PLAYA DEL CARMEN — LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman’s message to his entire staff in relation to the news of the Strategic Sports Group’s $3 billion investment in the PGA Tour to create a new for-profit entity was simple: onward.
In a letter obtained by Golfweek sent just days before the start of the 2024 LIV Golf League season at Mayakoba’s El Camaleon Golf Course in Mexico, Norman wrote to his staff to not just hype up LIV Golf’s third official season, but to also downplay any negative impact the SSG investment may have on LIV’s future.
An excerpt from the letter:
As you may have seen, the PGA Tour made an announcement this morning about an investment partner. Let me make one thing very clear: nothing announced by other tours or investment groups changes LIV Golf’s positive trajectory or future plans.
We started LIV Golf with the goal of creating something new, taking the game to a global, diverse audience and driving innovation while growing golf’s fanbase. More investment in golf is a great thing for the game and for us. It’s a positive development for our players, our fans, and for the long-term future of the game.
Golf is now viewed as an asset class. We proved this was possible and are now in a unique position to mold and drive this incredible growth opportunity. This broader interest and commitment to the game, and investment in its future, would not have happened without the emergence of LIV Golf as an innovative force in the golf ecosystem.
Norman said the league was “moving full steam ahead” into 2024 and beyond and that he has “never been more confident in the league, the people involved, and our supporters all over the world.”
Just seven months ago the Tour announced a framework agreement with the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to create what we now know today as PGA Tour Enterprises. The Tour confirmed in a release on Wednesday that progress has been made in ongoing negotiations with the PIF, LIV Golf’s financial backers, on a potential future investment. That same release also stated that PGA Tour Enterprises allows for a co-investment from the PIF in the future, “subject to all necessary regulatory approvals.”
The previous deadline of Dec. 31, 2023, to come to an agreement was missed, but both sides have ventured on. The PGA Tour now has more money to spend and LIV has new assets in former Tour players like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton. As Norman would say, onward they…