LIV Golf mocks itself in front of the big champions it needs to survive

In Jonathan Swift’s 1729 essay, A Modest Proposal, he suggested that – in order to solve the economic problems of the time – the poorest people in Ireland should simply sell their children to the rich for food. The parody that LIV Golf has been so far makes Swift’s satire completely reasonable.

LIV Golf started on Monday with more announcements for players (Phil Mickelson) and continued on Tuesday as Dustin Johnson resigned from PGA Tour, Talor Gooch claims he is not smart enough to understand sports laundry and a general circus erupted on the biggest stage of LIV Golf so far.

And we haven’t even gotten to the part where Mickelson is talking.

The logos and names of the teams dropped out of the league with 48 golfers, and both look as if they were conceived in an art competition for the league’s children. Majestics, 4Aces, Fireballs and Iron Heads are just some of the club’s 12 names and you can see the team’s logo below. All the money and most of the time in the world and that’s what we get.

Unfortunately for LIV Golf, it is emblematic of how the last six months have unfolded.

However, the PGA Tour remains vulnerable. The players have stated that they intend to play in the major championships and if Johnson and Mickelson prove in the coming months that they are able to fight for history while too by moving the comma of their annual compensation, more stars will clear the moral hurdle they have placed in their own minds (however low it may be) and make the leap.

LIV Golf also has problems. The first is that his demographics are a softball league of beer rather than a summer league of Cape Cod. At 38, Johnson is one of them the youngest stars. And while it certainly seeks to attract some of the best amateurs in the world (as it already has with the winner of the 2021 US Amateur Amateur, James Payot), the question remains whether it can develop its own local stars to take on the PGA. Tour as the highest league in the world.

Maybe the people running LIV GOlf aren’t even interested in taking on the PGA Tour, but that certainly seems to be the desired trajectory. And even if you attract the top five amateurs each year, can these same golfers become stars as they shoot 64s in the emptiness of events no one is watching, or do they need the historical context of a PGA Tour event collection (Riviera , Muerfield Village and TPC Sawgrass) or the big championships to become the stars of Justin Thomas, Colin Morikawa and Jordan Spit?

This is a complex question without the right answer, but it leads to LIV Golf’s biggest problem: it mocks itself in the presence of organizations that are likely to control its future.

On the same island where LIV Golf unveiled teams with a comic name on Tuesday, captains of people the average fan has never seen, in 50 days a golfer will win a 150-year-old pitcher while hitting a course where people hit objects with sticks even before the existence of the United States.

Rick Hemann, Kyle Porter, Jonathan Coachman and Mark Imelman are responding to USGA’s decision to allow LIV Golf players to compete in the US Open 2022. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

These ridiculous teams will play for $ 25 million later this week as they bathe for the future tourism plans of Saudi Arabia’s heir to the throne, and six weeks later the city, flooded with one of the big events in the big golf championship, will think just for the story.

How are both of these subjects categorized as professional golf? Has non-Major golf ever felt so far from the four most important events?

If the big championships make stars – and the stars are what every league outside of the big championships depends on – the obvious logic is that the big championships control the future of the regular season of professional golf, so to speak.

How does this work? Through something called the Official World Golf Ranking, whose founders include the PGA Tour, R&A, USGA, PGA of America, European Tour, the International Federation of PGA Tours and the Augusta National Golf Club.

LIV Golf has applied for OWGR points, through which its players can maintain the status of top 50 or top 20 golfers in the world so that they can continue to play on their way to the big ones. LIV Golf Chief Operating Officer Atul Holsa was asked about this idea recently and said that LIV is “currently in the process of applying to put our application”. Whatever that means.

He also offered a monumental warning.

“But [OWGR] the board consists of the same people who threatened the players, right? I wonder, isn’t it, how everything is controlled by the same people if you want to play golf in this world? We’ll see how it goes. ”

If the people running OWGR don’t recognize LIV Golf as a legitimate tour – a monstrous, sporting “if” at the moment – then LIV Golf will be backed by DJ and Lefty in the short term, but will struggle to survive in the long run after these players stop playing in the big ones and eventually retire. That is, unless his business model is simply choosing players who have already made a name for themselves and are reaching the end of their careers. (Which can be very good!).

Ironically, however, presenting itself as a side show of the world – both behind the scenes and amazingly, publicly – LIV Golf only authorized the big championships to deny him entry into the golf landscape. Specialties seem even more important today than 3-6 months ago. Because of “regular season golf” fractures, majors have never felt more monumental. And with consolidated power comes the enormous influence that these organizations can have on entities such as the LIV.

USGA announced on Tuesday that all golfers who have already qualified for the 2022 US Open will be eligible to play at The Country Club next week because it would be unfair to competitors to change their criteria. . However, the USGA clarified that its decision “should not be construed as a USGA supporting an alternative organizational unit, nor supporting the actions or comments of individual players.”

The PGA Tour is not impenetrable. An organization can emerge with a better business model for the modern era and usurp what the Tour has built over the past 50 years. No one denies this.

However, after the funny, if not so sad, recent comments from LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman about Jamal Kashoggi and the feeling of Saturday night live for everything LIV has done so far, it is clear that this is not that league. If big organizations can choose (and seem to do), LIV Golf has made the choice incredibly simple.

Swift’s “modest proposal” is positioned as a historically relevant satirical work, which “symbolizes any proposal to solve a problem with an effective but scandalous drug.”

The LIV Golf would not have been introduced for another 290 years after Swift wrote his essay, but I’m not sure it was ever described more accurately or predictably.

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