New golf world tour with massive prizemoney proposed
A new global golf circuit is being planned, multiple sources have confirmed, in what would be the biggest upheaval in the professional game in decades.
To be named the World Golf Series, the circuit proposed by the British-based World Golf Group has been in the planning stages for more than a year.
The group hopes to stage 15-20 yearly tournaments around the world, each offering a purse of close to $20 million, according to sources familiar with the plans.
Such a figure would dwarf the prizemoney currently on offer on the game’s richest circuit, the US PGA Tour, whose biggest purse this season is $11 million.
Several blue-chip sponsors are believed to be on board for the World Golf Series if top players can be signed.
Organisers, however, are understandably reluctant to release details while they are still in the sensitive negotiation phase with agents, players, sponsors and television companies.
“It would not be appropriate to make a comment at this time,” the World Golf Group, whose chief commercial cfficer is Richard Marsh, said in an email.
A leading player says he and other top professionals are aware of the proposal.
“Why would you not be interested – 18 tournaments for $20 million?” the player, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
But the new tour faces major hurdles, not least that it is likely to meet staunch opposition from the PGA Tour, which will hardly be pleased by the prospect of a rival circuit siphoning off its best and most marketable talent.
The new tour is also unlikely to be sanctioned for world ranking points, which could on its own make it a non-starter.
Ranking points are used to determine eligibility for the four major championships, which are not run by the PGA Tour.
Player contracts are also dependent on their world ranking.