PGA Tour Implements New Rule To Ban Non-Members Who Play In LIV Golf

The rule, which came into effect for the 2022/23 season, means the PGA Tour can even ban non-members for a year

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan talks to the media before the 2022 Travelers Championship in Connecticut
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It is well known that any PGA Tour player who signs the LIV Golf faces suspension from the more established organisation.

However, the Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard reports that the PGA Tour has taken even more wide-reaching steps to dissuade players from teeing it up on the big-money circuit, with non-members affected, including top amateurs and college players.

A regulation that began at the start of the 2022/23 season states that “any player who has participated in an unauthorized tournament is ineligible to compete in any event sanctioned by the PGA Tour for a period of one year.”

The player handbook defines an “unauthorised tournament” as “any golf event for which the commissioner has denied or has indicated he would deny all conflicting event releases and/or media releases or not eligible for releases because it is to be held in North America.” As well as PGA Tour events, the regulation also applies to qualifying events including Monday qualifiers for the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour and Q-School. 

The news is unlikely to stifle accusations that the PGA Tour is behaving in an authoritarian manner in its approach to LIV Golf. For example, last August, LIV player Lee Westwood, when discussing the closer ties between the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour amid the LIV threat, claimed the PGA Tour “have always been bullies.” Westwood couldn't hide his feelings on the news when Hoggard posted it to Twitter either: 

Lee Westwood responds to the news posted by Rex Hoggard on Twitter

(Image credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has repeatedly said that players should be allowed compete where they like as they are independent contractors. Before the opening LIV Golf tournament, Norman also declared: "We will not be stopped" after the PGA Tour denied player releases to the circuit.

He said: “Sadly, the PGA Tour seems intent on denying professional golfers their right to play golf, unless it’s exclusively in a PGA Tour tournament. This is particularly disappointing in light of the Tour’s non-profit status, where its mission is purportedly ‘to promote the common interests of professional tournament golfers'."

With the PGA Tour's authority to suspend players from its tournaments now extending to amateurs and non-members, it appears its approach to the LIV Golf threat shows no sign of softening.

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.