The PGA Rival Super League Golf has announced that they will be holding a 2022 season, one year after the conclusion of the PGA World Golf Series (PGA WGS). While details are still slim, the SLG has extended invitations to the top 50 PGA pros in the world to compete in the events.
For nearly a century, the professional golf leagues of the world have dominated the top tier of professional golf. Depending on where the golfer was in the world, the ultimate goal was always the PGA Tour or the European Tour.
Andy Gardiner, CEO of the Super Golf League, plans to change that.
Super League Golf is the brainchild of Gardiner, a former Barclays executive, and has been in development for many years. It was first known as the Premier Golf League, but the road to its creation was tumultuous.
However, Golf.com reported Tuesday that SLG has plans to launch the league in 2022.
The website even says that the league already has a schedule of events:
The [SLG] has made plans for five brilliant leagues in 2022, each with 16 players grouped into four teams of 4, with one player acting as team captain.
– Josh Sans, Golf.com.
This is not the first time wealthy investors have tried to take control of a dominant professional sports league.
Over the years, several leagues have tried to compete with the NFL, including the USFL, UFL, AAF and XFL (twice). However, they all failed. Some have been poorly managed or underfunded, but in most cases the gap is a matter of talent.
This is an area where SLG does not give up. More than a year ago, when the league was still in its infancy, they approached some of golf’s most prominent figures, including Phil Mickelson, who said at the time that he was intrigued by the idea of a league.
Around the same time, ESPN reported that other big names in golf have expressed similar interest, including Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson.
In the latest update, Golf.com confirms the information that Dustin Johnson has received an invitation. They also added a few other big names to the potential roster, including Justin Thomas, Jordan Spate and Hideki Matsuyama.
However, it is important to remember that these are only invitations. So far, none of these renowned golfers have agreed to participate in the competition.
However, if SLG can attract at least one of these top golfers, it would already be ahead of the previous leagues in terms of feasibility.
The big question remains: How can the best golfers in the world turn away from the history and tradition of the PGA? The answer… Compensation.
From the beginning, Gardiner’s plan was to create a better paying, more exclusive league than the PGA. With a worldwide tournament count of less than 50 players, 18 leagues and weekly prize pools with guaranteed payouts of $10 million, it’s safe to say that the league can be very lucrative for talented players.
The biggest problem with Super League Golf isn’t funding or compensation, it’s the PGA. Andy Gardiner has publicly stated that he has no intention of hosting any PGA Majors, but to say that the PGA is not hosting this event would be the understatement of his life.
ESPN also reported that the PGA has made it clear that it will not allow its players to participate in SLG.
It’s one or the other, and it’s a bridge that will be hard to burn.
SLG still has a long way to go to truly address the PGA, and the addition of one or more of these talented professionals is essential. If they don’t, chances are that in a few years time we will look back on this as another failure of the rival league. Only time (and money) will tell.
Want to know more about the format and details of the competition? Find out for yourself straight from the source and watch this February 2020 Rick Shiels Golf Show interview with Andy Gardiner.
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