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What is actually included in PGA Tour’s deal with SSG?

A memo was sent to the PGA Tour’s membership detailing how they could receive equity from SSG in the coming years, so how does it work?

 

The PGA Tour has described how a vital element of its partnership with Strategic Sports Group (SSG) will work for the players.

It was announced last week that the tour had secured a $3 billion investment from SSG which is a consortium of US-based sports team owners led by Fenway Sports Group.

The new venture, called PGA Tour Enterprises, includes an initial $1.5 billion investment from SSG which will be accessible for up to 200 players.

The grants are set to be given over time based on career achievements, recent achievements, future participation and services and PGA Tour membership status.

SSG has consented to an investment in the PGA Tour from the Public Investment Fund too, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that bankrolls LIV Golf.

Through a memo obtained by several golf news outlets, the tour’s membership has received further details of how equity will be divided, so let’s delve into the details and arrange the numbers:

ssg pga tour

“As discussed with the PGA Tour Policy Board, the issuance of equity in PGA Tour Enterprises requires that we comply with important legal and regulatory requirements, and it is critical that we listen to and follow the recommendations of subject-matter experts (across legal, regulatory, finance, and tax) on how we roll out the program,” PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan explained in the memo.

“Until we complete this process, we will not be able to answer certain questions that we know are top of mind for the membership including informing individuals who will receive initial grants and the amounts of those individual awards.”

Monahan outlined a breakdown of $930 million in initial grants which will be divided among 193 members across four groups:

Group 1: $750 million in aggregate equity will be granted to 36 players based on career performance, performance over the last five years and the Player Impact Program results.

Group 2: $75 million in aggregate equity will be granted to 64 players based on performance over the last three years.

Group 3: $30 million in aggregate equity will be granted to 57 players who are in fully exempt PGA Tour membership categories.

Group 4: $75 million in aggregate equity will be granted to 36 players “who were instrumental to building the modern PGA Tour” based on their career performances.

The memo outlined the Player Equity Program’s objectives which are to reward top-performing members and incentivise them to build PGA Tour Enterprises, reward a substantial portion of the PGA Tour membership and reward “legends who helped to build the modern PGA Tour.”

Also, the memo stated that another $600 million will be distributed through recurring grants which are incremental to the initial grants.

They are planned to be awarded in $100 million chunks starting with the 2025 PGA Tour season for the subsequent five seasons after that.

“Like the initial grants, the recurring grants will require minimum participation and/or service requirements commensurate with the value to the grant,” the memo said.

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