Paul McGinley has welcomed the European Tour and PGA Tour’s new strategic alliance, a landmark agreement that will see golf’s two major Tours explore all facets of collaboration, working together on strategic commercial opportunities including collaborating on global media rights in certain territories.
The Tours will also work in partnership on a number of other areas including global scheduling, prize funds and playing opportunities for the respective memberships, with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan taking a seat on the Board of the European Tour. For former Ryder Cup winning Captain McGinley, who has worked for some time with the European Tour, he believes it’s the first move in a line of many that will culminate in golf being brought under one global umbrella.
“The view that most people within the game would have is that there are too many governing bodies within the sport. This is the first real big step in tying everything together, which I think is something that golf needs,” McGinley wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“In professional golf you have the PGA Tour at the top of the tree, the European Tour just beneath that, then there’s the Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and other tours around the world. The idea is that we become a little bit more international in terms of the schedule of the world’s top players, so they’re able to visit other places and play in other events on the European Tour.
“Three of the four major championships are played in America every year and a lot of the World Golf Championships have migrated back to the USA. I think the players can eventually expect, hopefully from a European point of view, a more international flavour to the world’s best events.
“The top players don’t play together often enough. A lot of the world’s top golfers are European but only come back and play three, four or five regular events on the European Tour schedule, then play 15 or 16 events on the PGA Tour schedule. This is a way of working together to get everyone back to playing under one umbrella, which will help bring a little bit of a better narrative to what golf is all about.”
McGinley insists that we’re some way off any mention of a world tour where rewards like FedEx Cup points and Race to Dubai points would come under one international league table. However, with the PGA Tour looking to become more international, the results of such an alliance should be a positive one for both parties, and European Tour fairways especially, that have been crying out for top talent and top tournaments good enough to rival the success of the PGA Tour in recent years.
“Talks have been ongoing for about two years, maybe longer, with the PGA Tour about some form of consolidation and we’ve had relationships with them before, but this is a lot more formalised now and the game has really changed,” McGinley added.
“It has been pre-empted a lot by the coronavirus pandemic and the PGA Tour deciding that this is a route they want to go down. The PGA Tour have previously been a little bit hesitant and a little bit American-centric in what they’ve done and how they’ve viewed things.
“It is going to take a little bit of time to develop, as this is a very raw relationship at the moment that’s just starting out, but I think there’s more of an understanding now that the PGA Tour need more of an international element to what they do. The European Tour is the obvious place for that.”