In the first 50 years of our Tour’s history from April 1972 to April 2022, there were many announcements and advancements which contributed significantly to the evolution of global golf.
Recently, this list included the launch of the Rolex Series and DP World becoming the title sponsor of the European Tour group’s main tour last November, events which both took place in Dubai.
Now, in the early stages of our second half century, we have already outlined another which in years to come will be looked back upon as being a key development in our sport.
Our new 13-year operational joint venture partnership with the PGA TOUR will draw golf’s leading two Tours closer together and substantially enhance the meritocracy that has successfully served professional golf on both sides of the Atlantic through until 2035.
It will build on the success of the Strategic Alliance we signed together in November 2020, which has already delivered numerous tangible benefits for our members. For example, the Alliance enabled us to expand our commercial family, helping us to secure Tour Partners and assisting with new title sponsors such as Horizon for the $6million Irish Open, and Genesis for the Scottish Open, one of our five Rolex Series events.
The latter, our first co-sanctioned event with the PGA TOUR, boasts the strongest field for a regular Tour event in our entire history, with 14 of the top 15 players in the world teeing up, leading to a current strength of field number of almost 670 with the winner receiving 70 points.
Our members have also had access to the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky and the Barracuda Championship in California, offering new playing opportunities and the chance to earn a full PGA TOUR card with a victory.
From 2023, as part of our enhanced partnership, the leading ten players on our end of season DP World Tour Rankings, in addition to those already exempt, will earn PGA TOUR cards for the following season.
DP World Tour players will also have access to the new international events announced by PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, and we will spend the coming weeks working together on these events and with our Tournament Committee to reshape our schedule for 2024.
As you can probably imagine, this announcement did not come together overnight. It is not a simple or quick process for two complex members organisations to reach an agreement such as this one, which benefits the range of both our memberships, as well as the wider framework of professional golf.
The effort will be worth it though, leading to even greater strategic opportunities for both our Tours in the future, as well as for our existing partners on the Sunshine Tour, the Emirates Golf Federation and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, providing a more global vision for golf with increased resources.
Clear pathways now exist for international players to graduate from these Tours to the DP World Tour and to the PGA TOUR, while for our own members who opt not to play on the PGA TOUR, our Tour will have guaranteed prize fund security.
The PGA TOUR have been terrific partners over the past 18 months, going way over and above how a normal equity partner would act. This expanded operational joint venture partnership now offers our members a long-term sustainable plan and guaranteed growth, and that cannot be underestimated.
We are extremely proud of our Tour’s history over the past 50 years and I am so honoured to be the Chief Executive of this great institution. Our staff care passionately about delivering the best possible environment for the truly genuine, decent and incredibly talented and hard-working members of our Tour.
That will never change and through our expanded partnership with the PGA TOUR, I believe we are well-positioned to continue to do that. In a world where people in many walks of life are struggling, and there is a high level of uncertainly, our joint operational partnership with the PGA TOUR gives us a degree of security that is almost unimaginable.
Simply put, we are stronger together.