Traveling via a private jet is a luxury for most. For PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, it’s a requirement.
A Wall Street Journal report has detailed Monahan’s use of a PGA Tour-owned jet for both personal and business trips, citing flight records, a commercial jet-tracking service and various sources. As part of the report, the Tour told the Journal that Monahan, “is required by its Policy Board, which includes players, to use the corporate plane for all air travel—business and personal—because it provides the ‘necessary level of efficiency, privacy, and security.’”
Flight records largely showed the plane was used for business travel to airports near Tour events, but also showed trips to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Missoula, Montana, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Turks and Caicos.
The professional golf discourse over the last year has been dominated by money since LIV Golf joined the fray. Supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and widely criticized as an effort to sportswash the Kingdom’s human rights record, LIV Golf offers massive purses and multi-million dollar contracts and has plucked away some of the Tour’s best players, such as Cam Smith, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson.
While referencing its financial battle with LIV, the jet travel was one of multiple points of contention the Journal raised in regards to the Tour’s expenditures:
The PGA Tour’s new $81 million headquarters
Monahan’s 2020 earnings, which totaled $14.2 million
Retired executives were paid $8 million in severance and $32 million in other compensation from 2017 to 2020, with more than half going to former commissioner Tim Finchem
The Journal also mentioned the Tour’s recently announced changes that will see more of the top players at the same tournaments, 12 elevated events featuring an average of $20 million purses and an increase to $100 million for the Player Impact Program. The Tour also provided the Journal with a document that projected 55 percent of its $1.52 billion in projected revenue would go to its players.
Read the full report here.