'An Insult To The Integrity Of Competition' - Brandel Chamblee Criticizes 'Laughable' LIV Golf Format

The outspoken Golf Channel analyst has criticized the format of LIV Golf tournaments in an interview on the No Laying Up podcast

Brandel Chamblee prior to the 2023 US Open
Brandel Chamblee has criticized LIV Golf's unique format
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s no secret that Brandel Chamblee is not a fan of LIV Golf. The Golf Channel analyst has been a regular critic of the big-money circuit since its inception, and now he has taken aim at its format.

Chamblee was interviewed on the No Laying Podcast, where he insisted that, considering the money invested by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, it hasn’t offered a worthwhile return. He began: "If we just look at the product that they put out there, to think about the billions of dollars they spent and the time and the energy and that’s the product, you know?”

He then drilled down into what he sees as the product’s inadequacies, adding: “They’re are out there playing music and they’re taking pictures in the individual competition is not as important as the team competition. 

"So you come to the last hole and you need to birdie to win the individual competition but a par to win the team, are you really trying to make a birdie because if you take the risk and the team loses there’s hell to pay, so I think it’s an insult to the integrity of competition.”

Brandel Chamblee at the US Women's Open

Brandel Chamblee has been a regular critic of LIV Golf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chamblee then turned to the shotgun start element of the format, which sees all 54 players beginning their rounds at the same time from different holes. That means that, very often, the winning putt comes on a hole other than the 18th, and Chamblee thinks that disregards the expertise that goes into golf course design.

He explained: “You’re not meant to win golf tournaments on the third hole or the fourth hole. 

"There’s a reason you pay architects to build a crescendo of drama and they give great thought to how they want a championship or day of a round to play out and the highest drama is usually not going to be on the second or third or the fourth hole. It’s going to build and you’re meant to have a sequence of order in championships.”

Jon Rahm takes a tee shot at LIV Golf Houston

Chamblee is far from a fan of LIV Golf's shotgun starts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chamblee has previously been critical of the source of LIV Golf’s investment given Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, and he was again scathing of that, before further dismissing the product on offer.

He said: “Set aside where the money comes from and that devious and demented, but let’s just look at the competition - it’s laughable.”

Chamblee also insisted that if he was offered the kind of figures that have lured some of the world’s best players to LIV Golf, he wouldn’t take it. He said: “It’s a fair enough assumption of anyone to say you would take, but I’d like to think I wouldn’t take it.

“Does money make some things easier, that kind of money? Yeah, it does. It’s easy to say I wouldn’t take the money but when you start to think of the corruption of that kind of money and the impetus to your kids to go out and hustle to make money. I wake up in the morning and I don’t think of the money.”

Chamblee's comments echo those he made in May in an interview with Golf WRX, where he said: "The format for LIV is just stupid. There’s no other word for it. 54 holes, 54 players start. Willy nilly here and there. Nobody winning a golf tournament should finish on the third hole on some par three while his closest competitors finish on the 17th hole or the 18th hole."

“It’s just a laughable concept. There’s no way to judge the talents of these players out there."

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.