DP World Official Calls For Truce Between Established Tours And LIV Golf

The firm's Chief Communications Officer thinks it's time for the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf to learn to coexist

DP World flag seen at the DP World Tour Championship in 2019
The company's Chief Communications Officer wants the DP World Tour, PGA Tour and LIV Golf to call a truce
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There have been precious few signs of compromise from the established tours towards LIV Golf since the rival organisation launched last year.

First, the PGA Tour suspended LIV players from teeing it up in its events, while the DP World Tour is awaiting the outcome of an arbitration hearing to determine if it can do the same.

However, DP World Chief Communications Officer Danny van Otterdijk has called for a truce between the tour the firm sponsors, the PGA Tour and the new circuit. He told Golf Digest Middle East: “Our friends at LIV Golf, we have great contact with them as the game grows in the region. All that needs to get sorted out in the coming months and we will leave that to the governing bodies to sort it out. But we have a great relationship with our friends at LIV Golf and we are continually talking with them. We do think it will be sorted out.”

Van Otterdijk then went further, claiming that LIV Golf is helping to raise the game’s profile. He said: “I personally think that what LIV Golf has done is bring the game of golf back to the conversation. More people are now asking: ‘What is golf all about?’ ‘What is this new different tour platform going to do?’ Some like it, some do not, and that is fine, but at least it has people talking about golf again.”

For almost three decades, Tiger Woods has done more to keep the game in the spotlight than anyone else. Still, at 47 and with ongoing injury concerns, he admitted as recently as this week that he his body could stop him competing sooner rather than later. Van Otterdijk suggested that LIV Golf could help fill the gap he would leave when he does stop playing.

He said: “I did worry that after Tiger [Woods], he is obviously not playing as much as he used to and eventually he will stop, so what is next? Rory is doing a great job in carrying the baton, but who comes next? What LIV Golf has done is bring the conversation back to golf again, and people are interested.”

Van Otterdijk also thinks that golf’s more established tours will eventually follow the example of other sports and find a way to accommodate LIV Golf rather than fight it. He said: “We think that, like the game of cricket and what other sporting bodies have done, sensibility will prevail and people will talk, and integrating the schedules will prevail. That is only good for the game of golf.”

As well as the arbitration hearing to determine LIV Golf players’ future on the DP World Tour, there is another ongoing legal battle involving the Saudi-funded organisation and the PGA Tour, with a trial due to begin on January 8 2024. Woods is one of the most prominent figures in the PGA Tour, and he hinted last November that the impasse would likely continue until those issues are resolved.

Woods said: "I see that there's an opportunity out there if both organisations put a stay on their litigation, but that's the problem, they've got to put a stay on it. And whether or not they do that or not, there's no willingness to negotiate if you have a litigation against you. So if they both have a stay and then have a break and then they can meet and figure something out, then maybe there is something to be had. "

For now, LIV Golf continues to forge ahead without the blessing of the two main tours, with its new season beginning on 24 February at Mexico’s El Camaleon Golf Club.

Mike Hall

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.