Collaboration Between PGA, DP World Tours, and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund Facing Issues

With the recent Ryder and Solheim Cups in Italy and Spain providing exhilarating moments, the world of golf seemed to bask in its own brilliance. However, the uncomfortable truth remains – the future of professional golf is shrouded in uncertainty.


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The proposed "framework agreement" involving the PGA and DP World Tours and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) faces significant hurdles. All parties involved want for this collaboration to succeed. The tours hope for the financial stability it would bring, while the PIF seeks recognition and standing within the golfing realm, especially in the wake of the disruptive LIV Tour it backed.

Uniting these stakeholders has proven to be a complex task, leading the PGA Tour to explore alternative investment options. Ari Emanuel's "Endeavor", known for acquiring WWE and merging it with UFC under TKO Holdings, has submitted a bid to invest in the PGA Tour's new for-profit company, initially conceived within the framework agreement.

While the tournaments of the LIV Tour may have passed relatively unnoticed, they have ushered in a new era of hyper-inflation in men's professional golf. Established tours are grappling to keep pace, with the PGA Tour now burdened by hosting a series of $20 million events in response.



The framework agreement, announced on June 6 after confidential discussions that excluded players, initially instilled confidence but later faced substantial challenges. The new deadline of December 31, 2023, appears increasingly elusive, despite the resolution of legal disputes among the parties.

Although legal fees may have subsided, potential clashes with the U.S. government loom as they meticulously scrutinize the PGA Tour's plans for substantial Saudi investment.

Any agreement would likely involve team-based franchises, offering a path for PIF to gain returns on its substantial investment. However, fitting this into an already crowded golf calendar is a formidable puzzle.

It's worth noting that several top stars have aligned with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's "Tech Golf League," a lavish Monday night simulator golf show set to debut in January, further intensifying the scheduling challenges.

Meanwhile, the LIV Golf season is reaching its climax with the Team Championship, a $50 million event at Donald Trump's Doral in Miami, following last week's individual season conclusion in Jeddah, where Brooks Koepka secured another $4 million, along with a $4 million bonus for finishing third overall.



Talor Gooch claimed the top prize for the most successful individual season, receiving an additional $18 million, boosting his total LIV earnings to an astounding $47 million over two seasons.

LIV remains on the outskirts, albeit as affluent outsiders, as they continue to be denied official world ranking points. These ranking points are a coveted commodity that could pave the way for their players to access major tournaments.

This issue could be a vital bargaining chip, as Gooch, despite his financial gains, has seen his world ranking drop from 39th to 201st in 2023, leaving him ineligible for the four major tournaments.

The challenges and complexities surrounding professional golf's future are profound, with schedules set through 2024, signifying further division within men's pro golf. Reuniting these fragmented factions presents an intricate puzzle, one that currently lacks a clear solution.

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