Ask anyone who works for LIV Golf, and they’ll tell you all eyes are on 2024 and beyond now that another season is in the books. After its successful inaugural eight-event series in 2022, this year marked the debut of the rebranded LIV Golf League, led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The league hosted 14 events around the world, from Mayakoba to Jeddah, and while it didn’t dominate the conversation as much as last year, it still made its mark in golf’s larger ecosystem.
As the league adjusts to the offseason, let’s look back at the top winners and losers from LIV Golf’s second season.
# Winners: Fans who attended events
LIV Golf prides itself on offering a unique product that sets it apart from traditional golf tournaments. While it may not appeal to fans who love the game for its history and competition, it attracts fringe golf and sports fans who enjoy festivals, food, and other fanfare. With 22 successful events, LIV has proven its ability to host a captivating show. From music playing throughout the courses to concerts and various activities in the fan village, attending an LIV event is an immersive experience. It’s a win for fans who attend and have a great time.
# Losers: Fans who watched from home
While LIV Golf secured a TV deal with the CW and offered free YouTube streams last year, there’s room for improvement. The broadcast schedule and talent could use some enhancement. Some first-round matches weren’t televised and only available through streaming. International events on tape delays also created a poor viewing experience. With upcoming domestic and international events planned for next year, LIV needs to find a way to keep fans engaged without spoiling the results beforehand. In addition, some viewers find the over-the-top expressions used by commentators to generate hype disingenuous. The broadcast team should focus on providing insightful analysis and allowing the unique features like the drone shot tracker and “LIV MIC” on caddies to shine.
# Winners: Crushers, Talor Gooch, and Co.
Performing well in the LIV Golf League has its rewards. Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC claimed the team championship and took home the $14 million top prize. Talor Gooch, with his outstanding performance, secured the league’s individual title and the $18 million bonus prize. Gooch dominated the season with three wins and multiple top-10 finishes, earning a total of $33,137,066. This financial success provides players an opportunity to earn more while working less, making it a big win for those who took the gamble and joined LIV.
# Losers: Iron Heads and Majesticks
The caboose of the LIV Golf League, the Iron Heads and Majesticks teams struggled throughout the season. These teams finished at the bottom of the standings, with the Iron Heads never surpassing seventh place and the Majesticks never finishing higher than fifth. The league’s lack of depth becomes apparent with these consistently low-performing teams.
# Winners: Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood
Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood, despite finishing in the bottom tier of the season-long individual standings, will be exempt from relegation due to their captain roles. Although their performance this season was not impressive, their exemption allows them to stay in LIV for another year. While it may raise questions about the fairness of the relegation system, it’s a win for these players who get to continue their LIV journey.
# Losers: Players who were temporarily demoted
Jediah Morgan, James Piot, Chase Koepka, and Sihwan Kim were among the players who finished in the drop zone and were temporarily demoted. While it’s not proper relegation, it shows that there are pathways for players to work their way back up. However, being temporarily demoted can still be seen as a loss for these players.
Overall, LIV Golf’s second season had its winners and losers, showcasing the excitement and challenges of a growing league. With improvements to the broadcasting experience and continued engagement of fans, LIV Golf has the potential to make an even bigger impact in the future.
Daniel Miller takes readers to the greens with his passion for golf. He offers coverage of major golf tournaments, player achievements, and insights into the sport’s rich history, making him a trusted source for golf enthusiasts.