Premier Golf League CEO Andy Gardiner joins No Laying Up to discuss league format, issues facing pro golf

·2 min read

One of the first players Andy Gardiner spoke with about the Premier Golf League was Rory McIlroy.

“I was explaining the concept and at the time he was at the view that actually this is probably what golf needs. Now that was some time ago and he’s entitled to change his opinion but had Rory said to me, ‘Andy that’s rubbish,’ I’d have probably stopped,” Gardiner said to No Laying Up’s Chris Solomon. “So on we went.”

The CEO of the Premier Golf League – separate from the recently announced LIV Golf venture backed by Saudi Arabia and led by Greg Norman – joined No Laying Up for an in-depth, two-and-a-half-hour episode which covers the league’s format and relationship with the PGA Tour as well as the greater issues facing professional golf today.

Rory on the PGL: “I don’t see why anyone would be for it”

“The original notion was always to work with the PGA Tour, believe it or not. Some might call that incredibly naïve but it remains our strong desire,” said Gardiner. “Our earliest documentation set out the desire to work with the PGA Tour and the view that once the format was understood, we couldn’t see any reason why collaboration couldn’t be achievable.”

The format: 12 teams of four players will compete in an 18-event season from January-August with team and individual championships running parallel throughout the season.

There will also be a 13th team – owned by the league’s foundation but run by third parties – where fans can pick three wildcard players each week. A max of 51 players means no cut, with 54 holes being played over three days.

“We want to make golf as watchable as possible,” said Gardiner.

The regular season is the first 17 events, after which the individual champion is crowned. Then it’s time for the playoffs, a $20 million winner-take-all finale. Each regular-season event is worth $20 million in total, with $4 million going to the winner and $150,000 to last place.

For more on the creation of the league, listen to the full episode here.