Add veteran Charley Hoffman’s name to the list of players who don’t plan on shifting allegiances to the much-discussed Premier Golf League anytime soon.
While many of the game’s biggest stars remain ambivalent on their potential participation in the startup that aims to rival the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy came out in staunch opposition when speaking to media Wednesday at the WGC-Mexico Championship. Hoffman is not in the field this week in Mexico City, but speaking with Matt Adams on Fairways of Life radio he offered a similar assessment of an organization whose specifics still remain a mystery.
“I think it’s intriguing that another group of people are willing to dump a bunch of money and try to guarantee us money, get some of the best players in the world to come over and play. I just don’t think there’s any sustainability or really any traction, personally,” Hoffman said. “I haven’t dug deep enough into any of that to see if it is. I don’t know if I would like to be owned by some Saudi money over there, but if something was a life-changing amount of money they offered me, you’d have to look at it as an independent contractor. Because there’s no guarantees that I’ll have a PGA Tour card in three or four years.”
While the specific individuals or groups funding the prospective league remain unknown, ties to Saudi Arabia cropped up last month when Phil Mickelson played in a pro-am at the Saudi International with three reported PGL figures. Mickelson has stated that he is “intrigued” by the PGL proposal.
Hoffman, 43, is nearly four years removed from the most recent of his four career Tour wins, but his voice carries some weight given that this week he was elected by his peers to serve as chairman of the Player Advisory Council for 2020. With his world ranking down to No. 167 after a lean 2019 campaign, Hoffman is cognizant of the lure of guaranteed money that could come from a setup like the PGL is purportedly offering, but he believes the meritocracy of professional golf is one of its shining attributes.
“As an athlete, any guaranteed money is very intriguing,” Hoffman said. “But I’ve grown up playing this game that there is nothing given to you, and you earn every penny of it. And I think that a lot of golf fans really enjoy watching that.”