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Golf's Mega-Merger: Profit-Driven Deal or Sportswashing Scandal?

An agreement which unites mainstream golf tours with the breakaway LIV Golf series, has been portrayed as a transactional move aimed at maximizing profits. Critics, however, view it as a continuation of the controversial practice of 'sportswashing', whereby countries with questionable human rights records seek to improve their international image through sports. 9/11 Families United, a group representing the families of 9/11 victims, has expressed their discontent, claiming that the merger of PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf, backed by Saudi investment, is a form of treachery. This unexpected alliance, they argue, allows the Saudi government to leverage its vast wealth to reshape global perceptions.

The merger process was conducted discretely, involving only a select group of officials over the course of seven weeks. The surprise to key figures such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who were left in the dark about the deal, further underscored the secretive nature of the discussions. The newly formed company will be headed by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), with Jay Monahan as CEO.

Despite the apparent peace among the rival factions, many anticipate that this merger will precipitate significant changes and potential conflicts in the future, especially given the differing interests of the three golf circuits involved. However, the vision for a future that includes the DP World Tour, along with the potential for a team golf concept similar to cricket's Indian Premier League, could potentially reshape the global golf landscape.

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