PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan will serve as CEO of the newly-formed PGA TOUR Enterprises

PGA TOUR announces $3bn investment deal with Strategic Sports Group

The PGA Tour has announced that it has come to an agreement with Strategic Sports Group for private equity investment worth an initial $3 billion.The deal, which has been negotiated since early December, was made official to the PGA Tour’s membership in a phone call early this morning (Wednesday) and coincides with the launch of the new for-profit PGA Tour Enterprises, which PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will serve as chief executive.

SSG is a collective of several investors and companies fronted by the Fenway Sports Group. The sports conglomerate owns the Boston Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Liverpool Football Club and a NASCAR racing team. The group also has Fenway Park and the New England Sports Network under its umbrella.
Other members of SSG include Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Wyc Grousbeck (Boston Celtics), Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks), Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs), Cohen Private Ventures (New York Mets) and HighPost Capital. Many of the aforementioned names have an ownership stake in TGL, the Tiger Woods,/Rory McIlroy indoor golf league that was set to launch in 2024, but was pushed back a year when its facility suffered damage in a storm last month.
SSG will invest $3 billion into PGA Tour Enterprises with an initial input of $1.5 billion for a valuation of over $12 billion. Players will receive equity into PGA Tour Enterprises; these grants, made over time, will be based on tourament results, future participation and tour status.

“An important moment for the PGA Tour and fans of golf across the world”

“Today marks an important moment for the PGA Tour and fans of golf across the world,” Monahan said. “By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen the collective investment of our players in the success of the PGA Tour. Fans win when we all work to deliver the best in sports entertainment and return the focus to the incredible – and unmatched – competitive atmosphere created by our players, tournaments and partners. And partnering with SSG – a group with extensive experience and investment across sports, media and entertainment – will enhance our organization’s ability to make the sport more rewarding for players, tournaments, fans and partners.”
In a joint statement, PGA Tour player-directors Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods, said: “We were proud to vote in unanimous support of this historic partnership. It was incredibly important for us to create opportunities for the players of today and in the future to be more invested in their organisation, both financially and strategically.”

The elephant in the room – or rather, the elephant absent from the room – is what, if any, involvement Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the financial backs of the LIV Golf League, will have in the new for-profit venture. The PGA TOUR has announced that the deal with SSG will allow for co-investment from PIF in the future, and it is understood that SSG made the deal with the tour under the belief that PIF will join the party at some point in the future. The PIF’s investment has been hampered by US antitrust regulations, with the US Congress announcing this week that its investigation into PIF and its investments in American businesses will continue and could take years to resolve.

The timing of the announcement comes just two days before LIV Golf launches its third season this week in Mexico, while the PGA Tour hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, its second signature event of 2024 with a $20 million prize fund.