The PGA Tour has been the default for golf until now. The LIV Golf Invitational Series is coming out and it’s starting to rock the boat. But the question is, with this new tour, what will happen with the PGA Tour, which one will be better to watch, and which one will the big-name golfers want to play in.
The LIV is still new and there’s starting to be more and more information coming out about it. At the same time, the PGA Tour is now basically a competitor and is struggling to figure out how to move going forward. Can both tours exist, or will one eventually conquer the other?
Obviously, the clear analogy is the NFL and the XFL. If you’re looking to go pro and you can sign with the NFL that will most likely be who you sign with and play for. I”m not saying the NFL is better than the XFL, but most of the money is in the NFL. And I firmly believe whichever tour has the most money will come out on top. Sometimes it’s a sad reality, but the bottom line will come into play.
What Is The LIV Golf Tour
I had to do some digging on this tour and this is what I came up with. The LIV golf tour is backed by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia and is being led by legendary golf Greg Norman. They want to be recognized as a premier golf league. The LIV is a nod to the Roman numeral 54. It will also be the number of holes played in their tournaments. The first tournament is scheduled in London on June 9, 2022.
Some critics claim that Saudi Arabia is creating this league to help with its image. Human rights violations have been an issue in this country and creating this league to gain favor with sports spectators is creating hesitation for potential fans and players.
Another big difference is the money or purses being offered by the LIV tour. They seem to be nearly double what the highest majors were paying out. The LIV purses will total $25 million with the individual winner getting about $4 million. Some reports show that individual golfers are inking large deals with the LIV tour.
Bottom line is, that there stand to be some big payouts in the newly developed LIV league.
Can Golfers Play On Both Tours
Right now, the word is maybe, but probably not without penalty. The PGA has mentioned that once players tee off on June 9, 2022, they will have officially betrayed the PGA and will be subject to fines, penalties, and even banishment from the PGA. They also mentioned it will depend on the player and how involved they were with recruiting PGA golfers to the LIV league.
Why Are Golfers Jumping To LIV
The main reason is money money money. But to be fair some might want a different challenge or are just tired of the PGA. If you combine the appeal of newness with the possibility of a bigger paycheck it’s kind of a no-brainer why there’s a big attraction. Finally, time is considered one of, if not the biggest commodity we have. Traveling on tour can lead to time away from home and family. If you can make the same income with less work (can we really call golf work), do you blame them for jumping ship?
Who’s In And Who’s Coming
With the big purses and exciting changes involved with the LIV, it’s attracted some big-name golfers. The likes of Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, and more are jumping ship to LIV. And the PGA needs to consider the up-and-coming amateurs that will be faced with which tour to play on. Will the PGA allow players to play on each, or will they draw a hard line?
The thing is, eyeballs will probably determine this. If viewers want to watch the golfers playing on the LIV, the PGA will be missing out. Viewership leads to advertising dollars, and if golf brands want eyes on their product they’ll pick the tour that is getting the most attention and the most eyes. These vendors will put their money towards whichever tour is the most popular and is the most visible.
And if you’re an amateur looking to jump on tour, you’ll most likely chase the money. That might be hard to swallow for some, but it’s a realistic view. Seasoned pros might have a bank account that allows them to be picky and choose the tour they want. Amateurs won’t have this padded bank account and will go where the money is. If the LIV can get the hottest new golfers to their league, it will put the hurt on the PGA.
What’s Ahead For LIV And PGA
There will be a lot of attention on this first year. Will the LIV be able to sustain these kinds of purses and will players actually get paid? Will the tours be set up similar to the PGA or will they be different. Some golfers might want change and some might want the familiarity of the PGA tour. If after the first year goes by in the LIV and the players like the payouts, the schedule, and the format, word will spread quickly. It will draw the attention of any current PGA tours looking to jump ship, and it will draw the attention of the younger players looking to make a decision.
The money backing the tour will need to keep their nose clean too. Cultural movements and politics are causing an uproar. If the culture of violence and abuse continues in the country, even if it’s outside of golf, players will be forced back to the PGA. Nobody wants to play for the bad guy, even if they pay well. Consumerism and cancel culture won’t allow it.
The analogy here is the green movement. A company that has no consideration for the environment will lose customers. Even if customers have to pay a higher price to a competitor that is pushing for sustainability. The LIV will need to avoid losing vendors, customers, golfers, and the like to such movements.
Conclusion of LIV vs PGA
Both tours have an opportunity here. The LIV has a chance to sponsor a good tour. The PGA has an opportunity to benchmark whatever the LIV tour does well and incorporate it. If the PGA does in fact ban players from playing, once they’ve played on the LIV tour, they’ll need to be prepared to lose big. Will players like the 54-hole format or the traditional PGA format? I think money will dictate which tour comes out on top here.