I have moved my needle slightly, but I’m still a traditional PGA Tour, LPGA, Senior PGA, and DP Tour fan above all else! I saw Phil’s pic last night (looks like he’s using Aaron Rogers barber! Man buns next?) and I’ve become less of a fan over the past few years. Great player, decent guy, I think his recent opinions regarding the PGA Tour and other odd statements have turned me off a bit. However, he does have a lifetime membership, I’m sure the Tour can revoke that if they so desire. They set their rules and the membership needs to abide by that. I don’t like this new Tour, I think it’s going to take away from players desire to achieve greatness in the sport, there is no incentive to practice, or improve. Get paid first, Show-up, knock the ball around a bit, have a beer. AND they are getting paid for each tournament no matter where they finish. It’s a whole new dynamic! They are throwing unbelievable sums of money at these guys, these guys play golf for a living and support their families doing it. The kind of money being thrown at them for appearing, would take them multiple years to possibly earn. If the choice was I can no longer make the kind of living I would like and this new thing is paying me huge sums that I no longer have to work and sweat over and my kids and grandkids are going to be taken care care of… I gotta make the jump; even though it might rub my conscious the wrong way. In the end, when you’re gone, my name in a golf encyclopedia is not paying college tuition for my grandkids. Thoughts?
First, taking the source of the money out of the discussion, I can understand players jumping at the amount of money on offer. On the other hand, its possible that the LIV Tour won’t be recognized by the OWGR folks, or that small-field no-cut 54-hole events won’t earn them a lot of ranking points, so they may not get easy entry into the majors in future years. They’ll have to balance that potential loss against the money, and the easy schedule, and the guarantees. Of the guys who have committed so far, only a couple have “Major potential”, so most aren’t losing out on anything.
As a fan, I don’t like the idea of “appearance money”, it is more enjoyable to me to think that these guys need to play well to earn a dime. No cuts? Again, I like the idea of a 36-hole cut. When I write it out this way, it does seem a little masochistic, that I enjoy seeing their struggles, but I do.
Getting back to the source of the money, that’s a different matter that each player must reconcile with his own conscience. I’m not naïve, we all almost certainly buy something that’s made in countries with horrible human rights records, or otherwise support those regimes. I’ve worked in Saudi Arabia for a few months (back in the mid-1980s). But this isn’t buying a Chinese-made toy, its taking money directly from the hands of the Saudis. Again, each player must make his own choices, and each of us gets to make our own opinion based on the player’s choices.
So far it seems less like a tour and more like an exhibition. Maybe not a bad thing to have teams since there are already plenty of individual stroke play events.
I’m not a fan of the Saudis at all, but their money is all over the place (horse racing, racing, buying weapons from US et al) and all of a sudden pro golfers are horrible? Maybe that is “whataboutism”, but I’m not going to throw stones from my glass house. I guess I’d like to see them donate at least the standard 25% to charities fighting for human rights and put the “blood money” to some good use.
They are apparently being offered “generational” money and that is hard to say no to. Some of these guys might turn down 7 figures to keep their legacy (ridiculous as only Tiger truly has a golf legacy worth serious $$ IMO), but 9 figures is ensuring future generations of your family.
I’ll repeat myself: PGA Tour China is an officially licensed offshoot of the PGA Tour. The people using human rights offenses—of which the Saudis, (and that entire region, to be frank) are guilty of—might want to look at the Chinese record in that area too, before climbing onto that big sexy white warhorse of “Indignation!”
And the human rights bugaboo didn’t seem to matter a damn to people when guys were taking obscene appearance fees to go play in the Emirates. Which has been a thing since Tiger joining the Tour.
That said, it looks like garbage golf. I won’t be entertained, and entertainment is the point.
Appearance $$$. That’s what’s really rubbing my rhubarb the wrong way! There is no incentive except to show up. Bryson just basically came out today…Yeah, I took the money! What do you think, I’m STUPID? This Tour, if you want to call it that, is like an old baseball barnstorming tour. If I play well or I don’t…so what? The sponsors of many of the PGA tourneys have dark monies or dealings, I don’t want to make political points either way. For as long as these Billionaires want to use their cash to fund this, it will last. My heart would say no, if I was good enough to be invited to play… my head says, I have to take care of my family. Look, I took a job driving a Bread Delivery Route 6 days a week that started at 230am to support my family when I was laid off with no possibilities in the immediate for 6 months. Your job as a father, IMO, is if I can take care of my family for generations… you do it!
I hear you and one of the things I loved about golf was that the players earned their money each week. A baseball or basketball player could sign a huge contract and play horribly with no change in their pay. That said, some successful golfers bring fans to the course and to the tv screen with their presence at a tournament and if they miss the cut they get nothing. The Tour benefits from their presence though. Is that fair?
Those same players were nobody at one time. Earning their way onto the Tour, and playing on the Tour, having success on the Tour, they got all of that because of the Tour. Nobody players are just fine with the contracts they sign, because those contracts represent a amazing opportunity to make a ton of money if they play well. They don’t look back and realize that they’d still be nobody if they never had the opportunities the Tour provides them.
The tour was nothing at one point too. Successful players made it something. Now their are execs at the tour likely making more money than some pros. The “name” player draws fans to the course and to tv viewership, they miss the cut and make nothing, but the tour has made more money because of them. Heck the tour can make money off the players video clips from Thurs and Fri while the player still gets zilch.
I know athletes make a LOT of money, but do they always make the fair percentage of the revenue they generate? Probably not in many cases. I know, I know, they get sponsorships paying a lot so I’m not crying for them, but the Tour is essentially a monopoly and we know what happens with those.
Just remember, the TOUR as we know it today is basically run by the Players Advisory Board. Really, they can end up calling the shots. The Monahan’s of the world run the business and everything else behind it, but without the players you’ve got nothing. The PGA TOUR is NOT the PGA. 2 totally different entities now and that’s because of the Nicklaus, Palmer, Player types that made it happen. And it should be… Playing Tour Professionals are not the guy I count on to run Operations at the Club. The tour was always something, I’ve seen pics of Hogan at Merion… didn’t look like nothing in 1950! I know for a marginal guy, it’s just tough to turn it down. DJ is gonna walk away this weekend with a $149M check. That’s stupid money… my father told me once, don’t steal…unless there’s like $10M on a table…take it and disappear! Anything less than that isn’t worth your reputation. Well DJ and Phil and whomever… $149M reasons… Stupid money!
Especially those with injury and miles on their clock. As stated " do you think I’m stupid?" 8 figure sign on bonus is no laughing matter, like they have to win two hands full of tournament to make that kind of money.
Exhibition does not equal to tournament play. Why do we enjoy watching the players coming down the stretch on Sunday afternoon ? Exhibition type of play took the excitement out of the spectators.
Golf tournament is not a thoroughbred show. How many of us will be interested in seeing an exhibition golf show instead of the Open or the Masters?
Without the commercial success, I don’t care how many zeros the sponsors have in the bank behind a number, it’ll be gone sooner than they thought.
In fact, I would be surprised if this fiasco will last more than a few years . Playing video golf game might be more exciting than watching these has-been playing exhibition golf.
First off, each to their own. Fully agree with JT on this point. What disappoints me is that some of the players themselves feel its wrong and yet are still doing it. Phil previously alluded to not wanting the dirty money from the Saudi regime. And whilst people here may say if you get the chance to take care of your family, he is hardly on the breadline, he has earned an estimate $925m on and off the course.
“They’re scary motherfuckers to get involved with,” Mickelson told Shipnuck. “We know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights”
Poulter and Westwood refused to answer when asked if they would play anywhere if the money is right and both looked really uncomfortable as they know, inside, this is just wrong.
Yes, other places have done bad things and the PGA has played there. But that too is wrong and does not make support for the Saudi’s right.
Its just sad that multimillionaires are putting money above anything else, even the good of the sport that made them rich in the first place.
It is unclear what the future will bring . The PGA and the R&A seemed to silently approve the players to join the LIV Tour. Like they are saying, great, go get the money while it’s available because it won’t be there for long.
ANGC simply chooses not to invite any player who participates on the Saudi backed LIV tour?
In NLU podcast, they mentioned that Danny Willett apparently inquired and was told he might not be allowed back on the property if he joins the Saudi tour.
I just feel, if there is nothing to fight for, everyone is paid by appearance fee, then, what’s to watch? A practice round of “professional” golf? Why would any sponsor wish to dough out the money for little or no commercial value?
I’d find the archived video from 50’s-90’s tournaments on YouTube more interesting. Besides, how can the exhibition show holds up the interest for the viewers more than just one round of golf? Have the players tell jokes and do trick shots? Can’t imagine sitting there watch the exhibition play for more than a few minutes. It’s not like watching vintage movies.
Anyone paid attention to the format of the LIV Tour?
This is a copy of a section from the Portland event on their website, “Since each event will be made up of a different field, teams will be decided via a draft the week of each event. Each team will have a LIV appointed team captain who will select their 3 open team positions via a snake draft format.”
Assuming Greg Norman will be involved in selecting the teams and appointing team captains. Interesting. However, there is nothing to fight for and everyone will be guaranteed for compensations prior. So, I’d say go to the party and have fun, on the host’s dime. It’s a buffet!
Looks like the PGA had just announced this morning that it will suspends players participating in the LIV invitational series.
The antitrust fight should be a good one. It’s usually a Bad Thing ™ for market leaders to act in concert to ban new entries to the market. Or to collude to restrict the employment of independent contractors.
It’s murky. Anyone who says they know how this will shake out? Doesn’t.
The players will take the the sign on bonus and the suspension in concert. Beats working hard for years with the unknown.
Interesting thing is, what the sponsors will do, since they amounts to the majority of the income for the top 20 ranked players.
That will hurt the pocket book if the sponsors decided to suspend their relationship ( according to the contractual term).
Like Phil realized when the sponsors suspended their support.
It is understandable if these on the injured list wish to capitalize on what’s handed to them as a gift from heaven. Very tempting to veer away from uphold the honor, to take the money and not worry about life and life for their kids and maybe the grand kids.
Most of them are in this game not for the love of the game but for the lucrative income from the get-go anyway.
Not going to put blame on anyone, it is their life and do whatever they think is right. However, if the LIV Tour folds in the near future and these players have difficulty going back to the PGA Tour, then, they better hold on to their bonus money and invest it well.
People make choices in life. Stepping on the toes of the others while biting the hands that feeds you, will be a serious decision to make. Turning back to PGA would be very difficult if not impossible, climbing the rope will be tougher like a marathon runner lost his pole position.
But I guess they don’t care about leaving their name in the history of the game. As Gary Player said at one time while he was in financial trouble. He’d give all his trophies back if they’re worth anything.
We’re in a society motivated by digits in the bank account, seemingly run our life with numbers from unreliable statistic generated under controlled condition.
Should we live to be over 300 years of age, yes, it would make a major impact. With our useful life being 40-45 years; I’d say do whatever pleases you, just, try not to sacrifice others for your own benefit. As much as we could in a larger sense.
For those live in the public eyes, best be extra careful of the foot prints you’ll leave behind. True color shows during extra ordinary time like this.
I’m no legal eagle, but the anti-trust law got nothing to do with the rule for the PGA players who must abide.
As for joining an exhibition type of “tour” with huge sums of award. Why not take the free money that’s offer to you and qualify for the PGA Tour later, if not, retire?
What will hurt, as I mentioned will be the sponsorship with commercial value. Who wants to have their brand represented by the faces with undesirable character? For the top golfers the endorsement money represents more value than tournament price money.
So weight it out, if on the injured list, not playing the best game any longer, slipping down the world ranking, the 8-9 figures offered to a few of the players sure looks like a gift. 20 million to 150 million is a life changing sum. They are human.
Especially if you’re a non-profit that is supposed to be supporting charitable efforts and growing the game. From what I’ve read the Tour donates a very small % to charity and now it’s trying to limit the game to some extent which is not aligned with its mission statement.
I barely have time to watch the tournaments I want to watch (players, majors, colonial, memorial) but I can tell you I will be choosing the pga all day if there is a conflicting event
It is the combo of the superstars (mcilroy, woods, koepka, etc) and the next generation (morikawa, hovland, zalatoris) and the random guy having the week of his life that makes the tournaments interesting. Not to mention I am now familiar with many of the courses they play which makes viewing even more enjoyable
I have no desire to watch a random collection of guys play some non-stroke play event on a course I am not familiar with outside of the us.
The saudis can fund a defunct project indefinitely but I don’t see the LIV being a good product
I don’t have super strong feelings on this, but here are a few that have crossed my mind:
- This is likely going to force the PGA to change their structure…either offering contracts/salaries vs “independent contractors”…and change may be good.
- Sure the PGA does good with the enormous gobs of money they generate…but so do the individual players. I hope this forces the PGA to do more good…and the players.
- Good (and bad) people take money from BAD ACTORS all the time…some use if for good, some use it for greed. The Saudi’s aren’t the only bad actors in this situation…they’re just bad and an easy target.
- I’ll watch whatever is on TV when I have a chance…I really care about the majors, but even that isn’t “drop everything and watch TV” for me.
Just my $.02
In today’s climate; we all tend to fall into the trap of up rooting the tradition for something new.
My experience is, before we have a better ( much better) solution than the current one, then, best not to rock the boat.
The PGA is run by the plyers in most part. If any part of the population is not happy with what they have, it will be the minority opinion. They could elect the officials and vote for the direction in most part.
The LIV is generated out of the need for the Saudi Royal fund to seek outlet for their fortune amassed from the oil ex[ort. They understood from the early 70’s that the oil will not last forever and they better make a transition with their fortune for the future.
Quite a few failed business adventures they had engaged in. I mean, what kind of investment in auto racing and thoroughbred breeding? They will squander away the fortune as they did not work hard to earn it in the first place to appreciate the hardship.
The easy money is obvious to some of these PGA named players. I mean, how many tournament would Phil or Rory win in the next 10 years, for that matter even Dustin ? Or even the combined winning from all of these named players? Probably can count it in one’s fingers.
So, I can’t blame them for raking up the coins fell from the sky; they probably had calculated the endorsement income if they should lose that also.
Thing is, the wave of so many taking up on this offering from the LIV Tour surprised me. Also gave me a clue that many would not think the LIV will last more than a few years. Instead of wait and see, the players decided to take the hand out now before it is gone.
We’ll see, the trend will reveal itself with the test of time.
I do believe the PGA should enforce the existing rule for the player on board. It will wash off within a few years if it last beyond the 2023.