LIV Golf 'Acting In A Very Aggressive Way' - Paul McGinley

The former DP World Tour board member is not happy with the way LIV Golf has gone about its business

Paul McGinley during the 2022 Celebrity Series Pro-Am prior to the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship
Paul McGinley has hit out at a perceived aggressive approach from LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has hit out at LIV Golf for what he sees as a combative approach since it launched last year.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the former DP World Tour board member accused the rival circuit of acting aggressively ever since emerged it last June. He said: ‘Their very first event was played in London. It was played in the heartland of the European Tour”.

As LIV Golf made plans to expand to a 14-tournament League for 2023, one of the courses it captured was particularly controversial – the iconic Real Club de Valderrama in Spain. 

That’s something McGinley saw as another act of aggression on the part of the big-money venture. He said: “Now they’ve taken Valderrama, an iconic Ryder Cup venue, put it on their schedule, that’s competitive. They’re acting in a very aggressive way and the European Tour have a right to protect their business.”

Two weeks ago, it was revealed that the DP World Tour had won its legal battle against LIV Golf players, making it unlikely stars including Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia will take part in either it or the Ryder Cup again. While McGinley insisted it was ‘sad’ that Poulter ‘probably’ won’t become a Ryder Cup captain, he claims it wouldn’t be right to welcome LIV Golfers back into the fold.

“From a European context, we’ve now lost five events on the European Tour to the LIV tour," he explained. "Why should we welcome them back with open arms when they’re actively taking tournaments off our schedule?"

Still, McGinley admitted that stance could change in the future. He said: “I am tired of everybody having an opinion that it’s either black or it’s white. Relations are stalled at this moment in time. And I’m all in favour of a compromise somewhere down the line. But I know it’s going to take a few years for that to work its way out. The important thing is now, the European Tour have got the leverage to create a compromise that suits them.’”

The PGA Tour has famously taken an uncompromising stance against LIV Golf since the outset. Emboldened by the result of the arbitration hearing, it seems the DP World Tour is now likely to follow suit, at least for the time being. However, as LIV Golf prepares for its first tournament in Australia, Norman insisted that, as well as having 'a long list of players' wanting to join, it wasn’t trying to threaten its rivals. 

He said: “I just know our model is here to stay. It’s not a vindictive attitude or approach or anything like that. It’s my desire to do what is right for the game of golf and what is right for the players, and what is right for the fans that are out here.”

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.