PGA Tour set for major changes including relegation (?!) amid Saudi PIF talks

By | June 27, 2024

PGA Tour set for major changes including relegation (?!) amid Saudi PIF talks

The PGA Tour Player Advisory Council (PAC) is considering huge change on the circuit from 2026, according to a latest report.

The PGA Tour is contemplating major change for 2026

The PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council (PAC) is reportedly mulling over some huge changes that could come into effect in 2026, one of which includes relegation according to Golfweek.

Other changes could involve reduced fields and even ‘majors’ on the PGA Tour’s lower-tier Korn Ferry Tour.

The PGA Tour PAC includes 16 members, one of which is World No.1 Scottie Scheffler.

Camilo Villegas is the PAC chairman.

Then there are five player directors, one of which is Tiger Woods.

Rory McIlroy was on the board but he chose to step down at the end of 2023, and despite being keen to return last month, he was refused.

Tiger Woods

The latest update on potential PGA Tour changes for 2026 come amid ongoing talks for a new commercial deal between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf‘s bankrollers, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Speaking on 2026, news emerged earlier this week that 15-time major champion Woods is in advanced talks with the PGA Tour Champions about joining the senior circuit, and the possibility of using a golf cart once he’s reached the age of 50.

A number of PGA Tour players such as Woods, McIlroy and Jordan Spieth believe a deal with PIF is closer than ever.

It is anticipated that a commercial deal with Saudi PIF could help the professional game move one step closer to possible unification.

The PACs consideration for a new relegation zone would appear to mirror that of the current ‘drop zone’ we see on the LIV Golf League in 2024.

According to Golfweek, relegation is just one idea that has been forward by three members of the PAC this month.

Kevin Streelman, who is one of a number of players on the PAC this season, told Golfweek:

“We started talking and spitballing ideas about what things could look like. There were some ideas that seemed very good and would bring some consistency and true competitiveness to the top players in the world and still give a soft landing and a hopeful resurgence and opportunity if you fall off.”

Streelman added: “I’d say we’re diligently working to try to appease the top players, our marketing partners, our fans and the integrity of the Tour and their competitions to deliver the greatest product and highlight the best players week after week.”

On the topic of relegation, PAC members have discussed the possibility of reducing field sizes down from the typical 156 to 120 – regardless of the type of tournament whether it be a regular season event or a $20m Signature Event.

PAC member Lanto Griffin told Golfweek:

“I think it’d be gradual, so that’s 125 to 120, 120 to 115 to slowly push lower and have less Q-School and Korn Ferry graduates.”

PAC members are also mulling the opportunity for in-season promotion to the PGA Tour if some events were designed as ‘majors’ on the Korn Ferry Tour.

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