Saudi Arabia-supported golf series announced with the goal of 2022, Trump courses named as possible venues

by | Oct 29, 2021 | Golf Courses

On Wednesday, multiple sources confirmed to Golfweek that a private meeting had been held with members of the golf media to outline plans for a new Saudi-backed golf series with Greg Norman as the expected commissioner.

The five people spoke on condition of anonymity, as details of the series should not be officially announced until next week. On Friday morning, however, the news officially fell that the organizers were making progress with their plans.

ESPN’s Bob Harig and others reported Friday that Norman, 66, announced his collaboration with Liv Golf Enterprises, backed by the Private Investment Fund, which works on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia. Norman will become the company’s chief operating officer and commissioner of the new league.

The new series is due to appear in spring 2022.


Here’s a look at the 8 players who have applied for permission to play The Saudi International

Masters tournament 2020

Masters tournament 2020

Money will not be an issue for the new route as massive incentives have been discussed between organizers and top players.

For example, according to a report by The Guardian, a player on the U.S. Ryder Cup team said he was offered $ 150 million for a three-year engagement with several Saudi-backed events.

The plan would include a mix of international and domestic events, and a number of former President Donald Trump’s courses could be on the future schedule, according to a tweet from No Laying Up.

Trump had shown sympathy for the Saudi regime in the past and even issued a full defense of the country in 2018, which cast doubt on an assessment by the US intelligence service that the Crown Prince of the kingdom knew of the assassination of columnist Jamal Khashoggi of the Washington Post.

The story goes on

Even some players who have previously attended Saudi events have wondered aloud if this new plan is good for the game. For example, Graeme McDowell told Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard Thursday that while competition is good, the current PGA Tour product is healthy.

“That is such an unknown quantity at the moment. It’s so hard to comment. Is It Good For Golf Or Bad For Golf? It’s very difficult, ”said McDowell. “Competition is usually good for everyone. I feel like the PGA Tour product has usually never been as strong as it is now, and it just keeps getting stronger. I definitely don’t have any contracts [from the new circuit] at the moment. In any case, I am very happy where I am currently on the PGA Tour. “

McDowell was one of eight PGA Tour players – including world number 2 Dustin Johnson – who asked for permission to compete in the Saudi International Tournament. The tour had previously announced that it would refuse its members to participate in the controversial event.

Tour players must be given clearance to compete on other routes. The Saudi International takes place February 3-6 at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City, which means players may not know if they are allowed to play until Tuesday January 4th.

“I asked the PGA Tour for a release and will come back next year because I’ve played much of my career in the Middle East,” said McDowell. “[The Tour] told to do it [ask for a release] Even if they haven’t decided yet whether we can take part in this event. “

Norman, 66, told media representatives that this was “the biggest decision” of his life, although he will continue to support his golf course design company.

“What do I do with the Greg Norman Company? It has 12 departments. I can’t do both. I can’t walk into both office buildings with both feet and try 100 percent, ”he told ESPN. “So I decided to retire from the Greg Norman Company. For the first time in my life, I am handing over the reins of running my business.

“It was a big, big decision because I believe in it so much. So much do I believe in the people who are behind this, to get it to a point where we’ll get it now and to a point where we’ll be live and have the first ball in the air [spring] next year. “


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