The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund (responsible for LIV Golf) have agreed to a business merger in one of the most stunning sports stories of 2023. The announcement was made today with the purpose of the merger to create one “commercial entity” to unify professional golf as a whole. There are many details of this unification that have yet to be revealed but this will formally end the ongoing legal battle between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.
The merger will also allow for a path forward for any golfers on the LIV Tour to reapply for the PGA and DP World Tours. Golf social media is ablaze with this bombshell story and many golfers are not happy with the announcement. Many found out via social media without warning. This ends what many have referred to as a “golf civil war” but you can be assured it won’t conclude without hard feelings.
Many PGA Tour professionals passed on the lucrative offers of the rival LIV Tour out of personal and moral convictions regarding the organizations funding source. The Saudi-backed business venture has been decried due to the country’s well documented history of human-rights violations. The PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, has been openly critical and hostile towards LIV in the past two years but now seems to be back-tracking on many of those sentiments in the name of profit and growth.
Many questions remain over the future of this unnamed golf tour. How will the play format merge into the existing PGA and DP World Tours? Could there be a combination of traditional 72 hole tournaments mixed in with 54 hole tournaments sprinkled throughout the season? Will the team concept of LIV remain as well? Will golfers choose to start teams, join existing ones or be unaffiliated with the concept? Will the OWGR finally come to a resolution that allows all golfers to be ranked and weighted based on their performances and victories in this new concept?
Could this really turn the PGA Tour into… the PGA World Tour? Just a working name of course. The concept is grandiose in nature, global golf played in a diverse amount of locations spanning six continents. Forgetting the social and emotional parts of this announcement, the concept is potentially tremendous and intriguing for golf fans. LIV played a handful of its tournaments in locations that were less frequented but could be considered emerging golf economies to some extent.
This is just the beginning of the finger pointing and the vitriolic back and forth between fans of the rival tours but the hope will be for these entities to come together in a collective vision to move the game of golf forward in a new and creative direction. This doesn’t come without its pitfalls and moral dilemmas but only time will tell what is in store for the future of professional golf.
Rob Korensky is Back Sports Page’s Basketball & Golf Editor. Rob has written content for the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL & PGA Tour in his tenure at BSP. Rob is the host of BSP’s Gopher Patrol golf podcast and a frequent guest contributor to the Cut The Nets basketball podcast within the BSP network. Rob was born in Hinsdale, Illinois but spent his formative years in Rochester, New York and currently resides in Central Texas. You can find Rob on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RobKorensky