PGA Tour executive Tyler Dennis details Player Equity Program, payouts and more

Tyler Dennis called the moment historic.

That’s what the PGA Tour’s Chief Competitions Officer said Wednesday when speaking to Golf Channel’s Anna Jackson discussing the PGA Tour Enterprises Player Equity Program, which was introduced Wednesday.

The program, which is a joint venture between the PGA Tour and Strategic Sports Group, will reward 200 PGA Tour players with $1.5 billion in equity. The program rewards players based on career achievements, future participation and services and more. The grants are only available to qualified players.

The program gives players the opportunity to be owners of the organization, which is unique since there are so many Tour players with their hands in the pot.

“There’s no other sports league in the world that has this significant number of their athletes as owners of their own sports organization,” Dennis said. “And we’re really excited about it because ultimately, we want to do what’s right. We want to grow the PGA Tour in many different ways and having the alignment of players as player-owners with the organization is going to allow us to drive that quickly forward. We’re really excited about it.”

Dennis said there has been a lot of positive feedback about the Player Equity Program among the membership since the announcement. He said it has grown in positivity since the announcement of SSG getting involved in creating the for-profit entity, PGA Tour Enterprises, earlier this year.

“We want the players to be fully aligned with their organization,” Dennis said. “It’s something no other sport has done before and we’re seeing an incredible amount of excitement about that.”

Dennis also said this investment will be extremely beneficial to the fans, which has become a big talking point in recent months regarding discussions of the state of professional golf.

“Fans want to see the PGA Tour leap forward,” Dennis said. “We’re really focused on innovating. We haven’t stood still, we’ve done a lot over the last few months to have the players directly engaged in that.”

Not every player is included in the equity program, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be ways to get involved or for younger stars and rookies to get their hands in the pot.

Toward the end of the interview, Jackson asked whether players will be expected to contribute to the growth to increase their value beyond just playing PGA Tour events.

“Well, ultimately, we have an incredible sport and that our athletes really care about,” Dennis said. “They’re constantly every day thinking about how to improve our platform about our products. That’s a unique thing in sports and our athletes are out entertaining clients and sponsors that help us put on this tournament and ultimately drive a significant amount of charity, so it’s sort of built into the sport.

“Our players are highly engaged. We had a great advisory council meeting, where we talked about things from other sports that we’ve learned. I think what we want them to do is play golf. You know, fans want to see them display their incredible skills on the course. But being aligned with the overall goals of the organization is really what this latest announcement today is about.”

Dennis said he wasn’t able to discuss whether players who return from LIV Golf to the PGA Tour would be able to be a part of the program, but he did mention talks continue to accelerate with the PIF.

In the roughly 10-minute interview, Dennis mentioned the word “exciting” nine different times in addition to “historic.” Although nothing major is changing in terms of the schedule, Dennis said the players are striving to deliver the best product for fans.

“We want to make the PGA Tour as good as possibly be,” Dennis said.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek