Why The LIV Golf Schedule Is Too American Centric

LIV Golf has a blank canvas in terms of where it can stage its events but its schedule remains heavily based in the States

LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf, put simply, is supposed to be ‘golf, but louder’. It doesn’t want to be old golf, it wants to be new golf with 54 holes, shotgun starts and a team element. It wants to engage us from every angle, get us sucked in for four or so hours and, as they keep saying, make a lot of noise.

Think F1 with players being jetted around the globe, treated like rock stars with champagne flying about the place, a winner’s podium, funky scoreboards, live music and, brace yourselves, golfers playing golf in shorts.

There is even talk of pulling together a documentary series along the lines of F1’s incredible ‘Drive to Survive’ to showcase the most ground-breaking tour in the history of the game. Golf isn’t the most radical of sports but this is off the charts.

Next year LIV Golf will comprise of 14 events, running from February to September and not conflicting with the Majors, Ryder Cup or elevated PGA Tour tournaments. This week we learnt of three new venues which takes us up to seven and this is where the wind, if you are a fan of the concept, starts to come out of the LIV sails.

The F1 calendar, if we're still sticking with this analogy, will feature a bumper schedule for 2023 with a record 23 races with only the US and Italy staging multiple races.

On a tour which has been bankrolled by billions of dollars, that has been going less than a year which means it has pretty much a blank canvas to plot its schedule, we will now see Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson et al head to The Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, Tulsa’s Cedar Ridge Country Club and The Greenbrier in West Virginia. For many golf fans around the world these names will mean next to nothing.

The tour that promised to grow the game around the same world will centre around the United States for much of 2023. There are also stops in Mexico, Spain, Australia and England but the bulk, with more dates soon to be added, will likely head to North America with a collection of Donald Trump’s courses filling out much of the schedule.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you were to start professional golf all over again then you would probably not want three of the men’s majors to take place in the same country, however big or wealthy that it is. You would want to spread the love a little. You’d look at which major (The Open) is generally/loosely regarded as the best major and you’d think what it does right. And soon enough you’d come to one very simple conclusion that the course is key. While all the players flit about on our TV screens, for four days that constant is the course with its quirks and nuances and angles and memorable challenges.

The UK is blessed with so many world-class links that many of them don’t even get close to hosting The Open and yet LIV Golf will head to the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, England for the UK slice of the LIV pie.

In general the golf fan is so easily pleased and really doesn’t want much. Bubba Watson would be considered to be a character given that he has a pink shaft in his driver, if you buck the trend and don’t wear a baseball cap then you’re considered to be a bit quirky. 

We also like a bit of variety. We can’t wait to splutter out that we’d like some more team or mixed events and we’re easily bored of resort or tree-lined courses that dominate the professional game. Needless to say there’s a lot of money swilling around when tournaments are being decided but you’re missing a huge trick by showcasing your superstars at less-than-superstar courses.

In one ranking The Gallery Golf Club was listed as the 43rd best course in Arizona. 

Imagine if LIV Golf was able to secure a spot at a world-class UK links course or unearthed somewhere spectacular in the States or South Africa or Asia or Australia. For all the dismissive talk of the Presidents Cup most of us can't get enough of the 2019 version when Royal Melbourne played host to it.

Why would LIV Golf, aside from the obvious one-upmanship, want to host a tournament which has been associated with PGA Tour events for years where any build-up is centred around what happened in years gone by on your biggest rival's tour?

Why not sell one of your points of difference that you've cherry picked 14 of the best courses on the planet?

Every tour does it and none of us are naive enough to think that we're seeing the best courses that that country has to offer. But, as we're reminded on an almost daily basis, LIV Golf is different.

It can play by its own rules and it doesn't have to slip back into what we all know sort of works and what we're comfortable with. Six months in LIV Golf appear to already be heading that way.

Looking for the perfect gift for the festive season? Check out the best Christmas Golf Gift Ideas.

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.