One of the first players Andy Gardiner spoke to in the Premier Golf League was Rory McIlroy.
“I was explaining the concept and at the time he was of the opinion that this is probably what golf needs. That was awhile ago and he’s allowed to change his mind, but if Rory had told me, ‘Andy, that’s bullshit’ I probably would have quit. Gardiner told Chris Solomon of No Laying Up. “So we went. “
The CEO of the Premier Golf League – separate from the recently announced company LIV Golf, backed by Saudi Arabia and led by Greg Norman – joined No Laying Up for an in-depth 2.5-hour episode that covers the story of the league. format and relationship with the PGA Tour as well as the biggest issues facing professional golf today.
Rory on the PGL: “I don’t see why anyone would agree”
“The original idea has always been to work with the PGA Tour, believe it or not. Some might call this incredibly naive, but it remains our strong desire, ”Gardiner said. “Our first documentation exposed the desire to work with the PGA Tour and the idea that once the format was understood, we saw no reason why collaboration could not be achievable. “
The format: 12 teams of four players will compete in an 18-event season from January to August, with team and individual championships taking place in parallel throughout the season.
A conversation with a “well-known broadcaster in the United States” about a shotgun departure resulted in the change from the original 12-team format of six. Earnings? All court plays at the same time during a five-hour broadcast window.
“We can make stars out of 48 guys,” Gardiner said. “We want to make golf as watchable as possible. “
There will also be a 13th squad – owned by the league’s foundation but managed by third parties – where fans can choose three wild cards each week. A maximum of 51 players means no cup, with 54 holes played over three days.
The regular season consists of the first 17 events, after which the individual champion is crowned. Then it’s time for the playoffs, a $ 20 million winning final. Each regular season event is worth $ 20 million in total, including $ 4 million for the winner and $ 150,000 for last place.
All four players on a team will play individually, but the team manager is based on two out of four scores. Players with scores counted will be chosen early in the morning.
“The pressure is strong, so in the morning, you will say to yourself: ‘Who did you choose? Oh that’s interesting. Why did you choose these two? ‘ Gardiner explained. “So you get this everyday. And it also generates team content. Now this has been tried outside of the course. But when you bring a team component, you bring another dimension, another level of rivalry.
To learn more about the creation of the league, listen to the full episode here.