So, if you are a sports fan (especially a golf enthusiast), unless you have been living in a cave for the last 6 months, you will undoubtedly have an opinion on the LIV golf series of events. Whether you think it is a good idea or not, there is no doubt that it has caught the imagination of the sporting public, even those who are not usually golf followers. The amount of money involved is eye watering – especially when you consider Dustin Johnson has been offered more money than Tiger Woods has won in his entire career just for turning up! – The End of Golf
Personally, I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy from the PGA Tour here who over the years have seen no problem is luring all the best players from the European tour over to the USA because of the significantly larger prize money on offer. However, there is a counterargument that the quality of competition and the chance to test yourself against the best is what attracts players across the pond.
Even so, while money is the dominating factor personally I’m more interested in the other aspects of LIV golf, 3 day 54 hole competition, shotgun starts and associated team event running alongside an individual prize. These radical changes to the normal format of a 72 hole stroke play competitions are what pique my interests. As well as being an avid golfer and fan I’m also a lover of cricket and in some ways see the introduction of LIV golf as similar to T20 cricket when that first raised its head.
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The Similarity Between the T20 Cricket & Liv Golf Implements- The End of Golf
I remember at the time traditionalists saying that T20 was novelty cricket, and the only real form of the sport was still the 5-day test match. However, over time T20 has introduced cricket to a whole new audience which has breathed new life into the sport. As a traditionalist myself, I still think that test match cricket is the pinnacle for any cricketer. However, the introduction of T20 and the innovations within it have helped change test cricket for the better and has in fact resulted in many new fans being turned on to the longer game.
Liv Golf’s New Radical Approach- The End of Golf
Personally, my opinion is that as with test cricket the true test of golf is the 72 hole stroke play competition. But as cricket has proved, there is place for more than one format in any sport. So, why not embrace LIV golf and the change in format, I mean golf is still golf played on the same type of course under essentially the same rules as laid down by the R&A. So, unless they introduce artificial grass courses, greens or different specifications of clubs and balls everyone is still playing the same sport.
Therefore, in terms of the original question, personally I don’t believe that LIV golf is likely to change golf as we know it. The reason being that while money is a driving factor in some golfers I still think that testing themselves against the very best on a regular basis is what will drive the younger generation, and let’s be honest, it’s not they’re playing for peanuts is it. I think this is borne out by the fact that the majority of golfers who have signed up so far are in the twilight of their careers. I totally understand why Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Richard Bland and Graham McDowell would join LIV golf and I, for one, don’t begrudge them the chance to set their families up for life.
So, there we have it…
With all of that said, I am quite interested to see how this plays out over the next couple of years – especially when it comes to major championships. Unless the LIV golf tour gets ratified, there will be no world ranking points available, so it may be difficult for players to qualify, especially if the PGA Tour continues to suspend players who join LIV. I think in the long term there is a place for both tours to co-exist, but I imagine it will take the PGA Tour to relax their stance, and for maybe LIV to understand that having money doesn’t mean they can ride roughshod over centuries of tradition, I await the outcome with bated breath.