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PGA Tour Announces Major Investment - But Do Golf Fans Even Care

By: | Wed 31 Jan 2024

If you're weary of reading about corporate shenanigans and business intrigue at the highest levels of professional golf, then we're afraid to say that we have some more for you. Following months of negotiations, the PGA Tour has announced the launch of PGA Tour Enterprises in partnership with Strategic Sports Group (SSG). 

This venture will remain under the PGA Tour's control and the lead headline for players is that it will provide each of the tour's almost 200 members with the opportunity to become equity holders in this new company.

Under this programme, players would collectively access over $1.5 billion in equity. These grants will be based on (among other things) career accomplishments, recent achievements and PGA Tour membership status, with the grants only being available to qualified PGA Tour players.

Launching the new company, SSG, a consortium of American sports team owners led by Fenway Sports Group, has made a major financial and strategic investment of up to $3 billion.

What this means for a deal with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia remains unclear at the moment - but the PGA Tour has confirmed progress in its talks with PIF on potential future investment (which has been consented by SSG) and both parties are working towards an agreement, subject to the complex process of meeting all necessary regulatory approvals.

As for the DP World Tour, the PGA Tour has declared that the much-vaunted Strategic Alliance remains a focus. Discussions remain ongoing about how the parties can best work together.

“Today marks an important moment for the PGA Tour and fans of golf across the world,” said Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour and CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises. “By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen the collective investment of our players in the success of the PGA Tour. 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. And 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.”

Jay Monahan

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

“We were proud to vote in unanimous support of this historic partnership between PGA Tour Enterprises and SSG,” said PGA Tour Player Directors Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods in a joint statement. “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. This not only further strengthens the Tour from a business perspective, but it also encourages the players to be fully invested in continuing to deliver - and further enhance - the best in golf to our fans. We are looking forward to this next chapter and an even brighter future.”

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to join PGA Tour players in this important next phase of the PGA Tour’s evolution,” said John Henry, principal owner of Fenway Sports Group and manager of the Strategic Sports Group. “Our enthusiasm for this new venture stems from a very deep respect for this remarkable game and a firm belief in the expansive growth potential of the PGA Tour. We are proud to partner with this historic institution and are eager to work with the PGA Tour and its many members to grow and strengthen the game of golf globally.”

What any of this means in a practical sense with regards to events and tournaments is unknown and how (or in any way) it will benefit golf fans and regular viewers remains a mystery. Ultimately, a significant injection of money has been added, which will further enrich the players, starting with those at the top. The deeper question is whether any of this has value and meaning to those residing outside the walls of the PGA Tour as men's professional golf continues on its journey away from the realms of reality and the consciousness of those it is there to supposedly entertain.

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Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf dp world tour daily picks

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