During the week, it was confirmed that a private meeting with golf media members was held, talks about plans for a new Saudi-backed golf series was discussed. The five members spoke anonymously as the details of the series won’t be announced to the media till the following week. The report has it that Greg Norman is expected to come as the newly announced commissioner for the new circuit.
However, it remains uncertain if the new series will be announced as a full league – as the Saudis have previously pitched Super Golf League and the Premier League Golf League to no avail – or as a trial filled with several tournaments. Also, it is still unclear what the PGA Tour will do in response to this matter, it is understandable that Oddschanger will be available for this new series as it will also be involving all the natural rules a golf series should have.
The media members available at the session in New York City were requested to keep hold of the news until next week, according to the report. Golfweek, which was noted to have written about the potential tour previously, was not given an invite to the event.
With the Saudis being the main force, the new circuit is most likely to have enough funds to attract big names. In May, we witnessed a group table a multi-million dollar offers to the best players in the game, which included Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, and Phil Mickelson, with some surpassing $45 million.
The proposed league is expected to compile 40-48 players taking part in an 18-event schedule in tournaments around the world, with a season-ending team championship.
The push for the rival league came to a head during the spring as the Saudis intends to partner up with the European Tour. Not long after that, the PGA Tour announced to the media that a new pot of $40 million named the Player Impact Progam which is meant to “recognize and reward players who positively move the needle.” At the closing of the year, these funds will then be shared among between 10 players, and the most valuable player will be taking $8 million.
The PGA Tour also announced a new partnership with the European Tour.
The free Asian Tour is another potential option that could partner up with the Saudis. The 2022 Saudi International which will be held in February will be conducted under the guidance of that tour, with Saudis having made a $100 million investment. It was revealed to the media that eight PGA Tour players have requested permission to take part in that event. Tour players always need to score a release to compete on other circuits being held around the world.
During his career, Greg Norman won 91 professional tournaments. Norman is considered a good choice to lead the new series. Back in 1994, he proposed the World Golf Tour, a series of eight no-cut tournaments bringing 40 players together. The project was rejected by the Tour, but then, we saw the then-commissioner Tim Finchem announce the world Golf Championship in 1997, which conform to the same rules and principles.
Greg Norman was one of the many that took part in the inaugural Golf Saudi Summit in 2020 along with other big-name figures like Asian Tour CEO Cho Minn Thant and Ladies European Tour CEO Alexandra Armas.
Saudi Golf has been looking for ways to enter the international golf scene in the past few years, which include the acquisition of the Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Team Series, which was able to register its third of four stops at the Glen Oaks Club on October.