Phil Mickelson Open to New Golf Super League

By in Golf on
4 Minute Read
  • Several of the world’s best golfers have been offered a spot in a new golf “super league” that would rival the PGA Tour
  • Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas bashed the idea, while Phil Mickelson showed a willingness to listen
  • PGA Tour threatened to suspend or permanently ban any player that joins Premier League Golf

Late last month, 12 of the world’s most prestigious soccer clubs took heat from fans, players, and sponsors after the creation of the “Super League.” The backlash from all sides was so severe that the project was completely scrapped within 48 hours of being announced. Most of the clubs have since apologized for their actions, while soccer fans all over the world are still outraged.

While we may not see soccer attempt to create a new super league any time soon, the idea of creating a new circuit featuring only the world’s top talent is an appealing one across a number of different sports. Golf may be the next sport to give it a try.

Earlier this week, the Guardian and Daily Telegraph both reported that the Premier Golf League (also called the Super Golf League) has established its headquarters in Florida. The league is attempting to lure some of the world’s best golfers to play in a new league that would begin operations in the fall of 2022.

The Premier Golf League would offer some of the best players on the planet massive paydays to play on a circuit that could rival the PGA Tour. While some players have already scoffed at the idea and cited soccer’s disastrous Super League experiment as a warning sign, Phil Mickelson was one player that did not immediately dismiss the notion.

Mickelson Understands PGL Appeal

Mickelson said on Wednesday that he has already heard from representatives of the Premier Golf League. The PGA Tour veteran admitted that the idea of playing all over the world in an exclusive league featuring massive prize pools is enticing.

Mickelson said,

“I think the fans would love it because they would see the best players play exponentially more times. Instead of four or five times, it would be 20 times … I don’t know what the final number is.”

While the Premier Golf League sounds like a good idea, some around the game are concerned that its creation would lead to top players essentially abandoning the PGA Tour. That would leave the PGA Tour largely bereft of talent, which would certainly deal a blow to the league’s global appeal.

Mickelson added,

“But that’s a big deal to give up control of your schedule. I don’t know if the players would be selfless enough to do that. But every other sport, the entity or teams or leagues control the schedule. The players kind of play where they are told to play. Whereas here, we’re able to control it.”

Early plans call for a smaller group of the game’s best players to play a global schedule featuring 10-14 events on a yearly basis. The project already has the backing of Saudi Golf, which means players would be guaranteed millions if they jumped on board.

On Tuesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reportedly met with a number of players at Quail Hollow in order to discuss how to approach the Premier Golf League’s plans. Monahan threatened that any player that joined the PGL would face an automatic suspension from the PGA Tour, with the possibility of a permanent lifetime ban. PGA Tour rules allow for this kind of punishment.

Major Tournaments Mum On PGL

The USGA issued a statement that said,

“The USGA is very proud of its long-standing partnership with the PGA Tour. We greatly appreciate everything the Tour does to create a global platform for the game’s elite players, which introduces millions of fans to the game worldwide.” The USGA operates the US Open. The Masters, the PGA Championship, and the Open Championship declined to comment on the PGL.

Some players are reportedly curious as to whether the Official World Golf Ranking system would apply to the new league, and whether players would still be allowed to compete at major championships if they bailed on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy said last year that he would never join a golf super league, and he reiterated that stance on Wednesday. McIlroy said he was first contacted about the idea back in 2014, and that he sees the super league as a blatant money grab akin to what European soccer clubs were attempting.

Justin Thomas is another player that voiced his lack of interest in the PGL idea, though he did receive an invitation. Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, and Brooks Koepka are among the other A-listers that received invitations. McIlroy did not.

Earlier this year, the PGA Tour quietly installed a player incentive program that offers bonuses to players that go beyond the game to try and grow the sport’s popularity. The PGA Tour did this as a way to try and dissuade players from taking the bigger paydays offered by the PGL. Players that take extra measures to attract fans via social media or other endeavors are eligible to collect part of a $40 million incentive pool as a part of the new program.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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