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How the LIV Series Compares to the PGA Tour 

It’s been a tumultuous year for the world of golf. The emergence of the LIV series has created a split in the sport and there is no sign of a solution on the horizon.

With the promise of fewer tournaments and some seriously high prize purses, LIV golf has taken some of the best players in the game. In turn, the PGA Tour has looked to ban those golfers from its circuit.

Until a compromise can be reached, the two competitions will continue as completely separate entities but how do they compare?

Golf as we know it

The LIV series utilizes the general rules of golf. There is an element of tournament play which means that the golfer with the lowest score at the end of the competition is declared as the winner.

Aside from the individual performances, the LIV series also employs an element of team golf. 48 golfers take part in each tournament and, ahead of the first tee time, they are split into 12 sides of four.

Team golf is rare on the PGA Tour, but it attracts huge interest. Events such as the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup are hugely competitive, and they gain a wide audience. LIV Golf merely looks to build on this attention.

The golfing world may be in a state of flux but there is definite interest in the LIV series. Viewers have currently been tuning in via the live streaming platforms but the organization has been working hard to secure a wider broadcasting deal.

Associated sports industries have also seen an interest in the new organization. There is a range of sports betting markets in place for LIV events and they are widely considered across the customer base.

There is clearly a demand for the new boys but how do the two circuits compare?

Starting Gun

LIV golf employs some subtle changes to conventional tournament play and one of these involves the shotgun start. On the PGA Tour, all players will generally start their rounds on the first tee.

There is a provision for starting on the tenth and playing the back nine first. Golfers are allocated time slots for the first two rounds.

In LIV golf, a shotgun start means that all players commence their round at the same time. Depending on the draw, they could begin on any hole from the 1st through to the 18th.

This means that the draw could be crucial. If, for example, a player starts on the sixth, their first three holes may be relatively easy ones. In contrast, a start on the tenth hole could produce three of the more testing holes on the course. The golfers with the easier starts can take the opportunity to build up some early momentum.

Further Twists

Another key difference between the two Tours concerns the length of each competition. Traditionally, the PGA circuit provides a set of four-day events. Up to 150 golfers can be involved at times while the field has a cut after the first two days.

The worst-performing players after the first 36 holes will be eliminated and play no further part. With LIV Golf, only 48 golfers have taken part in the first set of tournaments. There are just three days of competition with 54 holes and no cut.

This is as fast and furious as golf gets and the quicker pace of the LIV series should help to attract new fans.

A Major Discrepancy

The PGA Tour certainly has history on its side. Along with the DP World Tour, the circuit currently co- sanctions golf’s four Major events. In chronological order, the ‘big four’ are the US Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open and the Open Championship.

With the exception of the Masters which began in 1934, all of those events stretch back for more than one hundred years. LIV Golf cannot hope to match that history, but it will be looking for prestigious events which stand out from the regular competitions.

One way to put this into practice is to use courses that have previously hosted open championships. These will offer a special ‘feel’ to these unique competitions. Needless to say, LIV would also be capable of offering a higher prize purse for their own majors.

An Uncertain Future

The more relaxed schedule attached to the LIV series has also helped to attract defectors from the PGA Tour. On the PGA circuit, there are few breaks during the calendar year and this has been a contentious issue for some.

The main concern for LIV golfers is the desire to keep earning ranking points and to compete in the Majors. The points have been removed for now and that’s one reason why golf has an uneasy truce.

The circuits are very different but can there possibly be a harmonious co-existence in the near future?



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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.