PGA and LPGA Tours Announce Formal Alliance to Grow the Game
The PGA Tour and LPGA Tour announced on Friday that the two tours have entered a "long-term, written strategic alliance agreement" designed to expand the game of golf and aggressively leverage the men's tour to promote the LPGA Tour.
The statement includes initiatives including "schedule coordination, joint marketing programs, domestic television representation, digital media and exploring the potential development of joint events."
This announcement comes at a time when the future of both tours is on solid ground. Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy are all under 30 years old and are 1-2-3 in the World Rankings. Other big names with similar cachet like Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott round out the top 10. Lydia Ko has been the top-ranked women's player for 19 weeks and only turns 19 next month. Behind her are winners with major championship credentials: Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis.
A major key in the statement includes "the potential development of joint events." Getting the wide array of talent on the LPGA tour in front of more eyeballs is a constant issue for the game; joining forces with the men's tour has massive potential.
Both commissioners released statements alongside the news.
“From our collaboration in bringing golf back as an Olympic sport as joint members of the International Golf Federation to our cooperation in helping to grow the game of golf as part of the World Golf Foundation, our two organizations have had a long history of working together for the common good of our sport,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. “Extending our relationship with the LPGA into these new areas is a natural extension of this work and collaboration.”
“We believe the PGA Tour has significant expertise in the areas that we will focus on together and working more closely with them carries with it the very real potential of positively impacting our members, our tournaments, and our ability to grow our sport around the world,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said. “We look forward to working with the PGA Tour team to deliver a positive impact for our sport.”