Saudi-backed pro golf tour and traditional PGA will merge: Shock; Betrayal
Even if you hate sports
There are so many angles to this story. Let’s start with the NY Times piece on the merger:
Ending a bitter split in men’s professional golf, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the insurgent league bankrolled by billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, said Tuesday that they had agreed to a merger.”
The announcement was at once stunning—the two sides had angrily clashed for months in litigation that will now draw to a close—and an end result that many in golf had believed was a distinct possibility from the time LIV burst into the sport last year.
In a joint statement on Tuesday with the DP World Tour, which is also covered by the agreement, the wealth fund and the PGA Tour said the former rivals would implement a plan to grow these… “Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made — to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game’s future,” Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, said in a statement.
Under the terms of the tentative agreement announced on Tuesday, the Saudi wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, will at first be the exclusive investor in the blended operation, along with the established tours and LIV. Monahan is expected to be the new group’s chief executive, with Yasir al-Rumayyan, the wealth fund’s governor, installed as its chairman.
OK. I’m putting to the side Saudi Arabia’s track record on human rights, because the US government and numerous US corporations are up to their necks in $$$ deals with the Saudis. That’s nothing new.
Golf has always been a game of individual prowess and competition among individuals. That is its strength.
Winner wins, losers lose. Meritocracy.
What we’ll see now is a dilution of that principle. Pro golfers will become entertainers on the stage of a vast commercial enterprise—and as such, they’ll be given a piece of the pie.
A Welfare State will be built.
You’re a golfer on the new and improved tour? You’ll automatically make money.
This is in fact what the new Saudi LIV tour has been doing for its golfers who defected from the harsher PGA tour. Up-front cash for joining LIV, and guaranteed money for playing in each tournament.
The history of golf up to this point has been a direct contradiction of that new Welfare model.
It’s been a sport where the players risked everything to succeed. And if they didn’t, they dropped off. They went into another line of work.
No salary. No assurances.
As human society sinks into a sea of socialism, where we’ll see universal guaranteed income one of these days—golf is following suit and mirroring that disaster.