This is Dom Cooke and today we are breaking down the PGA Tour. Alongside the four standalone majors, the PGA Tour is the pinnacle of professional golf. It’s where the best players in the world earn their living and tee it up for their place in golfing history. To break down the business behind the stars and action you see on the PGA Tour, I’m joined by Neil Schuster, co-founder of golf media business No Laying Up.
Editor’s note: this conversation was recorded before the field for this week’s inaugural LIV golf invitational event was announced.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:27] – [First question] – What the PGA Tour is, it’s size today, and how it generates revenue
[00:06:04] – Defining what the Tiger Tax is and its implications
[00:08:04] – When the PGA Tour was founded and the key moments leading up to today
[00:17:24] – Being a member run organization and player influence over the board
[00:18:23] – Overview of the business structure and model of the PGA Tour
[00:22:27] – Reasons for the 72 hole stroke-play format
[00:24:43] – The distribution of over a billion dollars of revenue
[00:27:59] – Why their capital allocation is unique and their incentive programs
[00:31:37] – Unique pension structures of their deferred compensation plan
[00:34:30] – The Champions Tour as a secondary way to make a living after the PGA tour
[00:36:07] – Rival SGL and PGL tours and how they are trying to disrupt the PGA tour
[00:44:42] – Having a legacy name advantage to bring players and capital in
[00:47:47] – Relying on growing viewership, ratings, and new sponsors over time
[00:52:48] – Paths to becoming a more successful tour amidst the new startup tours
[00:55:07] – Netflix’s partnership with the PGA Tour to try and bring in new viewers
[00:56:54] – The most surprising lessons about the PGA Tour he’s learned