The First Call Inbox

Should the PGA Tour look at LIV Golf's playbook?

Is LIV Golf doing anything right? If so, readers of the The First Call were asked if the PGA Tour should take note and adopt any of the upstart league's concepts

Four Aces Golf Club, including (from left) Pat Perez, Talor Gooch, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed, won the LIV Golf Invitational Portland team title, a concept unique to LIV Golf.

Question of the week [Aug. 1-7): Is there anything that LIV Golf does that the PGA Tour could implement?

RELATED: The First Call Inbox archive

For all the political criticism America places on anything that looks like socialism, it’s amazing to see LIV embraced by so many players and golf fans.

LIV has diluted the game with a namby-pamby socialist scheme to give away money competitively earned or not. I watch golf to see players earning their keep, not fat, happy and living on the dole. LIV may offer some innovative changes that the PGA Tour could embrace, but removing the seriousness of the competitiveness of the game isn’t one of them.

For me, LIV has removed the fire from the game, so I won’t be watching LIV. LIV has also diluted the PGA Tour field, leaving me with big questions about how much interest I will have for watching those that remain. Right now, I anticipate a sharp reduction to my TV viewing of golf.

Clay McKay
Dundas, Ontario

One of the beautiful features of the current PGA Tour, unlike many other sports, is earnings based upon performance. The top players already tend to play better and earn more, and, of course, they have multiple endorsements, which pay handsomely. Contracts may work well in team sports, but not in individual sports like golf and tennis.

Guaranteed earnings would create a situation ripe for resentment and conflict. Imagine in the academic world if the better students were guaranteed better grades, however they in fact perform.  Frankly, it would be undemocratic. Equal playing fields are always better. Golf, after all, remains a competitive sport, regardless of its prize money and other business attributes. 

Bruce K. Roberts
Inverness, Illinois

Is there anything LIV Golf does that the PGA Tour can implement? Yes, as Greg Norman has said “The fans have spoken. Make golf fun again!”

Lock Kyle
Jacksonville, Florida

The PGA Tour should do something other than whine. It was "all that and more" when it was the only game in town. Golf, like everything else these days, is changing. Now you go to the local golf course and they’re playing music from their portable devices. This would have never have happened 25 years ago. 

As for the dirty money argument? Doesn’t hold water. There’s dirty money in everything nowadays. I listen to the players that are opposed to LIV and I hear "I grew up privileged and you can’t change my game." Get over yourselves. 

Steve Hoffman 
Bonita Springs, Florida

"Few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder." — George Washington, 1776

Washington made this quote as he was concerned that the British could outspend the Americans in recruiting spies. It appears nothing has changed.

Drew Gross
Pinehurst, North Carolina

Guaranteed contracts? Why not just mail them a check every month with zero conditions? I’m sure the courts are going to make some happy and some depressed. Billions of dollars and countless attorneys later. 

Whatever happened to pay for performance? Lose your game? Go figure it out or join the rest of us. Last I checked after my 69 years of teeing it up, I am not receiving checks in the mail for being able to hit the little white ball.

Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game? Or here’s one, why not have them put up their own money and play? No wait, that’s how we amateurs play. Once Greg Norman, Jay Monahan and their respective camps understand they are trashing and making a mockery of the game we love, we will right our course. The boys just keep saying it’s their right to ask for the world. Until the world comes back and says the free lunch is over. Play badly, no money. Makes “cents” to me.

Paul Vicary
The Villages, Florida

The PGA Tour should implement civility. I'm not sure I have decided how or whether the LIV Golf is actually better for golf or not, but Greg Norman has shown professionalism and civility the PGA Tour could learn from. [PGA Tour] commissioner Jay Monahan has chosen to be aggressive, argumentative and arrogant from the beginning — long before he ever even knew what LIV was planning. He has created a battlefield mentality that has divided the golf world and done damage that could take years to repair. What pathetic leadership.

Michael Schurman
Durham, Ontario

I am against guaranteed contracts to top players or any players from the PGA Tour. I understand the whole LIV Golf thing with its bottomless pit of money. But I have yet to see anything from LIV that the PGA Tour needs to copy. If there is any guaranteed money offered from the PGA Tour, I’m in favor of a fixed amount — let’s say $4,000 — to any player in the field who does not make the cut. That would be expense money, but that money would not count  toward official tour earnings. In most tour events, last place usually pays around $13,000. I think this would be a great help to any pro on Tour, especially those having a tough week. And there are plenty of those. 

Barry Duckworth 
Knoxville, Tennessee 

I think the PGA Tour should play the long game, making some improvements but not allowing themselves into being knee-jerked into expensive contracts with the players. The PGA Tour should continuously point out how much its tour supports charities. 

Those who have not yet jumped should realize the current boat is full and your own news about Sihwan Kim should be an early warning bell. How many players will be left on the side of the road, having burned bridges with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, and having lost favor with LIV as they sign brighter stars?  

As Eliza Doolittle asks of her puppet master professor Higgins, so might the lessor LIV professionals ask of MBS: "What’s to become of me?"

Mark Chatfield
Houston, Texas

With more thought about this, there should be no pay/contract to play. This is tournament golf. Enter a tournament, play and get paid for your effort, not because you had to play based on a contract.

Can the PGA Tour and LIV Golf work together? Yes.

Let the LIV be the silly side show of golf. If they aren’t going to play a full 72 holes with no cut, there should be no reward of Official World Golf Ranking points or auto entry into majors. If players choose to play in them for the money, then they know the consequences going in.I also agree that no-cut formats on the PGA Tour should not receive OWGR as entry is not open to all members.

Greg Norman wanted tournaments for more money. Now he has it, but it had to be bought, now he sees the consequences of it.

Bob Durrbeck
Tinley Park, Illinois

Given the money that is flowing to LIV Golf players, the PGA Tour will need to respond financially as best it can. Sadly the charity element of the PGA Tour will be diminished as a much larger portion of the revenue stream will be directed to the players.

Word is slowly leaking out how dissatisfied many PGA Tour players are with the PGA Tour and how open they are to switching to LIV. The extent of player unhappiness is quite surprising, and should be a major source of concern to the PGA Tour. I can only assume the PGA Tour will have to respond to player dissatisfaction and the obvious way of doing this is by giving a much greater piece of the revenue pie to the players.

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Ontario

The First Call invites reader comment. Write to editor Stuart Hall at Your name and city of residence is necessary to be considered for publication. If your comment is selected for publication, The First Call will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.