Home » PGA of America leaning into new sports betting partnership with ESPN Bet

PGA of America leaning into new sports betting partnership with ESPN Bet

The ESPN Bet lounge is on the Valhalla Golf Club’s 13th holeJosh Carpenter/SBJ

The PGA of America is leaning into sports betting in Louisville this week through its new partnership with ESPN Bet as it becomes the first of golf’s major championships to sign such a pact. The two sides announced their partnership just last week, with it including an ESPN Bet alternate telecast from Valhalla Golf Club, as well as a branded ESPN Bet lounge on the course’s 13th hole.

The PGA first started talking about doing a sports betting deal four or five years ago, said Casey Morton, the organization’s senior director of global media, production and wagering. ESPN being the tournament’s Thursday-Friday broadcast rights holder made ESPN Bet an easy choice as a partner, he said.

“It opens up things like the alt cast and other areas where, with our mission to grow the game, the hope is we’re able to reach new audiences and hopefully get more golfers and more viewers and more interest in the game,” Morton said.

The PGA’s deal with ESPN Bet is for three years starting this week, as sports betting is legal in the three locales where its next three PGA Championships will be hosted: this week in Kentucky, next year at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, and 2026 at Aronimink Golf Club in Pennsylvania. The 2027 PGA Championship will be held at PGA Frisco in Texas, where sports betting is not yet legal.

The alt cast this week will air each tournament day from 11am-1pm ET, running Thursday and Friday on ESPN2. ESPN+ will pick up weekend coverage. Longtime ESPN golf reporter/host Michael Collins and analyst “Stanford” Steve Coughlin will anchor the coverage.

The ESPN Bet Members Lounge is near the course’s 13th green and includes covered seating, drinks and a VR simulator of the Par 4 hole. The lounge has a capacity of 250.

Morton said the PGA has not mapped out a locale for the Members Lounge next year at Quail Hollow, though ESPN Bet did have a lounge on the club’s 13th hole last week for the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship.