PGA, LPGA have 'very positive' first alliance meeting


So what kind of an event will the PGA Tour and LPGA combine to play as part of this new alliance they have forged?

That was among the big questions being pursued when the two tours officially launched their new working relationship with their first joint meeting Friday at PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Sixteen PGA Tour and LPGA officials met for five hours to begin laying out details of what they want to pursue together.

“I would tell you the enthusiasm, the cooperation and the excitement in the room was very, very positive,” LPGA chief marketing officer Jon Podany told “Some of the ideas that came out of breakout groups were very positive. There's going to be more to come on that, for sure. We're just getting started at what can be a very beneficial relationship for both of us.”

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and LPGA commissioner Mike Whan weren’t present for the first meeting, but Podany said “a lot of senior people from both sides were there.”

The PGA Tour and LPGA jointly announced a “strategic alliance agreement” back in March. Podany said there is already a committee exploring possible formats for a joint event, something Finchem has confirmed is among the alliance’s priorities.

“Friday was kind of a kickoff meeting, the beginning of working into the details of what we can do together in various areas,” Podany said. “There was a tournament team that broke apart and started brainstorming and talking about tournament ideas that each of our organizations have, or ideas we’ve heard from others. We started thinking through which ones we want to delve into in more detail. There was also a digital team. There was a cross promotion marketing team. We assigned people to those areas from each of our organizations, and we were pleasantly surprised at how much good stuff came out of it in just one five-hour meeting.”

When the alliance was originally announced, Podany said the agreement included plans for the PGA Tour to represent the LPGA in future domestic TV negotiations and also plans for cross promotional marketing, where PGA Tour telecasts would feature LPGA updates.