(Reuters) – The British-based World Golf Group (WGG) has finally publicly unveiled its plan for a new global tour that would comprise 18 yearly tournaments featuring 48 of the game’s top players.
Nearly two years after Reuters first reported the group’s plans, the Premier Golf League (PGL) hopes to launch in January, 2022, it said in a detailed news release on Saturday.
Each tournament would have prize money of $10 million.
Whether the tour is feasible remains to be seen on an already-crowded calendar.
The PGL said it wants to work with established tours rather than as a breakaway circuit, but the PGA Tour and European Tour have been all but dismissive about the proposed circuit.
“We don’t comment on the business of other tours, real or hypothetical. We’re focused on our business,” the PGA Tour said in a statement to Reuters.
The European Tour has been similarly dismissive.
The PGA Tour has a policy in which players must seek a “release” from the commissioner each time they want to play an event on anything other than their home tour.
This effectively restricts American players to a handful of international appearances a year.
Top players already have at least six must-play events each season — the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, British Open, Players Championship and either the Ryder or Presidents Cup.
It is difficult to see how they could add 18 PGL tournaments and still find time to play even a limited schedule on the PGA Tour or European Tour.
No players have publicly committed to the proposed tour but despite these seemingly daunting hurdles, the PGL sounds upbeat about its chances of getting off the ground.
The statement said the tour would be “an individual and team league” with 12 teams of four players vying for a world championship.
Ten of the 18 events would be in the United States. All would be three rounds with no cut.
The PGL said the current professional structure is outdated.
“If you want the world to watch, you have to showcase your best product, week-in-week-out. Golf doesn’t do that currently,” it said.
“If you had the chance to start again you wouldn’t create professional golf as it exists today. The League is that chance.
“We believe we’ll succeed because the League is what fans, sponsors and broadcasters want — and the best players deserve. It will revitalise the sport for this and future generations.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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