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Why Established Tour Venues Are Defecting to LIV Golf

By: | Mon 12 Dec 2022

In his View From The Fairway, Derek Clements recaps the latest around LIV Golf and the questions surrounding its newly announced venues for 2023.

IT IS often said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. If that is the case, Greg Norman and LIV Golf must be licking their lips every time that Rory McIlroy criticises the breakaway league.

McIlroy has been an especially vocal opponent of Norman and of LIV Golf and everything it stands for. He is increasingly seen as the mouthpiece for the PGA Tour.

As Tiger Woods begins to step away from the game, the Northern Irishman has become the go-to man when the media wants a view of the events that dominate the game. And nothing has dominated golf in 2022 quite like the arrival of LIV Golf.

In response to calls for his head, Norman responded with: “I pay zero attention to McIlroy and Woods, right? They have their agenda, for whatever reason. They are saying whatever they want to say. It has no bearing on or effect on me. I am going to be with LIV for a long, long period of time."

Rumours persist that Norman is actually about to be replaced by former TaylorMade boss Mark King, but it probably doesn’t actually matter.

While McIlroy and Woods continue to call for Norman’s head, the reality is that he is simply a figurehead. The real power behind LIV Golf is Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) that is bankrolling LIV Golf. If the name sounds familiar it is because he is also chairman of Newcastle United Football Club.

PIF have already poured tens of millions of pounds into the football club - and are seeing results. 

It is quite clear that the Saudis are results driven in everything they do. 

The Question of Venues


You will probably be aware that LIV Golf is staging one of its 14 tournaments in 2023 at the world-famous Valderrama Golf Club. You may have missed the announcement that there is also going to be an event at El Camaleón - if that rings a bell it is because it has been the venue for the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Championship.

This raises the whole debate to an entirely new level. Until now, it has all been about golfers defecting from the PGA and DP World Tours. You can now be absolutely certain that the DP World Tour will not be returning to Valderrama any time soon and that the 2023 Mayakoba Championship will be looking for a new home.

Valderrama hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup and has been a regular DP World Tour venue. It is a fabulous golf course that, by its nature, always provides high drama. But it is a business and La Zagaleta, the company which owns it, has a duty to its shareholders. The same applies to El Camaleón.

McIlroy has consistently called for a peace deal. Like Woods, he believes this is impossible while Norman remains on the scene. We all thought that these talks would revolve around finding a way to allow LIV Golf and the PGA Tour to co-exist alongside one another. But it now seems that world-class golf venues have entered the equation.

It would be churlish if the DP World Tour was to decide not to return to Valderrama just because it is hosting a LIV Golf tournament.

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Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf FedEx Cup european tour dp world tour

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