Premier Golf League DEBATE: the pros and cons...

GolfMagic's Andy and Jack weigh up the pros and cons of a new Premier Golf League in 2022.

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 13 Feb 2020

With speculation mounting that a lucrative new Premier Golf League will tee off in 2022, GolfMagic's Andy and Jack sit down to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed Formula One-style team format and what it means for the sport at large. 

To give you a quick recap of the plans, the British-based World Golf Group is looking at 18 worldwide tournaments that feature 48 elite players in 12 teams of four, with quicker 54-hole tournaments than the traditional 72.

However, multiple things will need to happen for such a PGL to get a green light. One of which will be receiving backing from the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in order to draw the masses.

RELATED: TIGER WOODS SAYS HE'S BEEN APPROACHED BY PGL

As you can see from the discussion outlined below, Andy likes the idea but does not think it will happen, while Jack considers it a welcome addition to the game and is all for it. 

Which side of the fence are you? Read Andy and Jack's take on the topic below, and then leave us your own thoughts on social media...

ANDY: "I DON'T THINK ENOUGH AMERICANS WILL SUPPORT IT"

I'm all for innovation in our sport, and I do see the attractiveness of getting behind 12 different golf teams led by four big-name captains, but I personally don't believe enough of them will support it.

For me, the biggest grey area with the PGL's plans for 18 worldwide events is exactly that - 18 'worldwide' tournaments. 

I direct this more so at the American players, who let's face it, will likely make up the majority of nations competing out of the 48 'elite' players that the PGL is looking to attract.

On recent evidence, okay with the exception of maybe Patrick Reed, a lot of the American players have not fancied too many trips outside of their home comforts of the United States.

Right now, there are 20 Americans inside the world's top 50, more so than any other nation as you would expect. 

Think about the initial World Golf Championship proposal when it was launched back in 1999. It was supposed to have four tournaments spanning the 'world' for the best players in the sport. Okay, one of these tournaments has remained in China, but two are in the United States and the other has pushed out as far out as nearby Mexico. 

Big-hitting American duo Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson have recently admitted to finding it tough to balance their heavy playing schedules during the season, especially in terms of getting themselves in prime condition for the four majors at The Masters, US PGA, US Open and The Open, and also The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. 

In fact this is a big part of their reason as to why they will unlikely elect to compete for a gold medal in Tokyo at the Olympics later this year. Then again, it did not affect the likes of DJ and Brooks heading over to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, albeit they were both picking up hefty tournament appearance cheques in the region of $1 million. 

Yes the majority of players the PGL are going after will have their own private jets on standby, but I don't see too many of the Americans fancying the prospect of the potential to one week be playing in Dubai, followed by another in Australia, before heading back to the United States, one week before a trip back to Japan, and so forth. 

Throw as much money as you like at these players - reportedly with a total prize pot of $240 million and $10 million weekly purses - and I still don't think too many of them will fancy the requirement of competing in 18 'worldwide' events. 

The majors will always be the pinnacle for a Tour pro, as too qualifying for a Ryder Cup team, and these guys will want to be in the best possible condition to be competing in them between April and July. 

The one deviation from this I suppose is the 54-hole format, equating to one less day of tournament golf per week. 

The PGA Tour has made it very clear to the world's best players that should they decide to tee it up in the Premier Golf League then they will not be invited back onto their circuit.

Is the PGA Tour feeling the heat? Yes. Will they decide to increase their prize pots in the FedEx Cup, and likely mix things up after what the PGL has proposed? Watch this space. 

RELATED: PGA TOUR BOSS SAYS IT'S EITHER US OR THEM

JACK: "GOLF NEEDS A SHAKE-UP, AND THE PGL IS IT"

The same people who think a World Golf Tour would "ruin" golf are the same people who think that you shouldn’t be allowed on the golf course unless you're wearing the correct pair of socks.

It's time for golf to move on and adapt to the modern era of sport.

Look at sports like football, cricket and F1. They're all thriving under a 'league' format and it's time for golf to do the same.

I'm not saying let's scrap the Tours and the majors, but if golf's governing bodies could actually work together for once then we could be onto something that could really benefit the future of this sport.

Personally, I think the PGA and European Tour needs to combine into one, which would then mean the World Golf Tour could work alongside it and there could be two schedules that work around each other.

Yes, as Andy has outlined nicely above, the travel side of things could be a real issue for a lot of players, but that's why it's crucial for the Tours to work together and create the best schedule possible for the players.

Over the last 10 years we've had times where people start saying that golf is a dying sport and this could be the breath of fresh air that it needs.

A league format with so much money up for grabs, with individual and team prizes available would give the sport that extra bit of excitement that we seem to only feel when the Ryder Cup comes around.

Imagine billionaires creating teams of players in this premier golf league that you can start supporting.

I'm not saying we need to turn golf into football, but a World Golf Tour could make this sport even more popular and add a new level of excitement for years to come.

Let us know what you think by sharing your comments on our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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