A new World Golf Tour has been proposed with huge $20m purses
New World Golf Tour Proposed
Sources have confirmed with news agency Reuters that a new World Golf Tour could be on its way.
Golf’s two main Tours, the PGA and European Tours currently dominate the golfing landscape with huge purses on either side of the pond, with the PGA being the more lucrative of the two.
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However, there has been talk for a number of years about a ‘World Tour’, similar to the tennis model.
The new World Golf Tour, which would be known as the World Golf Series, is said to involve 15-20 tournaments each year with purses near the $20m mark.
To put that into perspective, the PGA Tour’s biggest prize pools are $11m, whilst the European Tour’s Rolex Series tournaments offer $7m.
The largest winning share in 2017 was at the US Open, where Brooks Koepka pocketed $2.2m last year from the $12m purse.
The European Tour’s latest schedule includes around 50 tournaments in its season, meaning the higher-ranked players can pick and choose from the biggest events. The same applies with the PGA Tour.
Reuters say that the World Golf Series has been proposed by the British ‘World Golf Group’ and planning has been going on for over a year.
A leading golfer, speaking on anonymity, told Reuters, “Why would you not be interested – 18 tournaments for $20m?”
However, it is unlikely that the World Golf Series would offer world ranking points which are the main criteria for qualifying for majors, WGCs, the Ryder Cup and other big events.
World ranking points are also critical in player endorsement deals, according to agent Chubby Chandler.
“Every player’s deal is centered around world ranking points,” Chandler told Reuters.
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“This series will never get world ranking points, so it will cost people money in the end. I think there are a lot of obstacles to get over,” he continued.
“The cards are stacked against them if they don’t get six of the world’s top 10 players to sign up.”
Reuters say that ‘several blue-chip sponsors’ are ready to give the green light if the biggest names commit to the World Golf Series.
However, Greg Norman proposed a similar idea with Rupert Murdoch back in 1994 which never materialised.
The PGA Tour said they would suspend membership of any player that teed it up in Norman’s proposed series, this could well happen in this case too.
“I’m sure the Tour would be concerned,” said the anonymous player to Reuters.
“I’m not sure what they did with (Norman’s Tour), but these are different times.”
The player also expressed doubt about the World Golf Series, implying that it keeps being delayed, from 2019 to 2020 and now 2021.
The World Golf Group told Reuters in an email that “It would not be appropriate to make a comment at this time.”