At historic East Lake, Commissioner Monahan details the TOUR’s promising future
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Written by Staff, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA – The TOUR Championship is an intersection of golf’s present and its past. It’s a gathering of the TOUR’s top performers at a historic venue where one of the game’s greats, Bobby Jones, learned the game.
But when PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan took to the podium for his annual State of the TOUR press conference on Tuesday morning at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, he was looking to the future and how a season full of incredible performances sets the stage for what’s next: the best version of the PGA TOUR.
A new FedExCup champion will be crowned Sunday. That will be followed by the drama of the new FedExCup Fall, where players will face the pressure of competing for their PGA TOUR cards, as well as potential starts in the new season’s biggest tournaments. The turning of the calendar will usher in the TOUR’s return to a calendar-year schedule, one that will be highlighted by eight Signature Events.
Those eight events – along with the majors, THE PLAYERS and FedExCup Playoffs – continue the TOUR’s emphasis on gathering the game’s top players together more often. The interplay between the Signature Events and Full-Field Events will create a cadence that will see players rewarded for their good play and continue the TOUR’s positions as golf’s great meritocracy.
“There is tremendous momentum behind the PGA TOUR,” Commissioner Monahan said. “The PGA TOUR is leading our sport forward. And as we sit here today at the TOUR Championship, this represents the very best of the PGA TOUR.”
The Signature Events, made possible by sponsors committed to TOUR’s vision, will be The Sentry (Jan. 1-7), AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Jan. 29-Feb. 4), The Genesis Invitational (Feb. 12-18), Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard (March 4-10), RBC Heritage (April 15-21), Wells Fargo Championship (May 6-12), Memorial Tournament presented by Workday (June 3-9) and Travelers Championship (June 17-23).
The TOUR’s on-course strength is indicative of its strong foundation, which includes a combined $10 billion in committed sponsorship and media rights revenue through 2030. Nearly 50 corporate partners have committed to the TOUR for the next decade or longer.
PGA TOUR Superstores continues its growth in the midst of golf’s ongoing participation surge, eyeing another record year and an expansion to 61 stores. The TGL, the tech-infused golf league that will deliver golf to new audiences, has announced three franchises and seen player interest that exceeds the number of available spots. It is the latest initiative designed to grow and diversify the TOUR’s fanbase.
There have been 87 million unique viewers of TOUR broadcasts this season, with an average consumption of 71 minutes per week. The TOUR has seen its following on social media grow to 14 million users with an average follower age of 31. The second season of Netflix’s successful “Full Swing” documentary is being filmed. PGA TOUR LIVE has been the most-watched live sports content on ESPN+. The streaming service has 25 million subscribers, 60% of whom are under 35.
The TOUR’s fans have seen unprecedented innovations that deliver the TOUR’s drama in new ways. To date, 40 players have been mic’d up during rounds and appeared more often than ever in the broadcast booth to give fans unprecedented access. Fans have also seen new camera angles, new and improved use of data and stronger storytelling.
“I'm very proud of the way that our players have embraced our fans and our fans have embraced our players,” Commissioner Monahan said.
The players have strengthened the TOUR with their unprecedented participation, both in the TOUR’s governance and their participation in new initiatives. This was illustrated by Tiger Woods’ recent addition to the PGA TOUR Policy Board.
The TOUR’s strength gives Commissioner Monahan confidence that the ongoing negotiations with the PIF and DP World Tour will result in an agreement that strengthens the PGA TOUR in the long run. The Framework Agreement ended the litigation that was dividing the golf world and included safeguards that guaranteed the PGA TOUR will remain in a position of control.
“As I sit here today, I am confident that we will reach an agreement that achieves a positive outcome for the PGA TOUR and our fans. I see it and I'm certain of it,” Commissioner Monahan said.
“And I see it because when you look at the performance of our players, you look at the commitment of our players, our partners, our fans, all of our constituents, our tournaments, I feel like we're in the strongest position to be able to succeed and successfully conclude these negotiations in a way that protects the legacy of the PGA TOUR on a long-term basis.”