The PGA Tour Policy Board is set on finalizing a deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) ahead of the self-imposed Dec. 31, 2023, deadline.

But they will also negotiate with the Strategic Sports Group (SSG), an association of investors that own various professional franchises in the United States. A memo was sent to players indicating these plans on Sunday evening, made public by Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel.

“We just concluded a series of PGA Tour Policy Board meetings and would like to provide you with a significant update,” the memo reads.

“We unanimously agreed to further negotiate with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), a consortium of U.S.-based professional sports team investors led by Fenway Sports Group.”

Fenway Sports Group has reportedly held discussions with the tour throughout the Fall. They also own Boston Common Golf, one of the six teams apart of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TGL league, which has since been postponed until 2025.

Arthur Blank, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons

Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons.
Photo by David J. Griffin/Getty Images

Other investors in this consortium include Marc Attanasio, Arthur Blank, Gerry Cardinale, and Cohen Private Ventures.

Attanasio founded Crescent Capital Group, an investment firm that funds high-yield bonds, leveraged loans, and distressed securities. He has also owned the Milwaukee Brewers since 2004.

Blank, who founded Home Depot and owns the Atlanta Falcons, is also listed as part of the SSG. Like Fenway Sports Group, Blank purchased a TGL team named Atlanta Drive, with Justin Thomas headlining the squad.

Cardinale, meanwhile, founded and owns RedBird Capital Partners, which specializes in high-profile media and sports teams. His clients include Fenway Sports Group, AC Milan, LeBron James, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon, according to The New York Post.

And then there is Cohen Private Ventures, which invests long-term capital on behalf of Steve Cohen, the billionaire owner of the New York Mets.

Mike Gordon, Wyc Grousbeck, John Henry, HighPost Capital, Marc Lasry, Tom Ricketts, and Tom Werner also comprise the SSG, per Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel.

But despite the billions of dollars that these groups have, they collectively pale in comparison to what the PIF has in its bank. The PIF reportedly has over $700 billion in assets, hence its decision to pay Jon Rahm $550 million to join LIV Golf.

That move sent the PGA Tour into disarray, which explains why the Policy Board sent this memo to membership on Sunday evening—three days after Rahm’s decision became public.

The tour is eager to finalize a deal with outside investors—including PIF—for the betterment of the game of golf.

“We also anticipate advancing our negotiations with PIF in the weeks to come,” the memo continued.

“Please know that while we can’t get into more details at this time, we are very confident in an eventual, positive outcome for all players and the PGA Tour as a whole.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.


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By David

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