Report: Documents Reveal Ambitious Initial Plans For LIV Golf

Signing the world's top 12 players was among the steps proposed for LIV Golf to achieve financial success

Brooks Koepka on the 18th green during the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship in Florida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf had a significant impact on the game during its inaugural season, attracting some of the world’s top players and forcing the PGA Tour to make unprecedented changes as it attempts to quell the threat it poses.

However, according to a 2021 plan drawn up by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and reviewed by the New York Times (opens in new tab), it needs to go much further to succeed financially.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

The Project Wedge plan states that LIV Golf needs “to sign each of the world’s top 12 golfers, attract sponsors to an unproven product and land television deals for a sport with declining viewership - all without significant retaliation from the PGA Tour it would be plundering.”

While LIV Golf has undoubtedly attracted some of the best players, including World No.3 Cameron Smith and two-time Major winner Dustin Johnson, many on its roster, while big names, are probably past their peak years. LIV Golf has also not yet secured a TV deal and instead streamed its tournaments free of charge during its inaugural season. On the first point, it has received significant backlash from the PGA Tour, with legal issues and the suspension of PGA Tour players joining its rival both prominent themes over much of 2022.

The plan also envisions the signings of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, with the latter seen as essential. However, while Mickelson was one of the first to sign up, the capture of McIlroy and Woods seems highly improbable given the unwavering support they have given the PGA Tour since LIV Golf’s inception.

In the best-case scenario, the plan predicts revenues of a minimum of $1.4bn in 2028 but a loss of $355 million before interest and taxes in the worst-case scenario - namely, if LIV Golf attracts less than half of the world’s top 12 players, inspires a "lack of excitement from fans," struggles to attract sponsorship and faces a "severe response from golf society.”

The report also said that LIV considered “assembling an all-star board of business, sports, legal and political titans,” including Michael Jordan and Condoleezza Rice to assist its operations. However, nine potential members named in the document who were contacted by the publication said no approach had been forthcoming.

Next year, LIV Golf is expanding to a 14-tournament League. CEO Greg Norman recently said the organisation hopes to make seven top 20 signings before it begins.

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Mike Hall
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.