Is This The Last Time We See Valderrama On The DP World Tour?

The storied Spanish venue was reportedly in talks with LIV Golf, which could come with repercussion

Valderrama Golf Club
(Image credit: Valderrama Golf Club)

This week, the DP World Tour hosts the second of its Iberian Swing, the Andalucia Masters, at the famed Valderrama Golf Course.

Valderrama is not only one of the best courses in Spain but it holds significant sentimental value to the DP World Tour. Since the 80s, it has played host to the now-defunct Volvo Masters and WGC - American Express Championship before providing the stage for the Andalucia Masters, crowning champions in the likes Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington along the way.

Despite its rich history, it is perhaps most famous the 1997 Ryder Cup, when Seve Ballesteros captained the European side to a 14 1/2 - 13 1/2 victory on Spanish soil. In what was the 32nd edition of the tournament, that included a rookie Tiger Woods, Ballesteros was jubilant in the rain as Colin Montgomerie clinched the trophy on the final green in a contest against Scott Hoch. 

Fast forward to the present day and it seems its days on the DP World Tour could be numbered after reports that the iconic Andalucian course could be on the LIV Golf League schedule for 2023.

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LIV Golf has undoubtedly been the dominant talking point of the year. Since its emergence, the golfing ecosystem has been divided with those that defected to the Greg Norman-fronted venture banned from the PGA Tour and awaiting what sanctions the DP World Tour has at its disposal following a legal challenge.

The Saudi-backed venture has since unveiled plans to expand its offering from 2023, with a 14-tournament schedule and an enormous $405m total prize purse - a huge increase on the $225m on offer for this year's eight-tournament Series.

While there has yet to be confirmation of the venues earmarked for the League, it is expected that tournaments will take place in North and Latin America, Asia, Australia (reportedly Adelaide), the Middle East and Europe as LIV Golf looks to gain an even stronger foothold in the world of golf.

In respect of its European hosting, Greg Norman was reportedly ready to cast another blow to the DP World Tour with an event staged at the historic Valderrama. DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley revealed a closed-door meeting with Valderrama earlier in the year and that LIV Golf had "made an offer." He added: "They are talking to every one of our stakeholders, every one of our partners, every one of our broadcasters."

A spokesperson for the DP World Tour said: "We have put a proposal to Valderrama and would very much like to continue to have such an iconic venue as part of our schedule." Spanish sources have indicated that no agreement has been finalised however, LIV Golf are reportedly confident that a deal will be made.

Given the current fractious relationship between the DP World Tour and the defected LIV Golf players, evidenced by their exile from the Wednesday Pro-Am at the flagship BMW Championship in September, it seems likely that should Valderrama strike a deal with the Greg Norman-fronted circuit then it too would lose a place on the Tour's schedule.

LIV Golf did not comment when approached by Golf Monthly but we expect to find out more in early November when LIV unveils its 2023 schedule.

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.