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    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast


    As 2023 in golf hit the accelerator, news was released in recent weeks surrounding the future of the newly formed LIV Golf tour. Yes, it is indeed back for its second season, but not without more controversy and obstacles in its way toward legitimacy on the world golf stage. Most of the cast of characters from 2022 are back, from Phil to DJ and Brooks to Sergio. Patrick Reed has also made quite the name for himself with lawsuits at the front doors of the PGA Tour’s elite and members of the media, and a petty feud with Rory that is music to the tabloid’s ears. Outside of the noise though, the golf has been played, year two is scheduled out (fully this time) and the motions are in place to expand LIV’s footprint in the game. Here’s what to watch this year and how it could go down.


    The pillowy soft schedule of 14 events spread across 10 months has dropped, and just four of the events on the schedule are return trips from the 2022 campaign. There are three visits to Trump properties in Virginia, New Jersey, and a familiar track in Doral, a former PGA Tour stop. In line with Greg’s Norman dream mission of a “world tour” schedule, almost half of the events are outside of the U.S. and fielded across four continents. International events did have a tough time fielding crowds, so it will be interesting how year two attendance looks in comparison to last year’s launching campaign. 


    While the relaxed schedule is everything these pros could dream of, the rift that LIV Golf has created doesn’t currently allow them to pick and choose PGA Tour stops because they simply are not allowed. As for the four major championships, they operate outside of the PGA Tour, so this does create a small subset of opportunities for LIV Golfers to still make their mark on a worldwide stage. The Masters has already said they’ll look the other way this year, and we’ll get a more official word from the remaining majors with time. It seems like the majors are on a series of one-year contracts while the litigation piece of LIV vs the PGA Tour plays out.


    While LIV Golf will continue to receive financial backing and the opulence of its players will only grow, what will dwindle with time is opportunities outside of LIV Golf for its players. The current litigation and case in question, which could seemingly drag on for months or years, is deciphering whether or not LIV Golf events will receive World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The LIV Golf members appear to want to have their cake and eat it too by also playing in select WGC/PGA Tour events and or majors that they qualify for. Unfortunately, with no OWGR points currently being given out for any LIV golf performance, their rankings and exemptions are dwindling fast for the game’s cornerstone tournaments. With only six LIV golfers in the top 50 in the world (and shrinking), it’s a race against time for LIV to acquire OWGR points for their events, or else it’s LIV Golf or sit at home for its players.

    AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File


    What could be dubbed the most impressive achievement of Greg Norman and the LIV Golf team is its TV deal, but it does require some further inspection to phrase it more so as a “media buy.” News recently came out that LIV golf events will run TV broadcasts on the CW Network for its 2023 season. Yes, that’s right – Right in between Jerry Springer and a Riverdale reboot will be LIV Golf. I’ll spare you the joke about Dawson Creek bumping them off their time slot, but I will tip my cap to LIV for acquiring a TV deal that puts their events in over 100 million homes. The CW is one of those networks that sits close enough to the major networks to attract some eyeballs, and it finally puts LIV on a legitimate TV platform for the masses to view.


    The elephant in the room for LIV Golf is whether or not they reach SOME SORT of working agreement with the PGA Tour and create a system that allows LIV Golfers to play PGA Tour events and vice versa. Without that, LIV golfers world rankings plummet, they are sequestered to one tour, and eventually, most lose out on any major championship participation in the years ahead. I’m sure Greg Norman and co. would blindly soldier on with their current 48 players for eternity, but bringing in fresh blood, new formats, and a variety of the world’s best would be the only way to keep its legitimacy on the world stage.


    2023 Player of the Year – Cam Smith

    Team of the Year – 4 ACES

    Best Events of the Season: Valderrama for the vibes, and The Greenbrier and Doral for the PGA Tour memories.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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