Rory McIlroy Receives Premier Golf League Proposal In Leaked Email

The leaked email shows a proposal from the PGL addressed to Rory McIlroy - chairman of the PGA Tour's Player Advisory Council

Rory McIlroy stares after hitting golf shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The ongoing threat of a Saudi-backed Super League has dominated the golfing headlines in recent weeks, with Greg Norman continuing in his, and LIV Golf Investments', pursuit to set up a rival breakaway league. But there's also another league in town.

UPDATE: Greg Norman launches $250m Saudi Super League - Full story

RELATED: What is the Premier Golf League?

The Premier Golf League (PGL), headed up by London financier, Andrew Gardiner appears to have gained significant traction since it last came to light. The PGL has a very similar concept to the rumoured Saudi-backed Super League, with 18 events throughout the calendar year, consisting of 12 four-man teams in 54-hole, no cut, stroke play tournaments. Each with a purse of $10m.

World Golf Group, the organisation behind the PGL, has written to Rory McIlroy and outlined numerous plans in a leaked email obtained by the Fire Pit Collective. Significantly, the letter is dated 14 February, the date McIlroy became one of four player-directors on the PGA Tour's policy board. 

The letter states the intention to generate significant equity for PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Korn Ferry Tour members that vote in favour of the plans. As a result, it would allocate 100 million shares with a prospective value of an astonishing $10 billion; which the PGL believes it can generate in equity value by 2030.

PGA Tour members would receive 50% of those shares, with Korn Ferry Tour members receiving 7.5% and DP World Tour members just 2.5%. There are further, albeit smaller, allocations for Commercial Partners, the World Golf Group, and PGA Foundation and Directors.

In addition, the proposal includes a future equity release of $460m – which means that PGA Tour members would each receive $2m upon launch, with Korn Ferry Tour members each getting $300k. It is believed no future equity release can be granted once the $460m is spent. This is a future advance prior to any golf shot being hit in a bid to demonstrate the future financial success and value of the incorporation and to entice players to join in its inception. It will also place significant pressure on the PGA Tour to work with, rather than against, the PGL. 

The financial make up of World Golf Group is said to be going through extensive scrutiny by industry audit experts in order to determine its validity but it does not involve any Saudi Arabia, or other, sovereign wealth funds. The wealth of the incorporation is said to be funded through private equity and high net worth individuals in the United States.

The proposal has been discussed by the PGA Tour, its policy board and a cross section of its Player Advisory Committee with those discussions ongoing. 

View the leaked email below:

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.