There are a couple of ways you could start a brand new rogue golf league. One is from the ground up, starting small, taking small victories where you can, and organically growing over a decade or so.
Another is to do what LIV Golf International Series is doing; send Greg Norman around the world, locking up big-name golf stars (and some unknowns) by handing out insane amounts of money backed by the Saudis.
LIV was launched in October of 2021, and the first person hired was CEO Greg Norman, a golf legend from South Africa with a lot of pull in the business and golf world. The name LIV is a reference to the roman numeral 54. Why is that significant? That would be the score on a 72-hole golf course if every hole were birdied.
This weekend is the first scheduled tournament, which will be played in London, and LIV is doing what they can to make sure the event and their league, in general, are loaded with as many name-brand golf stars as they can line up. Because of the Saudi connection, though, this has turned into a pseudo-political situation as the players choosing to leave the PGA Tour and play in this new one are feeling the heat.
LIV has locked in one of the biggest golf stars ever, Phil Mickelson, who reportedly will make $200 million. Dustin Johnson, a top young star, will make $125 million in guaranteed money. There is no contingency on them winning tournaments; that is their fee or salary just to be part of it.
If you want to watch the first tournament this weekend, start pricing flights to London? It’s not going to be televised by a traditional network or streamer. It will, however, be on YouTube, and you can bet that because of the months of controversy surrounding it, many people will do just that.
Maybe the most interesting morsel of information to surface on LIV is this; they tried to lure Tiger Woods with an offer in the high nine-figure range, but he turned it down.