Guy Kinnings on the biggest problem in the golf world and the solution

Fans of this sport are impatient, and week after week, they become increasingly disappointed with the behavior of the key figures in both tours

by Sead Dedovic
Guy Kinnings on the biggest problem in the golf world and the solution
© Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

DP World Tour chief executive Guy Kinnings has taken his position seriously and intends to help golf move in the right direction. In an interview with The Scotsman, Kinnings addressed the future of golf, with a focus on the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. 

Although Kinnings emphasizes there are many things to work on in the coming period, finalizing the deal between the PGA Tour and LIV must be a priority. Golf is in a real state of chaos, and it is necessary for someone to change things in the golf scene through their actions. Kinnings could be one of the key figures when it comes to that deal.

“I’ve got loads of stuff in my in-tray that involves the DP World Tour, all our other tours and the Ryder Cup, but we all know there is one single topic that really needs to get sorted first and the rest of the stuff will flow from there."- Kinnings said.

He also addressed the positive aspects, considering golf to be in a healthy state. However, his intentions are for golf to progress day by day and become a sport that will generate interest from everyone. Kinnings stresses that this problem is evident, but it seems that the leaders of the tours and other important figures in both tours are not as open and willing to change things in the future.

“You know, this is the irony of what we are facing right now. Golf is in such a really healthy state. In so many metrics, golf couldn’t be stronger. You know, participation levels, interest, whatever. But until we get the solution of what is the future of the game is going to look like, it’s kind of you have that faint sense of it’s the elephant in the room in every conversation you could possibly have."- Kinnings continued.

From Kinnings' perspective, the crucial step is to quickly gather the right individuals around a table to discuss what the future might bring. He doesn't expect them to have all the answers immediately, as there are a lot of aspects to consider. Questions such as the future product perspective beyond 2026, the pathway forward, and the implications of various decisions need to be addressed. 

However, without convening with the appropriate stakeholders who are committed to finding solutions, progress will be hindered. Ultimately, what is urgently required is a deal to be worked out as soon as possible.

Fans of this sport are impatient, and week after week, they become increasingly disappointed with the behavior of the key figures in both tours. Although the primary deadline for the agreement was December 31st, it has now been almost five months without any progress. The only hope for fans lies in the statements of PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, a few weeks ago, where he emphasized that he is confident that an agreement will be reached. This topic is discussed day after day, but there is still no information on whether they are close to a deal.

Kinnings also confirmed that negotiations could start again soon. This is one of the reasons for optimism.

SSG's investment in the PGA Tour: Kinnings reacts

SSG's investment in the PGA Tour caused concern among many, considering that after the PGA Tour made an agreement with SSG, their financial power would become greater than ever, without the need to collaborate with PIF and LIV Golf.

Guy Kinnings
Guy Kinnings© Warren Little/Getty Images Sport

Kinnings emphasized the importance of collaboration with the Strategic Sports Group to develop a product that aligns with the future of golf, likely extending beyond 2026. He stressed the necessity for this product to resonate with fans while serving the interests of all involved parties.  Most prominent figures in the golf world prioritize the fans, recognizing that without them, golf wouldn't be what it is today. There is concern that the current situation could dampen fan interest, especially among younger generations.

Ultimately, Kinnings highlighted the need for compromise from all parties involved to reach a mutually beneficial solution, emphasizing that progress won't be made until all important figures come together for discussions.

Kinnings isn't happy after the Masters, considering that TV figures are down. He believes that everyone should be open to what the fans have to say and act accordingly. When you have dissatisfied fans, it's hard to expect your numbers to grow in the future. He also didn't forget to commend Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governer of PIF (Public Investment Fund), a man who understands that a single product is the best solution. Kinnings reiterated that the tour leaders must sit down as soon as possible and find a solution.