Keith Pelley didn’t like the tone that many American players had last summer.
According to the outgoing CEO of the DP World Tour, many top professionals did not understand the implications of the Framework Agreement – the agreement signed on June 6 by the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). 2023.
“That was the whole concept behind the framework agreement, and I think some top players in the US are starting to realize that that was exactly the purpose of the framework agreement. It was to unify the game,” Pelley told Ewan Murray The guard.
“Unfortunately, after that framework agreement, some of the top players in the United States did not support the framework agreement, even though we needed them. I think they now realize that the best way to move forward is to unite the game. I think we will know the direction of travel in the coming months.”
On January 11, 2024, Pelley announced that he would step down as CEO of the DP World Tour. He accepted a job to become the new CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) in his native Canada, a role he called a “dream.” MLSE owns four major sports franchises, including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.
But Pelley won’t take up his new position until April. His goal is to have a final agreement between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the PIF by the time he leaves his current position.
“I will be here for the next three months and by then we hope to reach a conclusion, and I have told the PGA Tour and PIF representatives that this is my main focus,” Pelley told James Corrigan of The Telegraph is Jan. 12, 2024.
What an agreement will look like remains to be seen, but Pelley echoed Rory McIlroy’s dream ahead of this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
“The growth of the game is global,” Pelley said.
“I think the PGA Tour is coming to fruition [that] global is the key to growth. They heard me say it once or twice.”
Before last week’s Dubai Invitational, McIlroy envisioned a scenario in which professional golf travels the world while hosting events in the United States.
“My dream scenario is a world tour, with the understanding that corporate America must remain a big part of it. So does Saudi Arabia,” McIlroy said on January 9, 2024.
“For example, the Australian Open should almost be the fifth major. The market down there is huge and offers a lot of potential. They love to play golf. They love sports… The South African Open is another one I would like to have in the mix. Then you have places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. What a market Japan represents. That would be a new opportunity.”
Golf is indeed a global game enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
The PGA Tour has unfortunately ignored that reality and has primarily staged its events in the United States since its inception.
Additionally, the tour shifted to a full schedule in 2013, reducing the value of larger international tournaments such as the Australian Open.
“This is a global game,” Pelley added.
“Every company that is growing now wants to be global. What I would like to see is that the game is united with a global strategy.”
Now the tour must right its previous wrongs and strike a deal with the DP World Tour and the PIF to unite golf for the future of the game. Perhaps the top American players on the PGA Tour will better understand golf’s new world order once an agreement is reached.