Complete list of PGA Tour changes explored

U.S. Open - Final Round
US Open - Final Round (Image via Getty)

Amid the raging PGA Tour-LIV Golf debate, the PGA has come out with a series of structural changes. On Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the series will get an overhaul in several areas effective from the 2023 season. The announcement shocked many as it came against the backdrop of the PGA Tour struggling to safeguard its future.

Monahan and Rory McIlroy addressed the media and said that the PGA Tour would see a structural change in the coming season. It is pertinent to note that Tiger Woods and McIlroy had earlier spearheaded a series of meetings between the big-name pros. Having been thrown off by the introduction of the multi-million-dollar LIV Golf series, the PGA was forced to take quick action.

The US-based tour has now come forward with moves to maximize its future without blowing up its existing structure. It is noteworthy that the PGA didn't have any changes lined up until the Saudi-backed LIV Golf began making headlines.

While many have already started criticizing the PGA for copying LIV Golf, several others have accepted the listed changes with open arms.

"We've all made the commitment to get together more often to make the product more compelling."

Here is the list of PGA Tour changes announced on Wednesday:

PGA Tour to have official "top players"

The PGA Tour will have "top players" for the 2022-23 season. According to its release, a "top player" will be a player who finishes in the top 20 under the current Player Impact Program.

Players in the top 20 under the revised PIP criteria will also be considered top players. As such, players will have to commit to playing in the PGA Tour's elevated events to get to the top.

Player Impact Program to get more money

As mentioned above, 20 players will get the Player Impact Program money instead of 10. Meanwhile, the amount of PIP money has also doubled. The program's budget has been pushed to $100 million instead of $50 million.

Interestingly, the increase in money is being done with immediate effect, and thus, the top ones on the 2022 list will also get a payout of $100 million. However, players will only be eligible for the PIP bonus after they compete in the Elevated Events plus three non-elevated events.

PGA Tour players received this memo from Jay Monahan today

12 "Elevated Events" are now official

The PGA Tour has bigger and smaller events. They are now being clearly defined. According to the announced changes, the PGA Tour will have 12 "Elevated Events" that will carry prize purses of at least $20 million. These events will include three FedEx Cup Playoffs, the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial Tournament, WGC-Dell Match Play, Sentry Tournament of Champions, and four additional Elevated Events with $20 million purses.

Fans will see PGA Tour pros at least 20 times in a season

Along with increased money, the pros will also have more gametime. As part of the new changes, the players will feature in 12 Elevated Events plus three non-elevated events, along with the Players Championship and four major championships. As per this math, fans will get to see the Tour's top players at least 20 times in 2023.

All fully-exempt Tour members will get $500,000

Not only has the prize purse increased, but the new "Earnings Assurance Program" will see every fully exempt member of the PGA Tour getting $500,000. This will be aligned with their on-course earnings.

Not just that, rookies and other returning members who are not on the list will get the money upfront to participate in the event.

While this isn't a big payout for the PGA Tour, it is for players who will now have a guaranteed system to meet the fixed amount.


Stipends for all Tour members

What about players who aren't fully exempt but still have some PGA Tour status? According to the new structure, such players will be paid a $5,000 stipend every time they play an event. This will be over the tournament purses and will look to subsidize "travel and tournament-related expenses." With this, the PGA plans to inform players that they won't be losing money participating in the event.

Players with 20 wins earn lifetime membership

Following this change, PGA Tour players will need only 20 wins instead of 20 wins and 15 seasons of membership to become lifetime members.

While this seems interesting, only Rory McIlroy, who has 21 wins, gets the benefit of this with immediate effect. Dustin Johnson, with 24 career PGA Tour wins, would have been eligible if he hadn't resigned from the PGA. Justin Thomas with 15 wins, Adam Scott with 14, and Jordan Spieth with 13 are a few players who'll be delighted by this change.

⚡️ @TigerWoods + @McIlroyRory + @TMRWSports = TGL, a new tech-infused, team golf league in partnership with the @PGATOUR. Kicking off January 2024. Learn more:

Monday Night Golf

One of the biggest announcements made was the add-on competition coming to professional golf. Ace golfers Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are bringing forth a special stadium-style team golf event named The TGL.

The TGL is set to kick off in January 2024 with 18 players. The players, split into six teams, will go head-to-head. The event will take place over the course of 15 Monday nights throughout the season. According to the makers, this new and short format of the sport will excite youngsters.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht
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