G.O.L.F. – Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden

John Rahm, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy stand underneath the LIV Golf logo with a red "x" through it

We weren’t going to be quiet on this topic. If you’ve been keeping up with sports news recently, you would know that PGA and LIV have now merged. For those of you who have no idea what we’re talking about, let us enlighten you on this bullshit….and we mean bullshit.

The Background

PGA has been the mother league of all professional golf leagues since 1929. Recently a Saudi Arabian league offered millions of dollars to PGA players to join LIV, a new rival golf association. As you golf nerds know, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, and many other golfers jumped ship from PGA to LIV. These players were offered anywhere from $50 million to $200 million to join (Tiger Woods was offered a deal worth between $700-800 million.) The PGA offers no such sign-on bonuses—you’ve gotta earn that spot.

Winners of LIV Golf tournaments can win upwards of $4 mil, with many players earning more in the two years with LIV than their entire careers with the PGA. To combat this, in 2023 the PGA announced significantly larger purses for their tournaments. In 2021, Jordan Speith won 1.44 million dollars for winning the RBC Heritage. This year, he took second place and earned 2.18 million. 

Once the PGA got wind that some of their most prized golfers left their association, they banned them from ever coming back to PGA. Good on them.

Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia 

For the players that did not jump ship, we applaud you for having morals. Why do we mention this? To fill you in, women in Saudi Arabia have no freedom. They do not have the right to choose their partner or the age at which they get married. Moreover, in most cases, filing for divorce is not an option available to them. They are not allowed to travel or have passports and oftentimes need guardian approval to receive health care. Women are being abused in the streets of Saudi Arabia with no legal protection from the government. It’s absolutely disgusting. You can read more about the country’s human rights violations here.

The Merge 

Initially, the PGA was against the LIV movement and everything it represented. They were VERY outspoken about it as were multiple players. They recently had a ~quick change in judgment~ and have now partnered with LIV. Ummmmm wtf. Not to mention, all players who were once forbidden to ever play in PGA due to moving over to LIV are now allowed to participate in the partnership between LIV and PGA. 

Let’s use Rory McIlroy as an example. He was offered $500 million to play as a LIV golfer. He turned down the offer because he was standing up for his beliefs and because he wanted to continue to play as a PGA golfer. All the competitors who once left for LIV received a hefty paycheck but were banned from PGA. Now, they’re back, allowed to play in the very league that once banned them. Rory McIlroy basically missed out on $500 mil payday because he chose to stand up for what is right. Meanwhile, his competitors are now being rewarded with being able to play in the PGA/LIV partnership even though they were forever banned by PGA. Not to mention, those fat paychecks they got for jumping ship.

The owner of PGA made a comment when LIV first started offering contracts to PGA players. Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA stated, “I would ask any player that has left or any player that would consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”. Everyone’s wondering where this mindset has gone. During this time, Monahan implied the golfers in the PGA should ponder the idea that some things are bigger than money. Now he just looks like another rich, white man who goes back on his word. Is anyone shocked?

Who knows what this will lead to and what the future of golf is. In our eyes, this screams money is more important than standing up for women’s rights. Unfortunately, we can’t say we’re surprised, so hopefully, this blog got you riled up as much as us.

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