With the inaugural eight-event season just finishing up for LIV Golf, what are the ramifications for the PGA Tour moving forward? Could we possible see LIV Golf upend the PGA Tour at some point in the future?
Let’s first delve into the event competitiveness between the two tours. Even though it was the first season for LIV Golf, the events featured many players causal fans of the sport had no idea existed and some that were even fresh out of college. Given the amount of money thrown around to attract players such as Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, one would have thought each and every tournament would be stacked with great players. That was not the case, however, and as such it was hard to stay interested in the events when no-names made the top of the leaderboard. Thankfully enough for LIV Golf, the top players they attracted were in the hunt at all of the events, but it still presents a concern nonetheless.
One of the more fascinating aspects of LIV Golf was the team play, which featured 12 teams comprised of four players each. The events were structured in a way that everyone in the field had a chance to win a significant amount of money each event, whether individually or as part of a team. This aspect of LIV Golf was the most attractive part about it and kept casual fans interested by rooting for a particular team to win each given event. It is a unique concept not found on the PGA Tour, and it would not be surprising if the PGA Tour tries to copy it in some form or fashion at events in the future.
As someone who watches golf on a regular basis, it can get a bit stale and boring watching players who are far out of contention playing earlier on. What LIV Golf has done is the introduction of a shotgun start in which all players tee off at the same time on different holes. Casual fans don’t have to trudge through the morning rounds to get to the players in contention, as those in contention are playing right off the bat with everyone else. This made LIV Golf much more enjoyable to watch, along with the lack of commercials every 15 minutes that the PGA Tour likes to inundate fans of the game with.
Will LIV Golf Upend the PGA Tour?
It is highly unlikely that LIV Golf will make any sort of dent into the PGA Tour, so long as top players such as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods hold steadfast to the Tour. Tiger in particular still wants to break the majors record of Jack Nicklaus, and he can’t do so if he is spending time playing in events that currently do not contribute towards World Golf Rankings. What LIV Golf does present, however, is a unique alternative to the PGA Tour that should continue to pick up steam in the following years. The team play and shotgun starts are really appealing to casual fans and should attract more as more fans learn about it.