PGA Tour, DP World Tour (formerly European Tour), Challenge Tour PGA, European Seniors Tour, US Seniors Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA Tour and many more. Now also the LIV – golf series. This is primarily sponsored by Saudi Arabia, the main initiator is Greg Norman and is played on Donald Trump’s golf courses.
To be honest, which golf friend still knows his way around here if he is not a specialist? The war that is being waged between the individual tours and their backers is tough as nails.
Among other things, it is about a lot of money. Sport is more or less secondary. It remains to be seen whether this will be accepted by golf fans in the long run. In other sports, too, fans are increasingly turning away from sports programs because of the oversupply and the constant stream of TV broadcasts.
The almighty US PGA, which has dominated professional sports for nearly a century, bears a large share of the blame for the dilemma.
She took advantage of her pole position and, above all, alienated players, sponsors and golf resorts. In the past decades, the demand was so great that the PGA could afford to be very dominant here.
In particular, the players who are ultimately at stake were subjugated in their rights. There were times when European players like Faldo, Langer and many more had to play. Just as the Australian Greg Norman submits to the American supremacy in the US PGA if you want to participate in their big pots of meat, i.e. prize money. At that time, the top European stars of the Ballesteros type, who were the better players worldwide at the time, were obliged to complete a minimum number of tournaments in the USA in order to even be admitted to the tournaments there. As a result, the European Tour fell behind more and more due to the departure of its best players.
The former European Tour and its subordinate tours got more and more into financial difficulties due to a lack of sponsorship interest, which ultimately led to the entry of the US -PGA Tour, and it now operates under the pompous name DP World Tour.
However, as one hears, this has not really arrived with the golf fan. When some of the stars of the time, including Greg Norman,
decided to found a so-called World Tour in the 1980s, this idea was very quickly adopted due to the pressure and the threat of exclusion from their tournaments, especially by the US PGA Tour quickly stalled. The US PGA Tour’s aloof policy towards the players led to increasing anger among them, because even the tour bosses’ incomes often exceeded the players’ multiples. The PGA has also made a fortune from tax breaks over the years. I can still remember when the German government asked for a tax exemption when the Ryder Cup was awarded to Germany (the PGA is also involved here), which the finance minister at the time rightly rejected.
With the backing of two billion dollars from the Saudi state fund of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the former No. 1 in the world (331 weeks) Greg Norman, also known as the White Shark, so his logo, with the so-called LIV Tour (LIV for the Roman numeral 54) of the PGA to snatch the supremacy and maybe also a late revenge on the former oppression of players to take.
With the so-called “sportwashing”, the Saudis want to improve their image, which was scratched by the murder of the journalist Khashoggi.
By saying that he is only looking ahead, Greg Norman tried to take the edge off the criticism of his sponsors. Other states such as Qatar, host of the football World Cup, would then be affected by such criticism, he argued.
The PGA is now reacting, in view of the immensely high prize money of the initially 8 LIV tournaments, with the well-known pattern of threatening to exclude players from their tournaments. In my opinion, this should be doubtful whether this works in the long run.
The game system of the LIV also brings movement to the encrusted system of the PGA. Only 48 professionals play three rounds without a cut. The 48 players will be drawn in twelve teams of four beforehand on Thursday, which will then play a mixture of team and individual competitions until Sunday. However, the winner is usually determined by the number of strokes scored.
The starting tournament in London is endowed with 25 million.
The winner of the first tournament gets four million USD and the last one still gets 120 000 USD. The overall winner of the tournament series goes home with a total of 18 million USD. This is of course a hammer and ultimately hesitant players will surely succumb to the lure of money at some point. You have to counter the struggling PGA, the spirits they once called are now coming to them.
The number of somewhat older stars such as Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, and the Austrian Wiesberger,
who has never been able to win on the US-PGA Tour, but especially the former No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who is still one of the best
in the world and Phil Mickelson deserves a special mention. Just this, the favorite of all US mothers-in-law, next to Tiger Woods one of the overstays, has changed sides to the LIV Tour after much hesitation and various criticisms.
The war between the individual tour representatives is already heavily underway in the media. Now the controversial ex-president Trump, who also supports the LIV Tour, has spoken up.
Surely he wants revenge for the humiliation of the withdrawal of the PGA Championship tournament from one of his places by the PGA after the scandal surrounding the storming of the White House.
He also has a warm friendship with Norman and the Saudi royal family. Personally, I don’t particularly like the connections and people mentioned recently in this context.
But be it as it may. Maybe at some point, with all the confusion, you will come to the conclusion that you can finally do a world tour, as I have been asking for for a long time, see my former article here in Golfaportmagazine.
A world tour that is uniformly understandable for all golf fans and also leads to an understandable world ranking list. Honestly, who knows the current chaos, see my opening quotes, from?
But as the saying goes: Hope dies last.
With this in mind, I wish you the best for your personal golf tour;
A nice game!