The future of professional golf is beginning to take shape.
On Wednesday morning, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced to players the Strategic Sports Group (SSG), an outside investment group headlined by Fenway Sports Group and comprised of several high-level U.S.-based sports owners, has partnered with the Tour to create PGA Tour Enterprises.
“Today marks an important moment for the PGA Tour and fans of golf across the world,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement.”By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen the collective investment of our players in the success of the PGA Tour. 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. And partnering with SSG – a group with extensive experience and investment across sports, media and entertainment – will enhance our organization’s ability to make the sport more rewarding for players, tournaments, fans and partners.”
The SSG will invest up to $3 billion, with an initial investment of $1.5 billion. The player grants will vest over time and will be based on career accomplishments, recent achievements, etc. Only qualified PGA Tour players are eligible.
A statement released Wednesday morning said that “nearly 200 PGA Tour members will have the opportunity to become equity holders” in the new for-profit entity. PGA Tour Enterprises “is also considering participation by future PGA Tour players that would allow them to benefit from the business’s commercial growth,” meaning players who return from LIV Golf or make it to the Tour from college will have access once they regain membership.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to join PGA Tour players in this important next phase of the PGA Tour’s evolution,” said John Henry, Principal Owner of Fenway Sports Group and Manager of the Strategic Sports Group. “Our enthusiasm for this new venture stems from a very deep respect for this remarkable game and a firm belief in the expansive growth potential of the PGA Tour. We are proud to partner with this historic institution and are eager to work with the PGA Tour and its many members to grow and strengthen the game of golf globally.”
The news release also stated that PGA Tour Enterprises allows for a co-investment from the PIF in the future, “subject to all necessary regulatory approvals.”