On Jan. 31, PGA Tour announced that a $1.5 billion investment from Strategic Sports Group (SSG) will give nearly 200 PGA Tour members a chance to become “equity holders” in PGA Tour Enterprises.
“These grants – which vest over time – will be based on career accomplishments, recent achievements, future participation and services and PGA TOUR membership status, and grants are only available to qualified PGA TOUR players,” PGATOUR.COM staff wrote.
Led by Fenway Sports Group, the collaboration claims that it wants to strengthen the relationship between players, partners, and fans.
“Fans win when we all work to deliver the best in sports entertainment and return the focus to the incredible, and unmatched, competitive atmosphere created by our players, tournaments, and partners,” Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour and CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises said in his statement, per PGA Tour.
Although there’s optimism about the impact of the arrangement on fans, some have already voiced disappointment in the absence of any explanation of the concrete advantages the partnership may have.
“Just once, I’d like these news dumps to be about the fans and less about the billions of dollars that multi-millionaires are going to divide up,” Monday Q Info said on X, formerly Twitter.
I know this isn’t as simple I’m about to tweet. There are many layers.
But just once I’d like these news dumps to be about the fans and less about the billions of dollars that multimillionaires are going to divide up.
— Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) January 31, 2024
Even though there are more questions, highly decorated golfers, including Woods, are hopeful about the opportunities that can arise from this deal.
In a joint statement, Woods and fellow board members Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, and Jordan Spieth supported the partnership.
“It was incredibly important for us to create opportunities for the players of today and in the future to be more invested in their organization, both financially and strategically. This not only further strengthens the Tour from a business perspective, but it also encourages the players to be fully invested in continuing to deliver–and further enhance–the best in golf to our fans,” the group said in a statement.
Woods reiterated the magnitude of the agreement in a Jan. 31 conference call with PGA Tour members.
As reported by Golf.com, Woods opened the call by shouting out Malnati.
“Hey, Pete. Exciting day, huh, big guy?” he joked.
During the call, Woods also stated, “Golf is an amazing sport. It has allowed communities to heal and grow. And we, as a team, are going to offer that according to what we believe is the true compensation and meritocracy that our sport has been built upon for all these years.”
He added, “As has been described earlier, as the Tour grows, we grow. So the more we invest into the Tour, the more we get the benefits of it. Which has never been — it’s never happened in sports history. So we’re the first. Exciting for me to be able to be part of that.”