PGA golf series gets billions from investors

Henry

The American PGA golf series is $3 billion (about R56 billion) richer today.

And nearly 200 professionals who remained loyal to the PGA Series and turned down tempting offers from the LIV Series will share in this windfall that the American Series received after joining hands with a group of well-known businessmen who are in the sports world earn their bread and butter.

The group of loyal PGA players will between them receive $930 million (more than R17 billion) in shares in the golf body’s new for-profit company, PGA Tour Enterprises.

A further approximately $600 million (more than R11 billion) will be set aside for a period of five years for shares for future players.

The news about the share award to the players was announced on Wednesday by the PGA Series in a statement in which its new partnership with the Strategic Sports Group (SSG) was confirmed. The SSG is a group of American businessmen who own and operate several well-known sports teams.

John Henry, the big boss of the Fenway Sports Group that owns Liverpool, the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Penguins, is the driving force behind SSG.

The SSG paid $3 billion (nearly R56 billion) for a 25% share in PGA Tour Enterprises.

This new company will do the PGA series’ future marketing and owns the series’ commercial and media rights, which currently has an annual income of $1.5 billion (about R28 billion).

The Henrys believe they can collect ten times more money in the future than they currently do for the PGA Series and therefore did not hesitate to pay billions to join hands with the PGA Series.

The series’ current commissioner, Jay Monahan, will be the CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises. He will also serve as chairman of a 13-member board, which will include seven players and four SSG members.

Monahan confirmed on Wednesday that negotiations with the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Yassir Al-Rumayyan, are still ongoing. According to Monahan, members of the SSG are involved in discussions with the LIV golf boss about the PIF’s possible future involvement with PGA Tour Enterprises.

A 25% stake has apparently been offered to PIF, which will further bolster the new company’s coffers and secure the game’s future.

According to insiders, the chances are good that the PIF will say yes to the PGA Tour Enterprises offer, even though they initially wanted to do business with the PGA series alone.

The continued existence of the LIV series is now believed to be the reason delaying a possible agreement.

Al-Rumayyan seems to want the LIV Series to continue on its own and not become part of the newly formed golf business.

However, the Saudi Arabian golf boss wants the LIV players to be able to play in the PGA Series whenever they want – without any sanctions hindering their participation in the series.

With their pockets suddenly full of money and the future looking much more rosy than a few months ago, it will be interesting to see what Monahan’s stance will be on Al-Rumayyan’s demands.

However, the final decisions about anything still rest with the PGA players, who now have more insight than before as full shareholders.

At the last poll, anti-LIV sentiment was very high and only time will tell if the players feel that the shares they will receive are sufficient compensation for their loyalty to the PGA Series.

  • Additional information: Golf.com, PGA Tour