March 31, 2023


The Tour And Travel Enthusiasts

What is LIV Golf? Players, field, tour schedule, news for league with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson

5 min read
What is LIV Golf? Players, field, tour schedule, news for league with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson

The LIV Golf Invitational Series began at the Centurion Club in London, which marked the first of an eight-event stretch for a league that has emerged as a rival to the PGA Tour. At every step along the way, answers about this league have only produced more questions, and clarification has only made the future more complicated.

There is still a lot of unknown regarding both LIV Golf as well as the PGA Tour and how both will interact as “regular-season” tours outside of the major championships.

The breakdown below is our attempt to share with you everything that’s known to this point as we head into the whatever LIV Golf is going to look like in the future. Whether this turns out to be a fork or bump in the road of professional golf remains to be seen (only the future will retroactively determine that), but it does feel monumental in the moment.

LIV Golf, empowered by its unlimited war chest of resources to throw at the best players, is officially going to battle with the PGA Tour. It’s a period of time that has been promised for a long time, and finally it’s here. Let’s take a look at what we know and what we can expect in the weeks, months and years ahead as LIV Golf hits the ground running.

What is LIV Golf?

LIV Golf is a rival golf league to the PGA Tour where the tournaments consist of 54 holes, the fields are limited to 48 golfers and the purses are an astronomical $25 million. Twelve, four-man teams will compete in each event, and the individual purses will be $20 million while the other $5 million will be divided up among the best teams each week.

Who leads LIV Golf?

LIV Golf Investments runs the league, and its CEO is two-time major champion Greg Norman. It is funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which is effectively the financial arm of the Saudi Arabian government. These funds are seemingly limitless as the league has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to players just to guarantee their appearances at the LIV Golf Invitational Series events.

Who is playing for LIV Golf?

As it stands right now, the best players in the league are two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who was reportedly paid nine figures for his services and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka. The league also landed a major coup recently with the commitment of Bryson DeChambeau. The demographics of the LIV Golf league skew older towards players like Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell. A lot of its makeup is either European or South African, and LIV Golf is actively recruiting other top players and big names from all over the globe.

Here’s a look at who’s already in the field with their OWGR at the time they were announced.

Dustin Johnson


Brooks Koepka 19

Louis Oosthuizen


Abraham Ancer 20
Bryson DeChambeau 28
Paul Casey 32

Kevin Na


Talor Gooch


Patrick Reed 36
Jason Kokrak 36

Sergio Garcia


Pablo Larrazabal


Richard Bland


Matt Jones


Shaun Norris


Phil Mickelson 72

Sam Horsfield


Lee Westwood


Matthew Wolff 79

Ryo Kinoshita


Ian Poulter


Bernd Wiesberger


Hudson Swafford


Oliver Bekker


Jinichiro Kozuma


Scott Vincent


Justin Harding


Laurie Canter


Branden Grace


Charl Schwartzel


Sadom Kaewkanjana


Hennie Du Plessis


Phachara Khongwatmai


Sihwan Kim


J.C. Ritchie


Adrian Otaegui


Henrik Stenson 171
Charles Howell III 173

Hideto Tanihara


Pat Perez 184

Martin Kaymer


Jediah Morgan


Blake Windred


TK Chantananuwat


Wade Ormsby


Peter Uihlein


Graeme McDowell


Turk Petit


Oliver Fisher


Andy Ogletree


Chase Koepka


David Puig


James Piot


Why is LIV Golf here?

The politically correct answer that LIV Golf purports that it wants to give players an opportunity to make more money than they do on the PGA Tour and grow the game all over the world. The actual answer, given that it’s a Saudi Arabian-run league, is something called sports-washing —  which is a term for normalizing a country or entity through sports. Saudi Arabia has attempted to do this through other sports leagues, including F1 and soccer. If you want a more fundamental understanding of sports-washing, McDowell and Westwood, perhaps inadvertently, provided it recently.

What is the LIV Golf schedule?

Two events have already taken place in 2022, with six remaining. Here’s a look at what’s left on the schedule for the inaugural season.

  • Bedminster, New Jersey: July 29-31
  • Boston, Massachusetts: Sept. 2-4
  • Chicago, Illinois: Sept. 16-18
  • Bangkok, Thailand: Oct. 7-9
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Oct. 14-16
  • Miami, Florida: Oct. 27-30

Will the PGA Tour allow its golfers to play?

In short, no. The Tour has over and over again pointed back to its rules and regulations and intimated at either suspending or banning players who choose to play in this league. It rejected waivers filed by players to play in the first event — PGA Tour players get three waivers every season — and harsher disciplinary actions are expected once the first event in London actually starts. As a response to this, many players, including Dustin Johnson, have simply resigned from the Tour and will continue to play LIV Golf as essentially their regular season golf league.

Will the majors allow golfers to play?

That’s an even better question. The answer in the short term is: yes. The major organizations — PGA of America, USGA, R&A and Augusta National — likely won’t announce suspensions or bans of players who participate. However, those are also the organizations that control the Official World Golf Rankings points that get players into majors to begin with. LIV Golf has applied for its events to become OWGR events (LIV Golf Investments also invested money into the Asian Tour, which is recognized by the OWGR), but whether they are granted status remains to be seen and is the very thing upon which all of this could hinge. If LIV Golf events are granted OWGR points and silly money is thrown at players to lure them to the league, then several more top stars could eventually make the leap to the PGA Tour’s rival.

What do players think about LIV Golf?

Clearly those who have been paid wild sums of money — and the sum is well north of $500 million combined for Mickelson, Johnson, Koepka and DeChambeau — think one thing, but most others think another. Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy — two of the biggest stars on the PGA Tour — have been clear that their intention is to stay on the PGA Tour and play with the best players in the world. However, there is genuine concern inside and outside of the PGA Tour. One player who spoke to CBS Sports talked about this week as a massive fork in the road for professional golf and intimated concerns over how the PGA Tour could thrive into the future. That remains to be seen, but it’s become clear that this thread is more serious — and more imminent — than most folks previously thought.