After months of waiting and promises of major announcements on the horizon, we finally have some movement regarding the proposed Super Golf League.
Turns out it has a new name. LIV Golf Investments, which funds the Saudi-backed start-up league, announced on Wednesday the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which will launch in June and dish out $255 million in total purses.
The eight-event series has four U.S. sites, plus single events in the United Kingdom, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. A venue has not yet been announced for the season-ending Team Championship. The first tournament kicks off on June 9 at Centurion Golf Club in London, England.
“I want golf to grow, players to have additional opportunities, and fans to have more fun,” said Greg Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, in a release. “My mission is to help the game reach its full potential and we know the role of golf as an entertainment product is critical to overall participation in the sport. In many ways, we are a start-up. We have a long-term vision and aim to grow. I believe we have a very bright and exciting future.”
The release did not mention any TV partners or committed players.
Here’s the complete schedule for 2022:
June 9-11: Centurion Golf Club, London, England
July 1-3: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Portland, Ore.
July 29-31: Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Bedminster, N.J.
Sept. 2-4: The International, Boston, Mass.
Sept. 16-18: Rich Harvest Farms, Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 7-9: Stonehill Golf Club, Bangkok, Thailand
Oct. 14-16: Royal Greens Golf Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Oct. 28-30: Team Championship, TBA
The release says the schedule does not compete with golf’s four majors or other international events, which would allow players to “to make their own choices about where to play.” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, however, has previously said any Tour players who join the breakaway league will be banned from the PGA Tour. Norman has pushed back, saying that’s not possible.
“Our events are truly additive to the world of golf,” Norman said. “We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events. I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential.”
As for the U.S. sites, Pumpkin Ridge is where Tiger Woods beat Steve Scott in 1996 to claim his third straight U.S. Amateur title. Trump Bedminster hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and is owned and operated by The Trump Organization, led by Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States. The International is a private club in Boston and has two courses, The Oaks, a Tom Fazio design that was restored last year by Tripp Davis; and The Pines, which will soon undergo a facelift by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Rich Harvest Farms has the most decorated history among the four U.S. sites. Its hosted NCAA men’s and women’s championships, Palmer Cups, a Solheim Cup and more.
According to the release, LIV Golf Investments is providing more than $400 million in seed money to launch the series, which will consist of 48 players on 12 four-man teams. Year 1 of the new league will be a “beta test” of the new format, and a new draft of teams will take place before every event, which will be 54 holes with no cuts. All events will be played with shotgun starts.
The first seven events will have a total purse of $25 million, with $20 million in individual prizes and $5 million distributed to the top three teams. (All players are paid out.) After the first seven events, $30 million will be distributed to the top-three players from the season, with the individual champion earning the largest sum. Finally, the Team Championship finale will boast a $50 million purse.
This announcement comes two days after Cameron Smith won the Players Championship, the marquee event on the PGA Tour. Smith won $3.6 million out of a $20 million purse, the richest for a single event in the PGA Tour’s history.