GC: Keith Pelley: Golf is ‘exploding’ around the world, adds president

Chris Still of Wales, who was part of the victorious European Cup squad last year, has signed for SiriusXM of the United States

Golf is “exploding” in popularity across the world and clubs should be quick to push it to the next level by improving coaching and facilities, says Keith Pelley.

A groundbreaking 10-year partnership between Tiger Woods’ new company and NBC has been announced in conjunction with the Presidents Cup.

The Professional Golfers’ Association of Canada head executive says golf is moving forward.

“This is an aggressive move on golf’s part,” Pelley told BBC Sport.

“The game has exploded in popularity in terms of worldwide accessibility in a short period of time.

“We are just getting on the next step. We have to make sure we are constantly getting ahead of the curve and trying to understand how we can affect the game so it continues to grow.

“Our goal is to be the PGA Tour of golf.”

But despite the announcement that 15-time major winner Woods will help structure content and content creation for NBC and Golf Channel, Pelley is not predicting Woods will enjoy a “comeback” this year after dropping out of action for 18 months with a series of back problems.

“Tiger is struggling to find his way out of rehab,” he added.

“When he does he will be competing with more accomplished players at the top of the game and he needs to improve in the areas he is below par in.

“But I do think he will be back. And if he is, he will win tournaments.”

Chris Still is one of several Welsh golfers to join PGA Canadian Tour alongside Britain’s Carl Pettersson, who will also return from a quadriceps injury this week

While Greater Augusta National was reported to be the preferred choice by Woods and partner Bill Haas, PGA chief executive Pelley chose to look to Canada as a possible new landmark partnership for golf.

SiriusXM signed up for a 10-year deal with Tiger Woods’ company, Tiger Woods PGA Tour to “create innovative, engaging, relevant and compelling content, coverage and programming to grow and grow the game of golf worldwide”.

An estimated 15 million people tune in to the US President’s Cup from Harding Park in San Francisco next year, a major event for United States.

“We are obviously thrilled to have one of the great leaders in golf join with us,” said Pelley.

“We have one of the world’s greatest competitors at the helm of something that is going to make this sport even more popular around the world.”

Golf Canada can expect to hear a lot from Woods in the short term, but the partnership between the PGA and NBC will mean there will be much more for both.

“We want to start expanding and targeting our development services,” said Pelley.

“We would love to have a higher profile youth development academy to develop great athletes from young kids up to 18, 19, 20 years old.

“There are a lot of kids out there that are not playing the game of golf at a high level but they can get the potential to be the future of the game.

“We have just announced a new four-year agreement with Canada Golf. We are going to be helping them develop their kids and the game.”

SiriusXM was already partnered with a number of PGA Tours in the United States, so the club managers in Canada are likely to have already been planning for better days ahead.

But now attention will turn to England with Scotland and Ireland on the radar.

“I think there will be many different clubs who are using this as a great resource and how can we integrate it more to enhance the golf game,” said Pelley.

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