Famed PGA Tour rules official joins Greg Norman’s would-be golf league
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Nearly two weeks ago, the newly formed company LIV Golf Investments introduced Hall of Fame golf legend Greg Norman as its CEO. While the company’s stated mission is to “holistically improve the health of professional golf on a truly global scale and support existing stakeholders to help unlock the sport’s untapped potential,” it’s widely believed the company’s ultimate goal is to start a new global professional golf league.
Norman, as has been reported by ESPN and others, will likely helm the new operation as its commissioner. The endeavor’s primary investor is the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of the Saudi Arabian government, which has been trying unsuccessfully to start a new golf tour for years now.
Norman’s involvement shows the PIF is committed, and another high-profile hire introduced Wednesday further indicates LIV Investments is serious about bringing the top names in the game into the mysterious new league.
In a press release distributed Wednesday morning, LIV Investments announced that former PGA Tour rules official Slugger White has joined the company. White, who recently retired from a 40-year career working for the Tour, had led the Tour’s competitions department as vice president of rules and competitions since 1999. He was one of the most high-profile employees of the Tour, with fans getting to know his mustachioed face from numerous rules situations he adjudicated over the years, often with TV cameras following along.
White will take on the new role of vice president of rules and competition management, reporting to Chief Events Officer Ron Cross. In addition, the company announced that Will Staeger, formerly of the WWE and ESPN, among other entities, will join the team as chief media officer, and Jane MacNeille, formerly head of communications at the Greg Norman Company, as vice president of communications.
“As we pursue our goal of enhancing the global golf ecosystem, we are focused on building upon our strong foundation of sustainable growth, and are pleased to welcome Will, Slugger and Jane to the leadership team,” Norman said in the release. “Their combined experience and expertise will be invaluable and instrumental, guiding LIV Golf Investments into the future.”
Whether or not the new Tour will actually sign players and get off the ground is still a looming question, as is when the would-be tour would begin competitions given that it hasn’t been officially announced yet. But now LIV Investments does have the beginnings of an executive competitions structure that seemingly could help make it happen.