Dear PGA Tour Community,
As a lifelong member of the PGA Tour, I write this letter with an overflowing passion for our beloved sport and the legacy we carry. Our game of golf holds a unique position in the world of sports, not just for the intense competition it fosters, but also for the rich history and traditions that underpin it. The pass and those who shaped it are indispensable to the narrative and the value of the PGA Tour, esteemed sports league admired worldwide. As we stand o the brink of significant transition- moving from a non-profit to a for-profit structure- I believe it is our duty to ensure the prosperity and recognition of the our legacy members, who have been instrumental in creating the enterprise value and the stature of the PGA Tour brand.
The recent news of the joint venture forming between the PGA Tour, Strategic Sports Group, and (potentially) the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund brings immense promise and excitement for the future of our sport. Amid the excitement, however, we must not lose sight of those who lad the foundations for our success. Our legacy members, many of whom are now pension recipients. These incredible individuals have contributed immeasurable to the growth and reputations of the PGA Tour, often taking personal, financial, and career risks, all while receiving no equity due to the Tour's previously tax-exempt structure. It is only just and fitting that we acknowledge their merit, commitment, and significant contributions as we embark on this exciting new journey.
Professional golf, more than any other sport, thrives on the principles of legacy, tradition, and merit-based compensation. These values have defined the PGA Tour's place among the world's most esteemed sports leagues, and our legacy members have planed an instrumental role in upholding and nurturing these principles. The PGA Tour's enterprise value is not solely derived from the talent and strategic alliances of its current members but has been built upon decades of hard work, dedication, and passion from our legacy members. As we transition into this new era, we must not overlook their contributions and the pivotal role they played in the shaping the PGA Tour we are proud of today.
Therefore, I propose a tangible way to honor and recognize the legacy members of the PGA Tour community as we venture into the for-profit structure: The PGA Tour should allocate a portion of the equity to its legacy, pension-eligible members to supplements their pension funds. This equity allocation would serve three significant functions: first, it would act as a token of gratitude, publicly acknowledging the role our legacy members played in the value the PGA Tour enjoys today; second, it would ensure that their contributions are not forgotten, but rather celebrated as we forge ahead; and third, it would guarantee that current and future members of the Tour continue to benefit from the future growth of the enterprise as they become pension eligible.
The proposal suggests that the Legacy Equity allocation would be designed to the supplement the existing merit-based distribution of the pension program. The income generated from that Legacy Equity position would serve as a supplementary support for the pension program of our legacy members and aim to provide a true lifetime pension for the entirety of the recipient's life. Additionally, the Tour should reserve a board seat to represent the interests of the legacy members within the new structure. By doing so, we ensure that the Tour's historical thread remains intact as we weave the fabric of our future.
Such an equity allocations would be more than just a gesture of gratitude; it would be fair compensation for the value our legacy members created over the years. It aligns perfectly with the core principles of merit and commitment inherent in the PGA Tour and further strengthens the Tour's position in the face of recent challenges.
Furthermore, this equity allocations would be appropriate "make good" on the Tour's recent battle cry of during its duel with LIV Golf: "Legacy, not leverage." By reserving the equity value of the new enterprise for the Tour's legacy members, we demonstrate our commitment to our roots, traditions, and the players who created them.
As the PGA Tour moves forward into this exciting new phase, it is of the utmost importance that we honor and respect the contributions of those who laid the foundation of our great league. This proposal aligns perfectly with the principles of merit and commitment that have defined the PGA Tour for generations and has the potential to inspire and benefit current and future players across the tour.
In conclusion, I call upon the PGA Tour management and our entire community to embrace this proposal and demonstrate our commitment to honoring the past while forging a prosperous future. Let's take this opportunity to show our legacy members that their sacrifices and achievements have not been in vain, but rather a source of pride and inspiration for the generations to come. As we chart a new course, let's ensure that we honor and include those who brought us to where we stand today, for the legacy of the PGA Tour is intertwined with the legacy of its players.
In golf and life,
(The letter is an independent editorial from Kenny Knox)