Can a World Golf Series really get off the ground?
Everybody has their price, yet even that might not be enough to get a proposed global golf tour off the ground.
Yes, more than 20 years after Greg Norman suggested just such an idea before it fell at the last hurdle when the world’s major golf tours refused to budge, it’s back in the news.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan will likely move to end any World Golf Series before it even happens (Credit: PGA Tour)
Rumours have again re-surfaced that plans for a circuit to be named the World Golf Series were again under discussion.
Certainly it would be the biggest upheaval in the professional game in decades.
The circuit idea has been proposed by the British-based World Golf Group and, according to Reuters, has been in the planning stages for more than a year.
The group wants to stage 15-to-20 tournaments around the world each year with each event offering about $20m prizemoney.
Prizemoney of that ilk would be far greater than the prizemoney currently on offer on the game’s richest circuit, the US PGA Tour, whose biggest purse this season is $11m.
And it is believed several ‘blue-chip sponsors’ are to be on board for the World Golf Series – providing top players can be signed.
“Why would you not be interested — 18 tournaments for $20 million?” said one player, who preferred to remain anonymous.
The tour is expected to meet staunch opposition from the US PGA Tour, who would not want to lose the talent from their own events.
It is also unlikely to be sanctioned for world ranking points, which might also be enough to make it a non-starter.
Ranking points are used to determine eligibility for the four major championships, which are not run by the PGA Tour.
Obviously the tour would need the big names to be a success.
And at the top of that list, no doubt, would be Tiger Woods, who is still one of the game’s most marketable figures.
Still Woods has an off-course income of about $50m, so prizemoney from the World Golf Series might not even be enough to entice him to play.