Thirty-three-year-old Tour pro Mark Hubbard has been competing on both the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours since 2014. Though he’s still seeking his first PGA Tour win, he’s notched five career top-10s — including two this season.
His status as a week-to-week grinder gives him a fresh perspective on the current state of the game — especially with regard to what the advent of LIV Golf has meant to the pros who aren’t yet household names.
On this week’s episode of Subpar, Hubbard told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz why he thinks LIV is ultimately a bad thing for golf.
“It’s tough. I can’t blame anybody for going somewhere for $125 million,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s the best thing for golf. And honestly I would say my opinion has changed, because there’s lots of stuff that I was annoyed with the PGA Tour. You know I was in this position in my mindset before I really thought about it like, oh, competition’s good, and stuff like that. But it’s not really a competition. Because we can’t compete with some foreign dictator who has billions and billions and billions of dollars. We can’t compete. If anything, it’s just diluting stuff.”
Hubbard also took issue with the idea that LIV Golf’s disruptive format is a vehicle for the game’s growth.
“This facade of, oh, we’re growing the game, and we’re doing all this stuff. Even the interviews from the players is complete bulls— in my opinion,” Hubbard said. “‘Oh, we want to spend more time.’ Well, if that’s the case, then why are you still trying to play the PGA Tour? Because you’re going to play 14, 15 events with them, then you want to play another 10? Now you’re playing the same exact amount. Just say you went over there for the money.
“And all this stuff about growing the game. The PGA Tour does a lot of things poorly, they do a great job of growing the game,” he continued. “We have three international tours, developmental tours with Canada, China and Latin America. Every community we go into, we crush it with charity. We do more for charity than the other three or four major sports combined.”
Hubbard said that he’s far more impressed with the PGA Tour’s efforts to grow that game than what he’s seen so far with LIV.
“I’ve seen probably a thousand kids out here from the First Tee and all these different programs,” Hubbard said. “There’s no way that tour — 50 super-rich guys playing a 54-hole event — is growing the game. They’re people who have already made their money, they’re at the end of their career. That’s not growing the game. The Tour already does a good job.”
Hubbard said he did like one aspect of LIV Golf’s setup, however.
“The team golf is a good idea, a lot of it is cool, but like, in terms of the big picture, what’s best for the overall game of golf, I’m pretty nervous about the future,” he concluded.
For more from Hubbard, including how he got the nickname “Homeless,” check out the full interview below.