Just a few moments ago, a press release went out that completely shocked not just me and those here in the Proof Golf HQ; but the entire world. Apparently, out of nowhere, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf have simply decided to lay down their weapons, shake hands and…work together?? Add to this mix the DP World Tour and you have a cocktail that defies the reality professional golf has lived in for the past 18 months.
According to breaking news by CNBC, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf have already signed an agreement that merges the two entities and kills all pending litigation. Moving forward, the two will operate under a larger golf enterprise that will also include the DP World Tour – a.k.a the European PGA Tour.
CNBC’s David Faber reports that the PIF (the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund) is ready to invest billions of dollars of new capital into this new, merged entity, but there were no detail provided yet on how this new entity will operate or be structured.
Under this new working agreement, the three major tours will create “a fair and objective process for any players who want to re-apply for membership with the PGA Tour or DP World Tour” after the close of the 2023 season. That means players like Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and Dustin Johnson could be back in PGA Tour events as soon as next season.
Ideally, this yet-unnamed entity will be a source of growth and larger overall fan engagement with the game of golf. There will be a lot more to this than a simple handshake, and how these individual tours decide to move forward together will have a massive, lasting impact on the game of professional golf. To hear PGA Tour Commissionaer Jay Monahan talk about it:
After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love. This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA TOUR’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model and combines with it the DP World Tour and LIV – including the team golf concept – to create an organization that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans. Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made – to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game’s future.
We are pleased to move forward, in step with LIV and PIF’s world-class investing experience, and I applaud PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan for his vision and collaborative and forward-thinking approach that is not just a solution to the rift in our game, but also a commitment to taking it to new heights. This will engender a new era in global golf, for the better.Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner
How it all shakes out in the end is anyone’s guess, and it will be a years-long process before everything gets sorted. In the end, this is a massive, seismic shift in professional golf that I never thought would happen. Again, there’s a lot to think about and talk about with this announcement, but for now, it looks like these rival tours will be one big, happy family moving forward.