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LIV Golf: To watch or not to watch?

Readers of The First Call have strong opinions regarding their interest in LIV Golf, which is quickly become a rival to the PGA Tour by signing marquee players

LIV Golf logo

Question of the week [June 6-12]: Now that the first LIV Golf event has arrived in London, how much interest do you have in the new series or are you taking a wait-and-see approach? 

All politics aside, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of competition, as well as the broadcast and innovative scoring graphics. I'm looking forward to watching upcoming tournaments. It was great to see my favorite golfer, Ian Poulter, making some good swings. And it was incredible to see the competitive tension in the final holes (on an awesome golf course) considering the huge individual and team winning purses.

Jeff Holmen
Milton, Georgia 

I think after the novelty wears off, which for me will be the first couple of events, I will return my interest to the regular Tour. I wish the players well, but sure hope they put away their money for a rainy day. They have been voted off the island by [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] and forever is a long time. I can picture them in a few years trying to explain to the younger generation who they are and how they were once top billing. As Rocky Balboa once said, "Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”

Paul Vicary
The Villages, Florida

I tuned into a few short times just for curiosity, and to see the course and the St. Albans countryside in which I grew up many years ago. 

What a disappointment. The only thing remotely interesting were the announcers, who unfortunately were over-the-top with hype. The play was poor, particularly by the highly paid marquee players. I had never heard of half the field, deservedly so. The "team" play was non-existent. 

I like Charl Schwartzel. But Charl hasn't won on the PGA Tour for six years, is No. 155 in FedEx Cup points (so wouldn't qualify), and darn near choked LIV away. Hey, Saudis/Greg Norman, here's a case where you didn't get what you paid for.

On the other hand, I enjoyed watching the US/GBI ladies play the Curtis Cup. Real team competition. Fun. The future. And look at the competition at the Canadian Open. Great event to the final hole. I enjoyed watching Henrik Stenson and Linn Grant in the Scandanavian Mixed Open. And how about “The Mechanic” {Miguel Angel Jimenez) hitting a beautiful 5-iron to within 4 feet on No. 17 for birdie, a share of the lead, red wine and a cigar. Only to be followed by watching Brett Favre and Derek Jeter lag their putts on No. 18 — closer than Schwartzel did — and then admire Hall of Famer Juli Inkster lag it dead ... for charity, bragging rights and for the love of the game. And to top everything off, Brooke Henderson winning with an eagle on the first playoff hole.  

Truly a juxtaposition versus LIV. RIP LIV.

Robert Ractliffe
Naples, Florida

My opinion of LIV Golf is very negative for two major reasons. First, the Saudi money is very dirty. Second, Greg Norman is a self-serving egoist. 

I watched a few minutes of Round One. I found the camera work to be very amateurish. Ball in flight did not stay in frame. Putting was overpowered with little comment about the situation. Overlays were put in the picture to provide information, but they blocked the actual golf. The leaderboard info was shown on left side of picture, but it wasn't much help as the names were abbreviated to a point that most names were not recognizable. All in all, it looked as if the telecast was put together over a short weekend.

Dick Hunt
Penryn, California

If it’s on TV I will watch it. Especially in a different format. But I won’t look hard to find it on elsewhere.

Leo Shockley
Alborn, Minnesota 

I really don't have much interest in the LIV Golf, as I do enjoy what is already offered. Maybe this will affect some change on the PGA Tour, such as more money for the players at the bottom of each event.

As for the fact the players are independent contractors, that is true, but they do have a membership with the PGA Tour. And, as members, they have rules they signed on to follow.

I do believe Greg Norman is just bitter, and would love nothing more than to see the PGA Tour fail, and that is a view too bitter for me. I think he believes only the big stars should reap most of the money, but no league or tour is complete without all its players — at the top and bottom.

Tim Scott
Boone, Iowa

No monies raised for charity. Not interested in watching.

Peter Boyce
Strathroy, Ontario

None. I will not contribute to their blood-money earnings by watching. Plus, those who defected aren’t players I care to follow anyway. Good riddance.
Amanda Myers
Austin, Texas

The needle on my LIV Golf device seems to be broken ... it can't get off of zero. I'm certain the condition is permanent.

Rick Nowosad
Calgary, Alberta

I thought monopolies were illegal in the United States. The way Jay Monahan wants to control the PGA Tour, he is acting like a monopoly. Also, when he tries to tell the players where they can and cannot play, they are no longer "independent contractors" and become employees of the PGA Tour. His treatment of the players playing in the LIV tournament is going to strengthen the LIV group because the players will have no place to play except with LIV. I am not sure why Jay is so scared of LIV — they are only offering eight tournaments a year with guaranteed money. How is LIV hurting the PGA Tour?

Mike Reed
Jenison, Michigan

Simple answer is there is zero interest in watching. However, I'm following the narrative as it plays out and genuinely intrigued on how it will end. Legal battle or otherwise.  

The LIV tour has fractured the sport I love. I think [Greg] Norman has been looking for a way to hold the PGA Tour hostage for some time and found a hook with crazy money to pull it off. The media has focused on a few key players, but the field is a joke. Because of that, I'll continue to support by watching the PGA and DP World tours and expect them to succeed in the end.  

Ken Venezio
Fort Worth, Texas

I am taking the wait-and-see approach on the LIV Tour/Series.

However, all the rightful criticism and emphasis on human rights violations of the LIV sponsors has me thinking even more about the unholy alliances the PGA Tour and golf manufacturers have with China.

In a straightforward manner, a certain individual, who long ago signed with Nike, should not wear any halo in this matter. Nor, should any of us who have purchased golf equipment made in nations that have engaged in similar, if not worse, violations.

Steve Rosenbaum Sr.
Oak Lawn, Illinois

I am an avid golfer and watch all golf on TV. Not interested in watching golfers play in tournaments sponsored by a repressive, autocratic regime and who are going to play on golf courses owned by a company headed by an anti-democratic, insurrectionist, con man who is a threat to our democracy.  Other than that, I guess you could say it is just golf. 

Dominick Thomas
Woodbridge, Connecticut

Moral high ground doesn't have a price, but your teeing ground does.

I long ago tossed to the trash bin, those who participated in any UAE events since the [Jamal] Khashoggi atrocity. Educated people conveniently postulating "good for the game," choosing to ignore the outrage for the good of the pocket. Players choosing this path have been long and rightfully ridiculed. 

Too much lesser outcry, so have those who recently have come to light to broadcast and lend their voice. What about the clubs and their members willing to host these events? You want to play for the blood money? Play on their turf. 

Does Phil after his comments want to stamp his visa in the Desert?

Jim Hilton 
Asheville, North Carolina

Unless they paid me a million dollars to watch LIV Golf, I would not watch it. They seem to have enough money to toss around, so if they want my bank account number, I will give it to them.

Have no interest in watching LIV Golf. I will stick with the PGA Tour, thank you.

Arthur Buonopane 
Winchester, Massachusetts

I have a mixed-bag interest in the LIV Golf league. Although I respect the right of all players as independent contractors to play golf tournaments where they choose, I fully support the PGA Tour — or any other tour to enforce its rules of membership. If that means suspensions, so be it. Regardless of whether some players resign their memberships or don’t, the situation is headed for the courts. If one side wins and the other loses, when it’s all said and done, will there be any real winners? 

Maybe the players getting the most money win. Maybe the players below the top 125 win as they move up by attrition as others leave. In the end, some of it is about freedom to play. But money rules all. And if and when LIV gets a TV deal, I don’t know how much interest I have watching a field of players where I know 10 names, which are probably the only names you’ll see anyway.

Finally, how does the Official World Golf Ranking handle the 54-hole tournaments for world ranking points that affect the fields for majors and other invitational tournaments? As a fan, I like to see the big names play, but there are rules to follow, or rules to be changed everywhere. 

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee

Not only am I not interested in it, I won’t be taking a wait-and-see attitude either. I couldn’t care less about it and won’t miss any of the players who have turned their backs on the PGA Tour.

Larry Michaels
La Jolla, California

I suppose the thing that bothers me most about players transferring to the LIV Tour is the loyalty. The first LIV tournament competes directly with the Canadian Open, hosted by our good friends to the north. This tournament has been played for over a 100 years, with a winners list that's a virtual who's who of golf legends. Yet, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed et al. are playing in the inaugural LIV event instead of returning to the Canadian Open.

So, I say again, where's the loyalty? Is there no end to their quest for money? And, just to show how very small-minded I can be as a person, I hope that the PGA Tour and R&A forbid the LIV participants from playing in — and tainting them by their presence — future PGA Tour events, including the majors.

Jerry Casler
Wake Forest, North Carolina 

I will probably watch a little of this first event just out of curiosity, but as far as the golf itself, I can't imagine being even slightly excited about it. Recently I watched a few holes of the U.S. Women's Open, including the final four or five holes on Sunday. I watched the last two or three holes of the Memorial on Sunday. When the sun is shining, and there are other things to do, golf just isn't that compelling to watch, even for an avid golfer. The Masters and the men's U.S. Open are the only "must watch" events. With nothing other than big wads of money at stake, the LIV Golf events will generate little interest beyond simple curiosity. 

John Abercrombie
Cape Girardeau, Missouri

I have no interest in LIV Golf. 

1, Greg Norman, in my opinion, has always been an egotistical individual who has always only been interested in promoting himself. This dates back to his first encounter / proposal to break away with “special” events for, what he deemed, top-tier players. His vendetta against the PGA Tour continues. I now put Phil Michelson in that same category.

2, I don’t fault the players who have jumped ship. But let’s be real. It is only for the money. This stuff about them trying to grow the game is hogwash. But as I look at the ones who have jumped, I see name players, with a few exceptions, who have lost some of their star power and who are on the downward slide to their relevance on the PGA Tour. Again, the guaranteed money is really the only thing I see as the draw for them.

I will not be watching nor following the outcomes of their exhibitions.

Jeff Trost
Nashua, Iowa

I have no interest in the Saudi tour at all. Most of the field is made up of has-beens or wannabees and, let's face it, golf isn't all that exciting most of the time. So LIV Golf is no Augusta. Plus, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson and the other former stars are only doing it for the money and they ought to just say it and be done with it. In the larger sense, they are not all that important people. They hit a golf ball, big deal.

As for damning Saudi Arabia for its politics and behavior, let's not be so self righteous. We have no qualms about taking their oil. Our own country is not without sin. How many did we kill in Iraq and in Vietnam? And, for what? Political lies. And let's not forget Munich in 1938, etc.

LIV Golf will flounder because it's just not that important or exciting — Phil or no Phil. What's sad is that Dustin, Sergio [Garcia] and the others have no sense of loyalty to the hand that fed them and their families — the PGA Tour. Nor do they give a crap about their fans. It's all about cash and unabashed greed, and they will be remembered not for their golf, but for their disloyalty to the American tour in favor of the Saudi tour. And, for what? Just the almighty dollar.

Larry Ashe
Chicago, Illinois

Yes, I am curious to see what happens. I am going on YouTube to check it out.

Mike Fox
Pine, Arizona

I can hardly wait to see the first ball hit. The condemnation of the players is discriminatory. The American government does business with the Saudis, we conduct millions of dollars in business with them and nobody mentions those activities. Yes, they are reprehensible for their human rights, but 11 journalists have gone missing in Mexico this past year and what about the beatings in the streets of U.S. citizens during peaceful marches. The PGA Tour has done a masterful job of making this about human rights when the real issue is competition.

Michael Schurman
Durham, Ontario

It’s clear this is only about money. Take the new LIV format and have the PGA money scale, my bet is you would not see players jumping.

To have an event with no cut and much higher purse does nothing to excite me about it. There will be no going for it when you need a birdie to make the cut or a playoff. You will have already mostly wealthy golfers going through the motion for albeit a nice check. I just don’t see any other motivation. 

Take the made-up matches like Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson, or Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers. No excitement, as there was nothing on the line but maybe bragging rights.

I get that it can take time to build up prestige, but with truly nothing on the line, just does nothing to excite me.

Bob Durrbeck
Tinley Park, Illinois

For me, there is already enough golf to watch on TV and the thought of watching more golf on the pretext of growing the game — when in reality it is nothing more than a blatant money grab — really turns me off. None of these top pros would even consider going there if not for the obscene amounts of money being paid just for showing up. This is not competitive golf, its greed. Plain and simple.

Bob Anderson
Ottawa, Ontario 

Good luck lads. I want nothing but the best for you and the game of golf. However, "Went to Yellowknife because I heard the streets were paved with gold — got there and they weren't even paved."

Gordon Skead
Fredericton, New Brunswick

What happened to the moral outrage at the Saudi sponsored events?   

How about Chase Koepka, who couldn't play well enough to stay on any tour, getting a chance for millions.  Gee, he really gives this tour a lot of credibility. I guess this is a game of how much money can you grab.  Not much respect for any of these rich, spoiled athletes.

Dick Greenwood
Bradenton, Florida

I think the LIV tour is going fade into the background quickly since there really are no more must-see stars in golf.  

It seems like we now have a bunch of golfing clones who all hit the ball 350 yards off the tee, are all awesome athletes and players, and all have the same country club upbringing and boring dull personality.  Every week, someone wins the weekly tournament and most are not memorable one iota. Right, wrong or indifferent, it’s hard to get emotionally invested in Billy Horschel or Wade Ormsby.

Other than Tiger Woods and maybe Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, who is going to make LIV an absolute must-see stop-what-you-are-doing event? There are already five tours broadcasting pretty much every weekend. I’m not sure how much even these guys actually move the needle at this point in terms of getting people watching or attending.

My long-term bet is that it turns into wallpaper, but the Saudis will keep pumping money into it for whatever reasons they have.  

Sean Connors
Chicago, Illinois

I’ll take a brief look, but for the novelty, not for competitive golf. It feels a bit like another made-for-TV "Match," not a serious tournament. If it’s broadcast opposite a rerun of "Jackass: The Movie," it will be a difficult decision.  Hmm … maybe instead of naming it LIV Golf they should call it "Jerk Off: The Greg Norman Series."  BTW, what’s the trophy they’ll be playing for, a gold-plated bone saw?

John Cullen
La Quinta, California

Basically, no interest at all.

Gerry MacDonald
Sparks, Nevada

I will watch. I hope it is successful, but the golf world will do everything it can to destroy it

Jimmy O’Malley
Needham, Massachusetts

The bottom line is PGA Tour jumpers for LIV are doing it for pure greed, for wealth with dirty money used by its backers

Jerry Christine
Pensacola, Florida

On most weekends I enjoy watching DP World, LPGA and PGA tour events, and Friday is one of my favorite day’s of the tournament, as the guys and gals are grinding to make a cut. I'll pass on LIV Golf. 

Greg Pichardo
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

Other than this first event where the LIV is running against a good, week-before-the-U.S. Open field, their other seven 2022 tournaments are pitted against either historically weak pre–Tour Championship fields (John Deere, Rocket Mortgage) or historically weak post-Tour Championship fields (Sanderson Farms, Bermuda). Star recognition in the LIV field may create a different level of interest.

If the Tour can force their independent contractors to not play other events, maybe they can try to force some of their independent contractor stars to play in these second-tier events.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Virginia

Will the Golf Channel be showing any highlights or scoring from the new golf tour or has the PGA Tour got a gag order on that also. 

Paul Zadorian. 
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina

Zero interest in this new thing with [Greg] Norman at the helm. Perfect leader (whom I never cared for) for the Saudi Bazillionaire Killers.

Jim Cole
Surfside Beach, South Carolina

Vendettas and greed.

From all I have read, Mr. [Greg] Norman has little love for the PGA Tour and would like to see it fail. Mr. [Phil] Mickelson seems to feel disenchanted with the PGA Tour (although it had given him fame and fortune) and wants a "signing bonus" lump sum (his days of earning the reported sum offered have come and gone) to augment his wealth — or lack there of. Mr. [Dustin] Johnson doesn’t seem to be having much success against a younger, well-playing field and may wish "signing bonus" funds.

Spoiled millionaire’s will be manipulated and used as pawns by corrupt factions. North America has sold out virtually in all facets of business and, to a lesser but not much, degree sports and entertainment. No one cares as long as there’s a large payoff for individuals or stock holders. 

I love the game, I play 70-80 rounds a year, watch most televised PGA/Champions/LPGA tournament and attend some events, as well. Every one of these players deserve what they receive for their extremely hard work and talent. Should any of these individuals wish to risk sponsorships and endorsements to be involved with a corrupt organization then that is truly unfortunate and says a lot of that individual. 

I am not interested nor will I waste my time on LIV events. I see it as another infringement on what my beliefs are and another step in the decline of North America. 

Harold Macdonald 
Alberta, Canada 

I'm one who hopes it tanks quickly! No interest in supporting blood money or [Greg] Norman's ego. It has no validity — just a sportswashing money grab.

Larry Guli
Waxhaw, North Carolina

I plan to watch the London event, simply because of the intrigue and to check out the new format.  

Watching other people play golf is a big-time commitment, which I find myself saving for the majors and other big tournaments like the WGCs.  I'd rather be playing. Not much interest in the AT&T Pro-Am, Texas Valero Open, Valspar, etc. 

Ron Ariana 
Western Springs, Illinois

I won't watch any of these events, regardless of who is playing.

John Matulik
Lemont, Illinois

No interest at all. It won’t survive with mostly average or below-average players. It’s nothing but a temporary money grab until it’s over. Look what happened in the past with the NFL, NBA, NHL and their competitive new leagues. They failed.

I will continue to follow the PGA and Champions tours, which provide great entertainment.

Bob Gillespie
Toronto, Ontario 

I have absolutely no interest in LIV Golf or its roster. Good riddance to the has-beens and wannabes. Can’t wait for Dustin Johnson to get embarrassed by one of the college players.

Jay Hunston
Stuart, Florida

As a competition / disrupter to the PGA Tour, I am very interested in how this new venture will look and if it will ultimately succeed. It will take time, but I will observe it closely as it unfolds over the next 12-24 months. I have little to no interest in LIV Golf as a legitimate golf competition. There is nothing about LIV Golf that is compelling, including the players who have signed on. In that respect I could not care less.
Reid Farrill
Toronto, Canada

No interest. Plain and simple.

Baird Heide
Collingwood, Ontario

Absolutely no interest at all in watching them.
Don Moore
Warren, Pennsylvania


Gregory Dahlem
The Villages, Florida

The fact that "professional golfers" play golf for a living and have a right to perform where they wish should come as no surprise. Please note that "golf professionals" are different and work in the golf industry where they administer, promote and teach the game of golf.

It should not, therefore, be surprising that any number of professional golfers should chose to play for LIV Golf or any other organization that provides the most generous amounts of compensation for their efforts.

What makes the current situation most repugnant are the identities of the driving forces behind this new venture and their actual objectives. Greg Norman's massive ego has been craving revenge against the PGA Tour for its role in the failure Norman's World Tour project in the early 1990s. He can't forget that he did not get his way.

The Saudi involvement is simply a promotional program known as sportswashing. Their objective is the hope that if they provide the billions that they can afford, the world will stop noticing that they tolerate no dissent of any kind and will actually kill people who don't agree. It is difficult for most individuals in Western societies to ignore that political bent. Some professional golfers, not so much.

In my view, participation in the LIV venture is tacit endorsement and approval of the objectives of the organizers.

Their careers have been executed by the Saudis and they will pass from my memory.

Len T. Raley
Auburn, California

Having worked several Senior PGA Championships as a walking scorer, I’ve found a few pros who are very friendly and approachable and appreciative of the volunteer. Others are aloof and critical of a person trying to perform their volunteer duties. 

That being said, I believe that volunteers should be paid a stipend or at very least given their tournament uniform. Both associations would not function at all with out volunteers. Pros are able to reap big bucks off the back of the volunteer. What would happen if there was a volunteer strike just prior to the start of a tournament? I think some meaningful compensation is warranted. I was shocked originally when I was first told that volunteering was not only costing me over $100, but, conservatively, 20 hours of my week and gas to get to the venue. 

All this being said, pro golf is due for some major changes. I was neighbor to a former pro and his remarks about the tour indicated there were some unfair inequities in the pro ranks. 

Today, I will continue to watch golf, but only to glean some golf tips. I won’t acknowledge the politics in the game or political endorsement on bags and clothing. Loyalties seem to hinge on the amount of money you can earn. Fan loyalties are interesting in that as a fan you really don’t have any stake in a player. You don’t benefit anymore from the player’s performance than just being able to talk about his play. Golf will be golf no matter where it’s played. The difference comes when the new upstart association is tied to a regime that is immoral and is trying to hide from that by sponsoring golf. 

David Buckey 
South Haven, Michigan


Mark Chatfield
Houston, Texas

Would love to see these events and unique format. Too bad the PGA Tour had to create the division, threats and one-sided control. The players are independent contractors and should be able to play anywhere and anytime they choose.

This PR link by the PGA Tour to blood money is complete hypocrisy. Players like Dustin Johnson have had their sponsorships pulled, but those same companies do business there! Additionally, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus develop courses there. Where is the outrage to those casting the stones?

I hope the PGA Tour will ease off on the threats to these great players who have drawn in hundreds of millions of dollars to the PGA Tour events over the past 25-plus years.

David Pollock
Punta Gorda, Florida

I have no interest in LIV.  I hope it fades quickly into nothingness. 

Steve Balavage
Annandale, Virginia

I have zero interest in watching this joke of a competition. The Saudis are trying to buy respectability. The participants are people who lack moral clarity. Take the “blood money” and run. You do realize the Saudi’s beheaded 81 people recently, many with sham trials. 

Lastly, when you look at the mediocre field, it has very few exceptional golfers. Most are either past their prime or they’ve played poorly and the money was to0 much to turn down. 

What I object the most to are the lies from the players as to why they’re playing. Admit it’s the money ... not a freedom to play wherever. The hypocrisy is astounding. 

Mike Ritter
Chantilly, Virginia

Zero, zilch, nada, none.

Greg Norman has been a bitter, irrelevant PGA hater for decades. Now he has blood money to give away to mostly has beens or never weres. There’s too much televised golf as there is. 

Hard pass.

Terry Fraser 
Huntsville, Alabama

I have zero interest in watching anything that is sponsored by the Saudis. Greg Norman, the biggest choker in golf, would have nothing if it wasn’t for the PGA Tour. I will no longer buy anything associated with Norman or the shark label.

Alan Dunninger
Lake worth, Florida

I watch the PGA Tour every week and have no interest — now or in the future — in LIV Golf.

Peter Prince
Jacksonville, Florida

Aside from my ignorance of the details of what's in a PGA Tour players contract, consider this: 

What if a bunch of PGA Tour players were also really good at, say, Frisbee. And there came into being a new Frisbee league that paid really big money. And some of the golfers now decide to not play as much on the PGA Tour and decide instead to play Frisbee. 

Would the PGA Tour be as ticked off as they are at players who play the LIV events? 

Ronaldo Ariana 
Chicago, Illinois

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