you determine which up and coming players make this PGL for the next season, and which players fall out?
  • Since you are mandating members of the PGL play all 18 events, and the majors, what penalties are incurred by member players who skip events on the PGL?

My guess to some of the above is that this originally would be based on World Golf Ranking points, and they'd take the top 48 at the end of a calendar year, and then at the end of each year, they simply pull the top 48 in the world golf rankings every year, so as to maintain the elite status of the PGL.  But I don't know if that would ideally work in real life, because players lose their game all the time, and a suddenly hot player because ice cold and can't hit a golf ball to save their life.  And if we are simply pulling the top 48 in the world, that would severely diminish the world ranking points of both the European Tour events, as well as the PGA Tour events, diminishing them to glorified Korn Ferry Tour level status.  If they do this, then the World Golf Rankings would in reality because completely worthless.  And ultimately to take a step up to this new PGL, a player would, in theory, have to win a major to have any chance of gaining enough points to make it to this elite tour on points.  Because if all of the top players are all playing the same events at the same time, those top 48 players would simply keep adding mega world golf ranking points to their totals, even when they finish dead last in a no-cut event.  I can see some player getting onto this tour, and never winning anything and still remain in the top 20 in the world, just by finishing in the top 20 at every event they play on this tour.

The more I think about this, the more this becomes a complicated mess as to how you define a PGL player, and how status' are maintained on any tour.  And I can already see the backlash by the Euro Tour and the PGA Tour when and if top players have a max exodus for this concept, and those two tours are left with the crumbs.  And then when player A doesn't do well on the PGL and ends up losing status there, I can already envision the Euro Tour and the PGA Tour not accepting said player back onto their tour, at least not with any level of exempt status available.  Sort of a "you made your decision to go there, now you can just suck it, as you have no place back here ever." type of reverberation.

So many unknown variables to this that I just don't know how this would work itself out.  They were discussing this on Golf.com and several media people were suggesting that perhaps the benefits to all of this is that it forces the Euro Tour and PGA Tour to make a better product out of what is currently out there, therefore keeping enough $$$ and incentive for current tour members to remain on their current tours without enough temptation to leave their current tour.

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Top 48 players aren’t going to give up on chasing the pga tour wins and majors. Good or bad there’s lots of tradition and history associated with the pga and euro tours. Guys who have dreamed their whole live about winning a major or multiple majors, the players championship and competing in Ryder cup or presidents cup aren’t going to just pass all that up.

theres more negatives than positives imo

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23 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Top 48 players aren’t going to give up on chasing the pga tour wins and majors. Good or bad there’s lots of tradition and history associated with the pga and euro tours. Guys who have dreamed their whole live about winning a major or multiple majors, the players championship and competing in Ryder cup or presidents cup aren’t going to just pass all that up.

theres more negatives than positives imo

Even if a player jumps to the PGL, they will still compete in Majors, simply if based on World Golf Ranking status.  But using the Masters as an example, Augusta offers invitations to PGA Tour full event winners.  So a player playing on the PGL wouldn't necessarily earn a spot in the Masters, unless they were in the Top 50 in the World Golf Ranking.  But again, we're assuming the PGL takes the top 48 in the world for their league.

It's just a mess to try this, bottom line.  

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Why not send the "best players" home early if they cannot make the cut.  If they're the best players in the world day in and day out they should always make the cut.  I very much like seeing #168 win on Sunday when a handful of the top 50 are back home getting prepared for the next event.  This has all the makings of being the Prima-Donna Tour... thanks but no thanks.

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I remember a time when Mssrs. Palmer and Nicklaus talked about doing something like this.  Nothing new under the sun here I think. 

I will take a wait and see but if there are no associated World Golf Ranking points with the events I doubt it goes anywhere - there's too many other opportunities to make cash that depend on winning recognized tournaments and playing those tournaments require the rankings - If you can't get Tiger you have no chance with this thing and given that he is chasing history at this point I would suspect that it will be hard to lure him away from recognized and more traditional stuff.

 

Plus it would totally mess with Fantasy Golf. 🙂

 

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Didn’t Greg Norman propose a “World Tour” 10-15 years ago because he was pissed at the PGA? Is he involved again?


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On 1/27/2020 at 11:35 AM, Mr. 82 said:

I think the concept is predicated on luring the top 48 players in the world to this new tour, and they would not be members of any other tour at that point, so ties with the PGA Tour would be irrelevant, at least for a player who plays this new tour.

  • Several things that weren't discussed within this press Q&A were how they determine which players qualify for this Premier Golf League? 
  • And once a player gains an invitation to play on this tour, are there any qualifiers for them keeping their invitation or membership for the next season?
  • What if a player (i.e. Jordan Spieth) plays on this new your, and all of a sudden loses his game and finishes dead last in every event, or nearly every event.  How would he be able to return to the PGA Tour, or Euro Tour should he lose his status on the PGL?
  • Flipping it the other way, how do you determine which up and coming players make this PGL for the next season, and which players fall out?
  • Since you are mandating members of the PGL play all 18 events, and the majors, what penalties are incurred by member players who skip events on the PGL?

My guess to some of the above is that this originally would be based on World Golf Ranking points, and they'd take the top 48 at the end of a calendar year, and then at the end of each year, they simply pull the top 48 in the world golf rankings every year, so as to maintain the elite status of the PGL.  But I don't know if that would ideally work in real life, because players lose their game all the time, and a suddenly hot player because ice cold and can't hit a golf ball to save their life.  And if we are simply pulling the top 48 in the world, that would severely diminish the world ranking points of both the European Tour events, as well as the PGA Tour events, diminishing them to glorified Korn Ferry Tour level status.  If they do this, then the World Golf Rankings would in reality because completely worthless.  And ultimately to take a step up to this new PGL, a player would, in theory, have to win a major to have any chance of gaining enough points to make it to this elite tour on points.  Because if all of the top players are all playing the same events at the same time, those top 48 players would simply keep adding mega world golf ranking points to their totals, even when they finish dead last in a no-cut event.  I can see some player getting onto this tour, and never winning anything and still remain in the top 20 in the world, just by finishing in the top 20 at every event they play on this tour.

The more I think about this, the more this becomes a complicated mess as to how you define a PGL player, and how status' are maintained on any tour.  And I can already see the backlash by the Euro Tour and the PGA Tour when and if top players have a max exodus for this concept, and those two tours are left with the crumbs.  And then when player A doesn't do well on the PGL and ends up losing status there, I can already envision the Euro Tour and the PGA Tour not accepting said player back onto their tour, at least not with any level of exempt status available.  Sort of a "you made your decision to go there, now you can just suck it, as you have no place back here ever." type of reverberation.

So many unknown variables to this that I just don't know how this would work itself out.  They were discussing this on Golf.com and several media people were suggesting that perhaps the benefits to all of this is that it forces the Euro Tour and PGA Tour to make a better product out of what is currently out there, therefore keeping enough $$$ and incentive for current tour members to remain on their current tours without enough temptation to leave their current tour.

Great read.

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5 hours ago, revkev said:

I remember a time when Mssrs. Palmer and Nicklaus talked about doing something like this.

I believe they were pretty successful in starting the Tournament Players Division, which became the PGA Tour.

Don't sleep on this.  I don't know that this will be successful, but the top stars can really use this as leverage to get some of that sweet, sweet TV deal cash.

My completely uneducated guess?  The FedEx cup becomes even more of a cash bonanza.  Think about this...  #30 on the Money List last year was Sungjae Im, with $2.8MM in earnings.  He made another $512K by finishing T19 in the FedEx cup.  So all in, he made about $3.3MM last year.  Not bad, right?  I mean, I'd take $3.3MM for playing golf, even with paying all of my expenses and taxes.  But the 30th highest paid player in the NBA made over $27MM last year.  Is Sungjae as valuable to the PGA tour as D'Angelo Russell is to the Warriors?  Probably.  He's really freaking good.  They could give everyone who makes it to East Lake an extra $2MM over and above what they were paid this year, and they'd still have $240MM of that extra $300MM they're raking in from the TV deal.  Don't even talk about what Brooks and Rory made compared to Steph Curry.

This could be a turning point like the formation of the PGA Tour.  With the TV deal in the books, the stars really have all of the leverage here.  If enough of them want to go somewhere else, the PGA Tour has no product, the networks have bought a pig in a poke.  And you don't need the entire top 48.  If Tiger, Rory, Brooks, JT and DJ all leave, any other 43 players in the top 100 in the world would do as far as rounding out the field of 48.  The casual fan is probably not going to notice.

I'm not going to get into whether anyone deserves this money or is worth this money, but the fact of the matter is that on the PGA tour, the stars are not compensated nearly as well as stars in other professional sports.  And when the tour is raking in $700MM annually in TV rights for their labor, they're going to want a bigger cut.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Kenny B said:

Didn’t Greg Norman propose a “World Tour” 10-15 years ago because he was pissed at the PGA? Is he involved again?
 

Here's what happened... and it was more like 23 years ago!!

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-nov-09-sp-51961-story.html

Doesn't this sound a little familiar?

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Palmer and Nicklaus did not start the PGA tour - it already existed.  I suppose their attempts as well as Norman's attempted coup may be in some part responsible for World Golf Tour events but I don't have the time or energy to really chase that thread. 

I certainly agree that the players can use this attempted start up to their advantage and why not?  Supply and demand baby -

In the end though the players at the top earn far more from endorsements than actual play.  The only one who moves the needle enough to really make a difference is Tiger - both Tiger and Nicklaus back in the day, significantly increase weekend TV ratings when in contention - no one else does - read that - no one - 538 did a really nice research piece on this a year or so ago.  We may get excited about certain players, casual fans do not - it has only ever been Tiger and Nicklaus (Arnie was at his peak when TV golf was new so there's not enough data.)

 

Nicklaus is 80 years old so if you don't have Tiger you aren't starting anything that will stick and Tiger is way too far along the wins record and major record chase to be jumping ship - that's really all that he cares about at this point.  For players the money is in endorsements and endorsements will be where Tiger plays because that's where the TV ratings are.

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PGA commish laying down the law early.

“The schedule for the Team Golf Concept is designed to directly compete and conflict with the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup schedule, and to not conflict with [and would be in addition to] the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and the Open Championship,” Monahan said in the letter. The email warned that under current tour regulations a tour member can’t have a financial interest in another player, which is one of the central elements of Premier Golf League’s team ownership concept. Monahan also noted the strict enforcement of the tour’s policy on conflicting event releases, which the tour typically limits to three per player.
 

“If the Team Golf Concept or another iteration of this structure becomes a reality in 2022 or at any time before or after,” Monahan said in the letter, “our members will have to decide whether they want to continue to be a member of the PGA Tour or play on a new series.”
 

The other thing to consider is world ranking points. I doubt the PGA tour, European tour and any other bodies involved in that determine what tours, events, etc get world ranking points won’t be freely giving them to a competitor. Without being able to earn world ranking points the members on euro and pga tour aren’t going to jump ship 

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This has legal wrangling and billable hours written all over it.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my uneducated opinion, if I were on tour... I'd give this some serious thought. A 20 week season vs a 43? 46? Plus extra events? Week season, with my family... I'd give it some serious thought from the time perspective.

What other season goes for so long, even if you don't have to play in every event?

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22 minutes ago, Green Sheep Productions said:

In my uneducated opinion, if I were on tour... I'd give this some serious thought. A 20 week season vs a 43? 46? Plus extra events? Week season, with my family... I'd give it some serious thought from the time perspective.

What other season goes for so long, even if you don't have to play in every event?

Most pros don’t play a full season schedule. If a pro adds an event they haven’t played in 4 years they are not required to play the minimum of 25 events. Most pros will play about 25 times or so including those who play both euro and pga tour since WGC and majors count for both tours.

They aren’t going to give up world ranking points by playing this tour just for some extra cash over the pga tour payouts. Losing world ranking points keeps them out of majors and WGCs. And there’s no way to play both tours since they are only allowed 3 exemptions to opposite field events and those exemptions have to be approved by the tour. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I heard Rory's comments and then also listened to Fred Couples talking about this on Sirius radio.  As Couples said once the PGA tour said, "Play in this and you are no longer a member of the PGA tour in Good Standing" it was game, set, match.  The exact same thing happened when Greg Norman was involved in trying it. 

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3 minutes ago, revkev said:

I heard Rory's comments and then also listened to Fred Couples talking about this on Sirius radio.  As Couples said once the PGA tour said, "Play in this and you are no longer a member of the PGA tour in Good Standing" it was game, set, match.  The exact same thing happened when Greg Norman was involved in trying it. 

Exactly. The restrictions the pga tour has for playing opposite field events was enough to show that it will be hard to draw the names needed to make it a draw.

I was surprised a bit to hear Rory address but not surprised on the other hand as he’s been somewhat vocal lately. Rory coming out should open the flood gates for others to say something similar.

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12 minutes ago, revkev said:

I heard Rory's comments and then also listened to Fred Couples talking about this on Sirius radio.  As Couples said once the PGA tour said, "Play in this and you are no longer a member of the PGA tour in Good Standing" it was game, set, match.  The exact same thing happened when Greg Norman was involved in trying it. 

 

7 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Exactly. The restrictions the pga tour has for playing opposite field events was enough to show that it will be hard to draw the names needed to make it a draw.

I was surprised a bit to hear Rory address but not surprised on the other hand as he’s been somewhat vocal lately. Rory coming out should open the flood gates for others to say something similar.

Except that someone like DJ, who is lifetime exempt on the PGA Tour could do the Premier League and still never lose his standing with the PGA Tour.  Mickelson and Tiger are the other two that could go to the PGL and come back and play anytime they wanted on the PGA Tour.  Rory has 18 PGA Tour wins (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_McIlroy) so he needs two more to become lifetime exempt.  But honestly, Rory rejecting the Premier League was for entirely different reasons, as he stated with regards to how he can currently control his own schedule, and felt the restrictions of the Premier Golf League weren't beneficial for him personally.

The Catch 22 for this Premier League is that the players they need to commit to this don't need the money, and the players that would commit to this because of the money, can't do it because they risk losing everything they gained from the PGA Tour or Euro Tour.

Honestly, all of this PGL aside, a top player could, in theory, play all four majors, the four WGC's and maybe the Players and if playing at their best, not need the PGA Tour or the Euro Tour for anything.  Because as I see it, there is so much money just in those 8 events that why would a player need another Tour to satisfy their competitive golf desires?  

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  • Masters - Apr 9-12
  • PGA Championship May 14-17
  • US Open - June 18-21
  • WGC Memphis - July 2-5
  • Open Championship July 16-19
  • WGC - China Oct 31 - Nov 3

Maybe I am oversimplifying things, but a top player once gaining exemptions into majors and Top 50 in the world status, could essentially make that their schedule every year, and they'd never need the Euro Tour or PGA Tour ever again.  And with all that said, just looking at that sort of schedule, what would you need a Premier Golf League for, except if you were greedy?

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