Greg Norman © Golffile | Fran caffrey This Wednesday, as it progresses Golfweek In its US edition, a private
Greg Norman © Golffile | Fran caffrey
This Wednesday, as it progresses Golfweek In its US edition, a private meeting was held with representatives of several specialized golf media in which, supposedly, plans were revealed to launch a new series of golf tournaments backed by Saudi Arabia. Some details that, apparently, will not be made public until next week.
The most relevant data that has been leaked appears in the name of the person who would act as commissioner of these new series, which is unknown if they would be launched as a complete circuit (the Saudis have previously tried to present the Premier Golf League (PGL) and Super Golf League (SGL) without much success) or just as a group of tournaments to start.
The one chosen to carry out this position would be nothing less than Greg norman, winner of 20 events of the PGA Tour, 14 of European tour and two Big. Although everything, as we say, in the absence of an official confirmation that presumably should arrive from next week, because this private meeting, which would have been held in New York, the Saudis did not invite all the media, but a very specific selection.
With Saudi Arabia behind, this new series would have money to try to attract the great players of the international scene. Already in May there were millionaire offers to golfers such as Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler or Justin Rose, some close to 50 million dollars.
The idea that he presented at the time was a new ‘league’ that would have 40 or 48 players and a complete calendar of 18 events around the world with succulent prizes, as well as a team event at the end of the season. It would also have included a guaranteed money for its participants and an additional concept for the team captains from the bets.
The momentum for this league proposal came to a head last spring when the Saudis attempted to partner with the European tour just before the PGA Tour will announce a new fund of 40 million called Player Impact Program to be distributed among 10 players each year as a reward for their projection of the sport of golf, for various reasons, and for the announcement of their association with the European circuit.
The Asian Tour, unimpeded of any kind, therefore remains the most feasible option for the Saudis today. In fact, the Saudi International next February will be held under the umbrella of the Asian tour, for which these new investors bet by allocating 100 million dollars to its growth. A tournament for which, curiously, eight players from PGA Tour they have asked permission to the American tour to be able to play it.
Greg norman thus, he presents himself as the standard bearer of this new Saudi attempt to fully enter the world of golf. Already in 1994 the Australian proposed the World Golf Tour, eight no-cut tournament for 40 players. A plan that was rejected before the World Golf Championship, in 1997.
Norman was also one of the participants in the inaugural summit of Golf Saudi in 2020, together with CEO of the Asian Tour, Cho minn thant, and the CEO of the Ladies European Tour, Alexandra Armas. Saudi Golf has made its way in recent years with events such as the Aramco Team Series of the LET and with the mentioned Saudi International. We will have to see what his new attempt to break into golf consists of …