PGA Tour’s letter to players outlines framework for LIV Golf, DP World Tour partnership
On Tuesday, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced an agreement to merge the PIF’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf) with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity.
The move was announced to players in a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
The letter, printed in its entirety below, outlines the framework of what’s to come from the merger.
PGA TOUR Members:
Today is a momentous day for your organization and the game of golf as a whole.
The PGA TOUR - your TOUR - is leading the formation of a new commercial entity to unify golf, one that sees the end of the disruption and distraction that has divided the men’s professional game for the better part of three years.
Through a framework agreement, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is contributing its golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf), along with a significant financial investment, toward minority equity ownership of a new, collectively held, for-profit LLC. This new entity (name TBD) will also include the PGA TOUR’s commercial businesses and rights, as well as those of the DP World Tour.
PGA TOUR Inc. will remain in place as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization and retains administrative oversight of the PGA TOUR, including the sanctioning of events, the administration of the competition and rules, as well as all other “inside the ropes” responsibilities; I remain as Commissioner of the PGA TOUR and Ed Herlihy as PGA TOUR Policy Board Chairman. PIF’s Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the PGA TOUR Policy Board.
Upon execution of a definitive agreement, the Board of Directors - which will oversee and direct all the new entity’s golf-related commercial operations, businesses and investments - will include Al-Rumayyan as Chairman and me as Chief Executive Officer; the two of us will also be a part of the new entity’s Executive Committee along with Ed Herlihy and PGA TOUR Policy Board member Jimmy Dunne. The PGA TOUR will appoint a majority of the Board and hold a majority voting interest in the combined entity.
There are many details to work through as we develop a definitive agreement, which will ultimately require PGA TOUR Policy Board approval, and I know you have many questions. Some additional items to note in the meantime:
- Notably, today’s announcement brings about an end to all pending litigation between the participating entities and prohibits any further recruitment of PGA TOUR, DP World Tour or LIV Golf members.
- We will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of LIV Golf and determine how best to integrate team golf into the professional game. The 2023 LIV Golf schedule will continue as planned.
- We will work cooperatively to establish a fair and objective process for any players who desire to re-apply for membership with the PGA TOUR or the DP World Tour following the completion of the 2023 season, consistent with each Tour’s policies. This is a complicated endeavor and one that will be guided by established PGA TOUR rules and regulations.
- In addition to the financial investment in the new entity for an equity stake:
o PIF will make a financial investment to become a premier corporate sponsor of the
PGA TOUR (and DP World Tour and other international tours)
- PIF will make an additional investment in the new entity that will allow us to build an even stronger and more robust commercial business, together.
- PIF is committed to significant financial support toward causes that positively impact the game on a global basis.
There is much work to do to get us from a framework agreement to a definitive agreement, but one thing is obvious: through this transformational agreement and with PIF’s collaborative investment, the immeasurable strength of the PGA TOUR’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model not only remains intact, but is supercharged for the future. Our game, our players and our fans will no doubt benefit for years to come.
I will be on site at the RBC Canadian open later today and would like to invite those in the field to a Player Meeting at 4 p.m. to help answer any questions you may have.