One thing that’s been on everyone’s mind since the launch of LIV Golf is what requirements and restrictions there are for players that have joined the Saudi-backed circuit. It was simply too good to be true to think players left the PGA Tour and signed with LIV Golf for millions of dollars with no strings attached.
Thanks to a new report, we now know what some of those strings are and have a good idea of what players can and cannot do.
The Wall Street Journal got its hands on a draft contract that LIV Golf has offered players. It’s unclear whether this draft is the same for every player that’s been offered by or signed with LIV Golf, but it’s a great look into the details behind player deals.
One of the biggest provisions in the draft contract involves apparel.
Players are supposed to wear LIV Golf apparel, even when playing in tournaments outside of LIV. They are instructed to not give interviews without approval. Players agree to assist in recruiting other players to LIV Golf when a request is made to do so. They also need approval for most of the logos they wear, plus branded products, “like coffee mugs,” used at events.
GREG NORMAN PENS LETTER TO LIV GOLFERS: WITHOUT LIV’S INCLUSION, OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKINGS ARE ‘SEVERELY COMPROMISED’
One very interesting note in the draft contract stated that players are awarded a $1 million bonus for winning a major championship. Not only is that provision interesting given that it’s a sizable bonus, but it also shows LIV Golf is hopeful its players can compete in future major championships.
“The Player agrees to wear LIV Golf branding (or other branding supplied by the League Operator) at each Tournament and each other golf tournament you participate in anywhere in the world,” the draft contract states.
While some players have abided by the apparel requirements thus far, many have not. The majority of LIV players haven’t worn LIV Golf apparel during LIV events or during major championships earlier this year.
Some elements of the draft contract are similar to those signed by PGA Tour players.
LIV Golf structured this specific contract with the players as independent contractors and players broadly sign away media right from LIV events, just as PGA Tour players do.
LIV golfers are permitted to play in non-LIV events provided the event doesn’t conflict with a LIV tournament. PGA Tour players currently have to request to play in conflicting non-PGA Tour events.
PGA Tour players aren’t forced to play in every event on the schedule, only 15 to be in compliance with the membership. LIV golfers are required to participate in every event, which that number increases to 14 tournaments in 2023.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris