LIV Golf is a professional golf tour that began in 2022, and it directly competes against the PGA Tour. The LIV Golf Tour is headed by its CEO and Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman. Public Investment Fund finances the league, and the LIV name represents the number of holes (54) to be played at events.
So, why is it called LIV Golf? What is the point of LIV Golf? How can someone watch LIV Golf? Where do games occur in LIV Golf? How is LIV Golf different from the PGA? Why is the PGA against LIV Golf? Are LIV Players Allowed to Play PGA? Can LIV Golfers Player in the Masters? Finally, how much is LIV Golf Paying Golfers?
Here is the complete breakdown of what LIV Golf is.
Why is it Called LIV Golf?
There are two reasons why the tour is called the LIV Tour.
First, LIV is the Roman Numeral representing the number 54. That is the number of holes that are played during LIV Tour events.
Also, 54 represents a perfect score in a 54-hole stroke play event. If a golfer improbably (impossibly) managed to get a hole-in-one on every hole, they would score 54.
What is the Point of LIV Golf?
LIV golf aims to engage new and existing golf fans in their new league with a different perspective on how the game is played. It reinvents the standard golf tournament 72-hole format and shortens it to 54 holes while utilizing a shotgun start format to ensure every golfer simultaneously starts and ends their round.
For professional golfers, LIV Golf provides the following:
- Guaranteed money for joining the tour.
- Large tournament purses.
- A much shorter season than the PGA Tour.
- The ability to wear shorts during live competition, which is different from the PGA
How Can I Watch LIV Golf?
LIV Golf is broadcast on the CW Network and offers live and on-demand coverage of LIV Golf events on the LIV Golf Plus app. Fans can also catch the action and highlights on the official livgolf.com website, YouTube page, social media sites, and other streaming services.
What are the TV Ratings for LIV Golf?
Golf Digest and a Tweet from Josh Carpenter from Sports Business Journal Reports report on low LIV Golf tv ratings. TV audiences are around the 300k mark, below what you would find for a Major League Soccer game, according to Sports Pro Media, which gets closer to 400k. To put LIV golf in complete perspective with other golfing events, PGA games, according to Golf Digest, generate around 2 million views via the TV rating audience.
Where Do Games Occur in LIV Golf?
In 2023, there will be fourteen LIV Golf tournaments scheduled. The LIV Tour began on February 24th with a tournament in Mexico and will conclude with the LIV Golf Tour Championship in November in Saudi Arabia.
In its inaugural season in 2022, there were eight events in the LIV golf series, and they were held in several major cities, such as Boston, Miami, and Portland. The tour’s first tournament was held at the Centurion Club near London, England.
In addition, it gained attention by holding a couple of its events at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump National Doral in Florida. You can view the entire 2023 LIV Golf Tour schedule here.
How is LIV Golf Different from PGA?
There are several key differences between the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf Tour.
- LIV tournaments are 54-hole events, while PGA Tour events are 72-hole events.
- PGA Tournaments have upwards of 100 participants and have a cut after 36 holes. Only those who make the cut earn prize money. LIV Tournaments have 48 players with no cut, and everyone earns prize money.
- Golfers can wear shorts during live events during tournaments, contrasting with PGA matches.
- The PGA Tour has traditional tee times, while the LIV Golf tour utilizes a shotgun start.
- LIV golfers have guaranteed contracts, which means they are paid a fee to join the LIV Tour and receive that money regardless of how well they play. The PGA Tour does not have individual player contracts; players earn money solely based on their performance.
- The LIV Golf Tour also has a team component to it, so in addition to individual prize money, players are assigned to teams and can make more money based on how well their team does in the season-long team championship standings.
Why is the PGA Against LIV?
The main reason is that the PGA claims that the LIV Golf Tour interfered in the PGA’s business by offering PGA tour members millions of dollars to break their PGA contracts and play for LIV instead. As the LIV tour directly competes with the PGA Tour, the PGA contends that LIV Golf is damaging to their business and has illegally recruited and signed LIV Golf players under contract with the PGA.
PGA contracts stipulate that players need releases to play in non-PGA events, and the PGA Tour refused to grant releases to players under contract to play in LIV Tour events. Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan suspended any PGA tour player participating in LIV Tour events.
In addition, the LIV Tour has several controversial aspects, given that it is financed by the Saudi-backed government’s public investment fund. The Saudi government has been accused of various human rights violations. Due to these issues, the PGA and several players – most notably Rory McIlroy – have been outspoken in their opposition to the LIV Tour.
Are LIV Players Allowed to Play PGA?
LIV Golfers are not allowed to play in PGA events. Once a golfer joins the LIV Tour, they must surrender their PGA Players Card, making them ineligible for PGA events.
However, if LIV Golfers meet the qualifications needed to play in any of the four major tournaments – The Masters, The U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, and the British Open – they can play in those tournaments. However, they are not allowed to compete in the Players Championship.
Can LIV Golfers Player in the Masters?
Any golfer who qualified for the Masters’ tournament based on its previous and existing criteria will be invited to play in 2023. This includes 16 players currently competing in the LIV Golf League, qualifying either as a past major champion or due to their standing on the world golf ranking.
That list includes Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, former world no. 1 Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Charles Schwartzel, Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Joaquin Niemann, Taylor Gooch, Abraham Ancer, Harold Varner III, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na and Louis Oosthuizen.
However, due to their lack of recent success and needing the necessary qualifications, LIV players and former major champions such as Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson will not be eligible.
How Much is LIV Golf Paying Golfers?
The first 13 regular LIV Golf Invitational events on tour each have a total purse of $25 million. This includes $20 million in individual prizes and $5 million in team prizes. The winner of each event earns $4 million, and even the last-place golfer (48th place) receives $125,000.
Many golfers have received signing bonuses to join LIV Golf. While no official figures are available, estimates include $200 million for Phil Mickelson, $150 million for Dustin Johnson, and $100 million for Bryson DeChambeau. In addition, there were reports that Tiger Woods was offered more than $700 million to join the LIV Tour. Several other notable international players, such as Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, and Lee Westwood, have joined the tour and have been able to secure guaranteed contracts to do so.
Conclusion: What is LIV Golf?
In conclusion, LIV Golf is a professional golf tour that directly competes with the PGA Tour. There has been a lot of excitement since its first season in 2022. Not only is the league new, but the format that LIV golf uses differs from the PGA, which is a way to engage existing and potential new golf fans to this play format.
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