It remains to be seen if the status quo in golf can be disrupted, but more than one upstart league is trying.
The Premier Golf League —which is different from the similarly designed Super Golf League —is targeting a 2023 launch.
The PGL is structured to create a sense of rivalry and narrative among elite golfers. The league plans to hold a dozen tournaments in the U.S. each year, plus six more overseas.
- Tournament winners would net $4 million of the $20 million prize purse. Last place would take home $150,000.
- Twelve teams of four players would participate in each tournament, plus an extra, fan-selected team. Teams would rise and fall through a promotion/relegation system similar to European soccer.
- The league itself would be half-owned by a community of golf players, tournament operators, and fans.
Seeking to differentiate its broadcasts, the PGL said that every shot would be available to viewers.
When the Super Golf League began making waves, the PGA Tour threatened players with a lifetime ban if they joined alternate leagues. Andy Gartiner, the PGL’s CEO, dismissed that idea and said players should be free to chart their own paths.
The PGA Tour has sought to build its own brand by offering a $40 million pool for the 10 athletes who drive the most engagement with the sport through social media and other methods, with the top player getting $8 million.