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Golf Monthly understands the majority of LIV’s 12 teams will be renamed as team captains have their input. LIV captains have an equity stake in their teams, and have been given the freedom to have as much input as they want, with some especially keen to show their creative sides, as well as bring in sponsorship and other opportunities.
Bubba Watson, the latest recruit to the Saudi-backed series, has been installed as one of the captains for next year’s full launch of the LIV Golf League, which will feature 14 tournaments across the world, and while he continues his rehab from knee surgery, he is already busy planning his new team name, logo and potential roster. Some teams will have rotating captains, but the majority will have one figurehead, who as well as the equity stake, will be immune from relegation.
A series of hurdles meant the LIV Golf League launch was put back until next year, with the LIV Invitational Series put together for 2022. With plans changing, teams and rosters for 2022 were hurriedly released, but there will be plenty of change before the full launch.
The Invitational Series ends with Team Championship at Doral at the end of October, and with the LIV Golf League not starting until February 2023, there will be plenty of time to settle on names, logos, brandings and rosters. Once the rosters are set for the first full season of League play, there are expected to remain largely the same, but at the end of the season, it’s likely there will be some sort of relegation - though captains and a number of the stars who have signed multi-year contracts will be exempt,
The players that are relegated, likely to be from the team that finishes bottom of the League, will go and play on the International Series, which will act as a feeder, providing opportunities for fresh players to win their way into the LIV League. The top players from the International Series will then be available to be drafted by LIV teams, and it’s likely there will also be a trade period, where franchises will be able to make offers for players from their opponents, much like the NFL or NBA. The first League season is set to finish in September 2023, with the draft and trade window happening between October and December, ahead of season two.
While a number of teams are currently made up of one nationality - for example Torque GC are all Japanese, Punch GC are all Aussies and Stinger GC, the most successful team in the three events so far, are all South African, this is more because players of the same nationality tend to hang out together on Tour, and they’re currently teamed up with friends. It’s unlikely that will happen so much in future, and the vision isn’t to see the teams each representing a country.
The all-English Majesticks GC team has already diversified, replacing Laurie Canter with Swede Henrik Stenson at the most recent LIV event at Bedminster. Former Open champ Stenson rewarded that decision by winning the individual title on debut for a $4million payday while also helping Majesticks GC to second in the team event for another $1.5million to share between them.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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