From the Sidelines: Getting to know golf

Long known as the gentleman’s game and a sport filled with class and etiquette branching centuries, golf has always been held to a higher standard amongst its players with little tension, nothing more than rivalries amongst players. But, as of 2021, golf is more divided than ever with two separate rivaling tours, the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf tour. 

After a year on separate tours, both groups of players met each other at Augusta National for the 2023 Masters as LIV players are allowed to play in the five “major” golf tournaments but are banned from regular PGA tour events. Lots of controversy still swirls around the competitive, little sister tour known as LIV. 

LIV doesn’t actually stand for anything and instead refers to the Roman numeral of number 54, which consists of the number of holes on the LIV Tour. LIV Tour events consist of three, 18-hole rounds instead of the traditional four, 18-hole rounds for a PGA Tour tournament, according to the FHC Sports Report. 

Also, LIV Tour events don’t make a “cut” after two rounds like the PGA tour does. In the PGA Tour, tournament organizers cut the tournament field to the top 50 players after Friday’s round, so it’s more cut-throat. The players who don’t make the “cut” aren’t paid for their performance that week. 

LIV branched on to the scene of golf with immediate threats to the PGA due to the salaries the tour was offering. Dustin Johnson, one of the PGA’s top golfers was one of the first big names to leave, accepting a contract worth around $125 million dollars according to the Daily Telegraph. 

Three-time Masters champion and one of the best to ever play the sport Phil Mickelson, also accepted an offer to join the LIV tour for $200 million dollars. However the PGA however held onto their most famous athlete Tiger Woods who turned down a nine figure contract, according to NBC Sports Chicago. 

In my opinion, I don’t see LIV’s tenure lasting long at all. While it’s true they definitely can back their bank, paying absurd amounts in revenue to players like Mickelson, I don’t see the fans also following over. 

The reason for this is because the PGA is already a premier household name, die hard golf fans are already very familiar with the PGA Championship and therefore because those fans always watch this specific tournament most likely wouldn’t feel the need to carry over to watch LIV. It also doesn’t help the LIV tour that the PGA is broadcasted on the biggest national broadcasters like NBC and CBS drawing in more viewers, whereas LIV is exclusively on The CW. 

A result of this exclusive partnership was that LIV’s second tournament on the CW network saw a drop in viewership by 24 percent, according to

It also doesn’t help that without a doubt, plain and simple the PGA just has more iconic courses. LIV simply can’t compete with the likes of Pebble Beach, and TPC Sawgrass. LIV can travel far and wide across the globe picking courses but the tradition of the courses in the PGA can’t be matched. 

If I had to guess, I don’t see the LIV tour actually being a threat to the PGA for more than five years at most. And honestly, I don’t think the league will be around in 15 years or less. It’s simply a new fad in the sport of golf that will eventually die out. The next generation of great golfers will still continue to play on the PGA and carry on its legacy.