Now Fully Normalized: Sportswashing the Bonesaw with Golf

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Golf as a professional sport now has completely lost its way.

The PGA Tour and Saudi-funded LIV Golf announced they are merging.

The controversial Saudi Public Investment Fund will make an investment into the new merged company “to facilitate its growth and success.” The new company does not yet have a name, according to the press release.

source: ABC News

All of the PGA Tour’s golfers who didn’t jump to LIV are now compromised by Saudi Arabia’s efforts to sportswash its fossil fuel dependency, its contribution to the mounting climate crisis, its history of human rights violations, its destabilizing actions in other countries in the Middle East and the US, and most horrifically of all, the murder of the Washington Post’s contributor Jamal Khashoggi who was sawed to death at the order of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

Every golf pro playing on the new merged tour will have blood and oil on their clubs.

Now we’ll get stupid takes from people who contributed to our continued subordination to oil, like members of the Bush administration:

The merger didn’t come as a complete surprise to veteran U.S. diplomat Richard N. Haass.

“I thought it was near-inevitable as LIV was not going away, given Saudi financial support and strength of several LIV golfers,” said Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Plus, efforts to isolate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were fading in the wake of the president’s visit to and subsequent developments.”

source: NBC News

Ugh. Just go play golf, Haass.

The subsequent developments include Saudi Arabia fucking with the global economy right now by reducing oil production, thereby working toward higher oil prices while countries are struggling with inflation.

At least it’s easy to see how Saudi Arabia will fund its investment into this merged entity – off the backs of working people everywhere who’ll never set foot on a golf course.

The PGA could have had the good sense to find a way to delay this bullshit merger until after the shoe(s) drop related to the Special Counsel’s investigation into Trump’s “mishandling” of classified documents, but nope.

Sure hope the former PGA doesn’t mind getting tainted with that wretched mess, too, now that they’ve crawled into bed with Trump’s bloody-handed sponsors by way of LIV events hosted at Trump organization golf courses.

170 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Every single golf product whether goods or services which advertises its products with this future merged entity is compromised, too. So is every charity which receives support through what once was the PGA.

    Fuck you, Greg Norman, you greedy fucking bastard.

    • klynn says:

      I don’t think the 9-11 generation will support the sport.

      I’m surprised New York PGA tournaments are going to receive continued support from the general public. I imagine 9-11 families to be protesting in the future.

      This is unbelievable.

      • Rayne says:

        Yeah, the 9-11 families have been protesting at LIV events. Now they’ll have even more events at which to protest.

      • Rayne says:

        As part of a larger pattern of sportswashing the kingdom as well as MbS? Yeah, I do. I also think it’s a means to expand their reach for surveillance.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Being granted (buying) the prestige of the PGA also gives LIV, and by extension MBS, access to the world that congregates around pro golf: the upper echelons of the corporate world, in all of its manifestations.

          Golf provides the “intro” so cravenly sought by Cousin Greg on Succession (for non-watchers, he is the outsider seeking to grasp his way in). Golf is the social grease that lets self-interest call itself “friendship” and believe it.

          There are few things I’m prouder of than the book I co-wrote with PGA teaching pro Bobby McIver, about his life in the game. It published ten years ago next week, and that anniversary–already leaden with wildfire smoke–is now befouled by this … not betrayal, because Monahan did not exactly go rogue, but utter concession to forces that the PGA could have mustered the will to resist.

        • Rayne says:

          The access really bothers me. Golf resorts aren’t just for golf; they may be high-end closed community centers where the wealthy congregate for social events when they’re not hosting golf tournaments.

          Just look at what the members of Mar-a-Lago were able to do with their influence, ex. Veterans Administration manipulation by Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, primary care specialist Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, and attorney Marc Sherman.


          What could the Saudis do with more access to the wealthy who are also donors to GOP campaigns? This is a more sophisticated approach than red sparrow Maria Butina and the NRA.

    • Frank Anon says:

      Its not just Greg Norman, or even Phil Mickleson. Now, its just as much Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and all the other (former) PGA stalwarts who shunned the LIV players and mocked the league, all the while taking what now looks like the sanctimonious position that Saudi is a malevolent force in their professional lives and our national lives.

      Then, apparently, the check was too high to be stalwart. I’d expect a bunch of “I’m just a good ol golfer looking to feed my family” garbage instantly, while you should consider investment in private jets, as the whole player field is likely to get one soon

      • Rayne says:

        Frank, you clearly know dick-all about the PGA’s players and about the lead-up to today’s announcement let alone golf. Take a fucking seat.

        • Frank Anon says:

          I find it highly unlikely that Jay Monahan did not consult with Woods or McIllroy or any of the most high-profile players before agreeing to a merger. and comments from players like Morikawa notwithstanding, no player has been given an opportunity to take a stand against Saudi involvement going forward, this has choked off their professional options to those which have high 8 and 9 figure purses going forward. My distaste with this turn of events definitely caused me to write much too flippantly, but there is still no way that horribly excessive wealth doesn’t become the standard of success for future pro golfers now. Other pro sports have proven that

        • bmaz says:

          “I find it highly unlikely that Jay Monahan did not consult with Woods or McIllroy or any of the most high-profile players…”

          You are blowing shit. There is a reason you are in auto-mod.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      Croquet, badminton, ping pong, frisbee (freestyle or golf) … plenty of good sports yet uncorrupted by big money. But this turn is quite exasperating.

    • subtropolis says:

      A silver lining? If, once Trump has been indicted on the records investigation, the prosecution does follow up on his Saudi business dealings and the suspicion that he traded secrets for geld, the LVI deal will almost certainly figure prominently. That, of course, leads directly to this PGA play. Golf aficionados for whom this deal has come as a shock will have much more reason to be livid, imho. Many Americans still harbour deep suspicions of the Saudis regarding the 9/11 attacks, after all. I think that this comes at a terrible moment for Trump. He was already looked at with some disdain for LVI, his big ‘fuck you’ to PGA for their snubbing him. Now this. And the possibility that he sold national security secrets, to boot.

      • Rayne says:

        I hope all of this ultimately cracks open his golf courses. My hinky meter has been going off for years now about their potential use for money laundering.

  2. Rayne says:

    I’m ready for something inexpensive, accessible to everyone, with physical and mental benefits.

    Perhaps a good walk not spoiled.

      • Rayne says:

        Is it inexpensive? Accessible? It’s not my cup of tea but if it meets those first two criteria I don’t have a problem with it.

        Bonus: can be played regardless of weather.

    • Knox Bronson says:

      I have a number of friends who are now obsessed with Pickleball. Seems like fun.
      I’m a walk around the reservoir (3 mi.) guy myself.

        • Knowatall says:

          Pickleball, aka Giant Ping Pong (GPP) is very inexpensive, but, like golf, is dominated by mostly white people. Anyone looking to professional sports for moral authority and role models is already in trouble.

        • bmaz says:

          I dunno, minorities seem to have a voice in the NBA and NFL. Would be nice if there were more minority ownership, but their voices are prominent.

        • John H Wolfe says:

          As a 70+ guy who tried badminton for ten years, I looked down on Pickleball but tried it, it is fun and a way to keep active in the later years. I hate that money and professionalism that is moving, in but that is US Capitalism. I go to the courts in our FL club neighborhood (soon to move back to CO, that is another post) and it is just a way to get some exercise, a way for those who do not play golf or tennis. Unfortunately for me, they want to turn it into a macho, competitive sport.

        • e.a. foster says:

          Pickle ball is quite popular with the senior set here. There are public pickle ball courts. Neighbours close to pickle ball courts complain pickle ball creates too much noise

    • Purple Martin says:

      I’ve made my Disc Golf pitch here before so won’t repeat myself…but “inexpensive? Accessible?” Very! It works for me as 12-month outdoor solo or team sport in Seattle!

      • Mart7890 says:

        I was one of those jerks throwing the frisbee across the quad. Nobody told me the University had a disc golf course. Didn’t get introduced until in my mid fifties by daughter’s college boyfriend. Love it. Now hoping to still be able to play well in a couple years with grandsons.

        • Purple Martin says:

          My daughter and granddaughters (ages 9 and 12 at the time) started playing DG with me three years ago. They brought their bag with them for Memorial Day weekend at their other grandma’s in Pullman, WA and said they played a couple rounds on a course at WSU.

          The now 12-year-old takes it more seriously and is already outdriving her older sister…going to be outdriving me (70) by the end of the summer. Have fun with your grandsons!

      • Rayne says:

        There’s a course at the public park down the road. I don’t doubt it’s accessible to the public because this course is just that, public.

        But accessibility isn’t just a matter of the average Joe being able to get to a venue without a lot of financial commitment. Is it a sport that disabled persons can play? Or does it screen out persons by virtue of the sport’s physical requirements?

        The public park course down the road does not have handicap accommodations, IIRC, though wheelchair users could try to play on the course.

        • Purple Martin says:

          My home DG course (the one I walk to), was opened by a small college in 2016, on part of the 9-hole ball golf course they’d closed 10 years earlier (I played it a few times when we lived here in the 80’s). Its nine holes are relatively short and open (suits 70-year-old slow-arm me just fine), maintained by the college facilities staff, and annotated on course guides as “cart-friendly.” (My disc cart—airport-style roll-behind—holds 25 discs and gives me a place to sit down.)

          I’ve personally watched at least three people with mobility disabilities play there, one using an electric golf cart supplied by the college and others with their own cross-country scooters (otherwise, motorized vehicles are not allowed). One of those is a Gulf vet with a severe TBI affecting both speech and movement. He can take only 4-5 staggering steps at a time but from a standstill stance can throw 200 feet. His scooter, with two (12″?) wheels in front and one in back, is a little smaller than a small surfboard but he really zips it around.

          I’ve gotten to know him a little (shared military background helped) and he’s thankful for this course as one of the few in the area where he can fully play all the holes (on most courses he has to skip a few). I haven’t seen him out this year (though I had to miss most of Feb and Mar myself)…hope he’s OK.

          I know this is only anecdote but it’s a data point that disability access can be thought out and addressed. (btw, search for “PLU Meadows Disc Golf” on Google Maps if you’d like to read my course review.)

      • Purple Martin says:

        …I should have added that’s a midrange disc (more workable than a driver) shot-shaped as an S-turn. Think of it as a 5-iron par 3 played right-to-left to a difficult pin placement.

  3. oldtulsadude says:

    With Tiger crippled and Nicklaus exposed as a Trump supporter golf has lost all luster. This should be its death knell but unfortunately most will hear that as the bell for round one.

    • Elvishasleftthebuilding says:

      Jack has always been a right winger. He’s an asshole too.

      More broadly the PGA is a pretty conservative organization. I was watching the Muirfield Tournament and I don’t think I saw a single black face in the gallery or on the course.

      The US, including Biden, has been morally compromised for a long time in its dealings with Saudi Arabia. They are our enemies and should be treated as such.

      • bmaz says:

        I have been to golf tournaments at Riviera, Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and about twenty Phoenix Opens. I got news for you, the lack of black people is not just a Nicklaus thing; there were very few black people at any of them. Not saying that is right, just what I saw.

        • Elvishasleftthebuilding says:

          You are absolutely right. The PGA was relatively late to the game in lifting color barriers (1961). Before that it was only open for “members of the Caucasian race.” Lore has it that the Masters changed its rules to avoid inviting black player Charlie Sifford to play in the event in 1962, when Sifford won the Canadian Open.

          Truth be told, I was just fine occasionally watching golf – tuning in for the Masters and the British Open – the obscenity wasn’t in my face so it was tolerable. Perhaps that enjoyment has now been taken from me – just like the prospect of buying a cool Tesla. Maybe this merger is simply the Saudis getting paid – but it looks like they are getting significant control over the PGA.

        • bmaz says:

          Hopefully that change is still afoot. But I dunno, even Tiger did not appear to substantially move the needle, though he sure did a little.

  4. Fraud Guy says:

    The DP World Tour has to be feeling embarrassed, having recently fined some players who jumped to the LIV, and now gets to welcome them back to the fold.

  5. Bears7485 says:

    I was disappointed in the guys who took the payday from these bone-sawing tyrants, but I still watched and enjoyed the guys who stayed with the PGA.

    I enjoy golf, and I’ll continue to play, but I’ll no longer be spending my dimes or time on anything PGA. It’s disgusting what the spineless Jay Monahan has done, which came as a surprise to the players they claimed to be focused on.

    The same halfwits who bleat on about globalists are applauding this for no other reason than FPOTUS’ involvement.

    • HikaakiH says:

      Exactly. I grew up playing golf on what was the only course in my town of 50,000 in regional Queensland – even saw a young Greg Norman play there in a pro-am before he made the big time. That golf club was by necessity of the local economy a real mix of people with some doctors and lawyers, but also plenty of teachers and tradesmen. There were no doubt plenty of members with racist attitudes reflecting the local community, but there were also some First Nations Australians amongst the membership. So, I grew up playing golf without realizing until I moved to a large metropolitan center that golf was perceived by many to be an elitist activity. In so many small towns in my state it just wasn’t that way. So, I will continue to love having an occasional hit of golf, but I lost my enjoyment of following the pro tours years ago – probably around when Mickelson started whining about his taxes.
      Edit: I looked it up – Mickelson’s tax whinge was 10 years ago.

  6. Artzen Frankengueuze says:

    If I remember correctly, last year LIV played Bedminster on 9/11, a total affront to the nation.
    This year they announce this on the D-day anniversary (I call it antifa day).


  7. MsJennyMD says:

    Thank you Rayne. Greed speaks.
    “Greed is mankind with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.”
    Native American Quote

  8. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I’m continually stunned by the lack of love of country, or at the very least the blind participation in our undoing. It is surprising, shocking. I guess to these guys it really is all about the money, future be damned. All in all, a stunning day with the ecological disaster taking place in Ukraine and the nauseating taking over of the PGA by barbarians.

  9. SteveinMA says:

    One (small) disagreement, though overall your smackdown of the PGA is most righteous. The Khashoggi murder was truly horrific especially with its brazen contempt for its victim and his family, the Saudi (tacit) support of the 9/11 perpetrators, as well as their ongoing war crimes in Yemen are (IMHO) way worse.

      • Rayne says:

        Khashoggi was the one journalist working for a US outlet who could have shed light on all KSA’s decades of bullshit. That MbS had him taken apart likely while he was still alive says something about KSA’s accountability to the rest of the world with regard to 9/11, Yemen, its own internal human rights’ failures, and its lifetime-long refusal to accept the end of oil not just as a finite resource but a climate-killing toxin.

        • Robert Kimball says:

          While I haven’t closely followed the reports about the method used to murder Khashoggi, I thought I’d read that the Saudi’s suffocated or strangled him to death. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used the bone saw while he was still alive, but I haven’t seen the reports, & couldn’t find them in a quick web search. Would it be possible to share some links?

        • Rayne says:

          I am not sharing any links about the method of Khashoggi’s death. You do realize even if a human’s heartbeat has stopped their brain’s activity and the cells in their body may continue to work for hours? The cells in particular may continue to work for days?

          Absolute fucking horror show, and deliberately intended to be so, pour encourager les autres.

  10. NoCal Carlo says:

    I suspect the reality of the situation was this: the Saudis were willing to spend billions on this PR stunt. They were probably ready to offer the 50 best players in the world unspeakable riches for switching tours, leaving the PGA with a bunch of nobodies. This merger has all the smell of a mob-style business deal. The PGA was probably told “Agree to the merger, or we will put you out of business.”

    Still, no matter how this came about, this is not good.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Yeah, I smelled that stink but couldn’t quite picture the details. You said it well. Put you out of business or worse. Here comes the black limousine one day and, before you know it, you’re talking business in the back. And by the way, remember what you did down at the bathhouse a couple of years ago?

      I don’t understand how Ukraine and the US are maintaining enough state integrity to be kicking the Russians so badly, but at least that’s one bright spot. If that oh-so-special operation were going the other way, the world would look hopeless to me right now.

  11. pablointhegazebo says:

    So Cadet Bone Spurs and King Bone Saw both got what they wanted. The one common denominator between these two is the unexpressed and unexplained interest in the plans to invade Iran. Par for a course covered in money, oil, and blood.

  12. MrBeagles says:

    When I think about the perpetuation of classism and destruction of the natural environment caused by golf courses, my brain goes into nuclear proliferation treaties for a model (global) framework to deal with them.

    That so much tax evasion, money laundering and sportswashing dominates the game is disgusting. Ultimately counterproductive for golf. F

    • -mamake- says:

      Agree completely.
      And the terrible waste of water to keeping things artificially green (in climates where this would never be the case). Nothing but disgust for the elitist, corporate rape of my homeland.

    • Purple Martin says:

      Will note Disc Golf courses take about 1/3rd the space of an equivalent ball golf course and with no grooming, watering or turf chemicals needed, don’t have nearly the environmental impact of the typical golf course. Most are in parks or ungroomed open space managed by volunteer groups or local Parks & Rec departments, so usually free to play.

      With those advantages plus the ability to quickly plan, design and install courses on available, underutilized, public open space, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world (behind pickleball but with broader demographics), while ball golf just keeps shrinking and shrinking.

  13. OnKilter says:

    I’m a golfer, shot an 82 today at my local muni, a good score for me.

    I will watch the US Open and the Open, but no others, not since the Saudi’s bought the tour.

    • bmaz says:

      Both of those are already official PGA money events. The Masters may be even more differentiated than the Open and US Open, but is also a PGA money event.

      • OnKilter says:

        So what?
        The US Open and the Open both predate the PGA Tour.

        I won’t let the machinations of rich assholes spoil my enjoyment of these two superb golf tournaments.

      • Frank Anon says:

        The Masters is a fully independent event. It is owned and operated by Augusta National and can choose who and what is played at its course. They can select whomever they want to play. Yes, they have automatic qualifiers through the PGA tour, but they could eliminate that tomorrow if the 100 or so members vote to do so. They make their money the old fashioned way, from gobs of cash from CBS

        • bmaz says:

          Uh, NO, it is considered a PGA “money event”. You are peddling bullshit. And they will NEVER turn down PGA approved players. Don’t gaslight people here. It is not “fully independent”.

        • Frank Anon says:

          The Masters Tournament is one of the four recognized men’s major championships in golf. It’s considered a sanctioned part of the schedule on every major men’s tour, including the PGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour, Australasian PGA Tour, Japan Pro Golf Tour and Sunshine Tour.

          However, despite all of these tours recognizing and sanctioning the Masters Tournament, none of them actually own, present and run the tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

    • Epicurus says:

      Will have a new theme song for telecasts:

      If everybody were a golfer
      Across the USA
      Then everybody’d by LIVing
      LIVing PGA

      • RipNoLonger says:

        Thanks for letting me tag along

        If everybody were a shooter
        Across the USA
        Then everybody could be killing,
        Killing NRA

        [Moderator’s note: Advocating violence is not acceptable. Your next comment like this will be binned. /~Rayne]

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    Only Allah can hit a one iron?😊
    What will be the name of the new entity.
    Contest rules to follow.

  15. Peterr says:

    This follows the recent announcement of the Saudis dumping Billions with a B of their petrodollars into boosting the Saudi Football (soccer) League, to lure aging professionals like Messi and Benzema to follow Ronaldo as the faces of the Beautiful Game in the Kingdom. Word is that Saudi Arabia wants to host the 2030 World Cup, and FIFA is more than happy to hold their hands out to take the money.

    Saudi Arabia has figured out what the leaders of many major sports organizations are, and now are simply haggling over the price.

    • Peterr says:

      From Barry Glendenning in The Guardian:

      . . . Although you wouldn’t know it from listening to the club’s fans, or local journalists and former players who came as part of the package, the deal [for the Saudi Public Investment Fund to purchase the English Premier League club Newcastle United] was an exercise in sportswashing. Another key to add to the set being loudly jangled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman in a bid to distract the attention of the credulous masses from his country’s appalling human rights abuses.

      Earlier this week, the Public Investment Fund added to its portfolio of football clubs by seizing control of four teams in its own kingdom’s league. The aim? To attract high-profile players on eye-wateringly massive contracts, all the better to boost the Saudi Pro League’s standings before the PIF’s expected grab for the 2030 World Cup. The bid is more than likely to be successful, given the amount of cash the Saudis are likely to splash, coupled with Fifa’s insatiable lust to get its hands on it. After being drummed out of Manchester United during last year’s World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo became the biggest name since Dan Burn to take the Saudi coin, pledging his twilight years to Al Nassr, who were recently pipped to the title. And now his former water-carrier, Karim Benzema, has agreed a contract with Al Ittihad, the team who beat them, ending his 14-year association with Real Madrid.

      Like fair play of any kind if you happen to be gay, a woman, a dissident journalist or a migrant worker, the rules of FFP do not apply in Saudi Arabia. Clubs are not bound by the kind of pesky regulations imposed by Uefa for the sole reason of ensuring that any success enjoyed by Manchester City must be accompanied by cries about financial doping, technicalities, 115 charges of rule-breaking, caveats and asterisks. Small wonder, then, that the PIF can offer obscenely bumper top-ups for players’ pension funds. Ronaldo’s Al Nassr contract is worth £177m per annum. Benzema is expected to get by on a comparatively paltry £86m, although his Al Ittihad deal includes the provision of a solid gold house, bespoke diamond-studded shinpads and the moon in a pail of water. It has also been revealed that representatives of both clubs are in London to dance suggestively in front of N’Golo Kanté and offer the soon-to-be out-of-contract Chelsea pocket-dynamo a Scrooge McDuck-style money pool in which to swim.

      • JonathanW says:

        Over here in Paris we’re all waiting to find out if Messi will move on from taking Qatari money (which he will) to taking Saudi money (rumors at 500M/year) or will somehow get around FFP rules to make his way back to Barcelona (via Miami somehow, note the Florida connection). Apparently we will find out later today.

        On the WC question, I would have hoped that we all learned the lesson from this most recent one about having it in the middle of the season, but, alas…

        • Peterr says:

          FFP is a UEFA creation, and Saudi Arabia is not bound by it.

          Of course, Saudi Arabia *is* bound by laws that prohibit killing, dismembering, and disappearing journalists, but that does not appear to have stopped them.

  16. FiestyBlueBird says:

    This is stunning.

    Will Fox News say this is great news?

    9/11 actually brought us together for once, until Dick and George fucked it up going into Iraq.

    Even Rudy was saying generally the right things after 9/11, IMHO. I can accept incoming push-back on that point. I don’t care.

    How can this stand?

    For the life of me, I can’t believe any American would think this is a good thing. Maybe I’m an idiot about that and I’m missing something.

    • -mamake- says:

      Sadly too many America’s don’t think. They wait for someone to tell them what to think, especially if it is stirred with high doses of grievance and outrage.

    • Glen Dudek says:

      FWIW, Washington Post reports the PGA Tour has said that “The PGA Tour will remain as a separate nonprofit entity with oversight over of [sic] its own events.”, however, the article also lists the following as an unknown: “Whether the PGA Tour’s nonprofit status will be affected. The tour has long benefited from its tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization. It is uncertain whether it will still qualify as a nonprofit after the merger.”

    • Rayne says:

      That article was published only a couple weeks after Phil fucking Mickelson and other LIV golfers filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour which was expected to go to court in September. With this merger the lawsuit is DOA, unless there’s some other way the PGA Tour’s players can change this situation.

      • bmaz says:

        Tiger and Rory (and others) should sue Monahan and the PGA for every penny they gave up to support the PGA.

        • Rayne says:

          Nah. I think the players need to organize and go back to their roots: a professional golfers’ organization, owned and operated by the players, and then walk out. I just don’t know if that’s economically feasible for the players who are at the bottom of cut list every week.

        • bmaz says:

          I’d start with the lawsuit for damages. Tiger was offered $800 million upfront to join LIV, Rory $300 million. They were both asked and then proffered up by the PGA to counter LIV. BOTH, contrary to FrankAnons bullshit, said they were never told or consulted at all. So, in a fraud by the PGA, they, just the two, lost out on $1.1 BILLION.

        • Rayne says:

          That’d be one way to kill the PGA Tour — completely wipe out its assets. Salt the earth, plow it in, start over.

        • klynn says:

          These two ideas are perfect. Worthy of a part two post to further seed the two ideas. Thank you both!

        • Badger Robert says:

          Seems like it would be an opportunity for the networks to sponsor some matches and for them to use their streaming services to publish them.
          But maybe all pro sports will end up in that same egg carton.
          Thanks for the story.

  17. Molly Pitcher says:

    So we now know who payed JAY MONAHAN’s Country Club membership ! I just wonder how much he and Seth Waugh are actually making from this.

    I am tempted to go wander with the gallery at Pebble Beach in February for the AT&T, cross-dressed as a Saudi sheik carrying a toy chain saw. That should get me arrested pretty quickly.

    Were I a PGA tour pro with a conscience, I might move to the UK to play. Wonder what the other countries who play in the Ryder Cup will feel about this ?

    • bmaz says:

      “I am tempted to go wander with the gallery at Pebble Beach in February for the AT&T, cross-dressed as a Saudi sheik carrying a toy chain saw. That should get me arrested pretty quickly.”

      Do it!! I will dedicate an entire post to it! Have Mr. Pitcher on site to film all of it!

    • Peterr says:

      Or perhaps go without the chain saw, but approach some of the members of the gallery and say “Excuse me. I seem to have misplaced my chain saw. Have you seen one lying around?”

    • FiestyBlueBird says:

      What a thought.

      Better still would be multiple people doing the same.

      Or would that then be a chargeable conspiracy?

      Anyways….Good God, what a thought, Molly.

    • Rayne says:

      It may be less that Monahan was bought than about protecting his assets. I think this is how Monahan gets both himself and the PGA Tour out from underneath an antitrust lawsuit by that fucker Phil Mickelson and his fellow greedy LIV dirtbags.

      Fucking unbelievable how LIV can horn in on the good faith the PGA Tour has developed and its well-established programming with venues and TV/cable networks.

      • GeeSizzle says:

        I pegged Mickelson as the POS that he is around the time he donned an Exxon cap in 2004, when he figured most people had forgotten about the Valdez. Heck, even KPMG could smell the stank on him last year, dropping him like a bad habit.

        • HikaakiH says:

          I never took to him but began actively disliking Mickelson when he started whining about taxes. Man. A guy who became a multi-millionaire by playing a game he loves who chooses to publicly whine about paying taxes is a guy with zero to say that’s worth listening to.

        • Rayne says:

          The pudgy slack-assed fuck is hardly a scintillating golfer to watch. I honestly can’t remember him on the course though I know I’ve seen him at the Buick Open several times and at least one other tournament.

          Taxes are positive sign one has income. And in his case his whining means he’s too fucking stupid to figure out how to minimize them with a good tax accountant.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, in his prime, Mickelson was extremely scintillating to watch. He may be an asshole, but don’t underestimate how good he was or what a crowd favorite he was. At the Phoenix Open, his followers almost matched Tiger’s. Phil has won six majors, including the Masters 3 times. He has been a great golf talent, and good for the game, until the whole LIV thing.

        • Rayne says:

          Meh. I went to enough PGA events during that asshole’s prime. He was not a favorite like Tiger was in my experience, more like an also-ran. I’ve seen Wood, Nicklaus, Faldo play, all of whom won more Majors. But Freddie Couples actually had a bigger gallery here than Mickelson. Maybe Midwesterners have a different sensibility about pro golf.

        • bmaz says:

          Faldo has no more majors than Phil. Both at six, and only one behind Arnold Palmer. And, yeah, at least here, he drew a Tiger like crowd. You are FAR underestimating what he has done as a player and what a fan favorite he really was. Emphasis on “was”.

        • HikaakiH says:

          For what it’s worth (and I know it’s not much) I agree with Bmaz on Mickelson’s quality as a golfer. The exceptional competitive nature of people who get to the very top of pro sports tends to make many of them (but certainly not all) quite ‘difficult’ personalities who are really not pleasant to be around when things aren’t running their way.

        • Purple Martin says:

          Oh, he had good tax accountants and minimized his taxes to the max. To quote a West Wing line, “he’s not smart but he’s *smart*”…and that makes the whining even worse. But is likely why KPMG was his long-time sponsor.

          The CFO of a large medical device manufacturer was an infosecurity consulting client once. His office was decorated in ‘Golfer’s Den Traditional,’ with a heathy amount of signed Phil items. Bet I know who did his taxes.

          As a left-handed golfer myself, I gave Mickelson a little extra attention (Mike Weir too). Really admired his short game and was motivated into making that my primary practice emphasis. Still do that with my disc golf midrange game, as I’ll never have a long game.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Here’s John Oliver’s take (other than the Khashoggi murder, it is hilarious) back in 2018 on Trump’s involvement in the Kingdom’s “investment” in WWE. You may recall that Trump LOVES kayfabe, and has been pals with the McMahons for decades. Linda McMahon was his first Director of the SBA (Small Business Administration), and was arguably one of his only qualified appointments.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Chainsaw must, yes, be a toy, and immediately and readily identifiable as a toy.

      C’mon, there’s only one sheik. This isn’t a group act. But he could have his harem, however many women he controls. They could be obsequious, waiting on you hand and foot.

      Great idea! Only real question is whether they would beat you.

      Sigh. People forget. It’ll all blow by like Covid did, miraculous really, just like Trump said.

    • -mamake- says:

      Great idea, Molly!
      Spinning off a few other notions: Skywriting: a chainsaw with MbS as the brand; shoes with capacity to release permanent ink w/ each step along the course (also MbS chainsaw); or a similar ‘branding’ tool – perhaps a cane with a grass killing poison (dog pee?) in the shape of a chainsaw…
      Again, is it even possible to shame those who have no shame? The enablers are too proud to admit any culpability.

  18. Bobby Gladd says:

    I guess I will have to ramp up my interest in watching futbol, in lieu of Bonesaw golf. I’ve been trying. I have a suggestion for World Cup scoring changes—how about, first team to 15 by 2, or four years, which ever comes first?

    All Snark aside, I will not be watching any Bonesaw golf.

    • Rayne says:

      Pay attention to what the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund is doing to other sports, including futbol.

      • bmaz says:

        Note that the Saudi PIF guy will now be the controlling authority for the PGA, LIV and DP European golf. The merger is even worse than initially thought.

        • Rayne says:

          And KSA still ratcheted down oil production on top of this.

          I detest the fact the Biden administration has permitted more US oil development, but this bullshit with KSA is exactly why it must be done.

          I know you don’t think much of the Saudi-Qatari money in Twitter, but this PGA crap is very much like that only far more obvious. KSA is desperately trying to buy access through social media and sports to change US-EU opinion about KSA to prolong the use of fossil fuels.

        • Elvishasleftthebuilding says:

          It will be interesting to see if the Saudis decide to get into the Name Image and Likeness business. Lots of opportunities for a good money laundering operation, I am sure.

        • Peterr says:

          NIL is part of the deals they are making with the football players to lure them to the Saudi league.

        • dimmsdale says:

          Well, yeah, golf and F1 and Twitter, but also … “Fondomonte, which is owned by one of the largest dairy companies in Saudi Arabia, bought vast tracts of desert in western Arizona on top of a massive groundwater aquifer in part because there are no regulations on how much water can be pumped out of the ground. Anyone who buys or leases land there can put in a well and draw water.” (CBS News link: ), hope I didn’t F that link up, Rayne, apologies if so….If the Saudis can afford to buy controlling interest in American infrastructure as well as American cultural /sports sectors, and our moneymen are only too willing to sell … ?

        • bmaz says:

          Listen SA, nor the Middle East, does NOT own F1. They host a few races, which different ME countries pay a lot for, but that is it. Don’t conflate the PGA with F1 on this. And SA owns nowhere even close to a controlling interest in twitter. These are apples to oranges, and should be treated as such. Twitter has Musk and F1 now has Liberty Media, but they are NOT the Saudis. And you know why the country knows about the Arizona water issue? Because people here have been on that from the start. The issue is being worked on, although far too slowly.

        • bmaz says:

          As to AZ, the governor and SoS are on it, but the state legislature is a problem. The Arizona Republic has done some great reporting on the whole sordid situation. I “think” it gets remedied, but not as positive as I would like to be.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Mergers usually have one winner and many losers. Take Mercedes “merger” with Chrysler. No surprise the Saudis will be the controlling party. It’s their money: they just want to test how much they can buy with it. It stinks and golf will suffer for it.

        • Rayne says:

          DaimlerChrysler was called a merger but it was an acquisition of Chrysler by Daimler. I think you really mean this was an acquisition.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yes, it was an acquisition, publicly styled as a “merger of equals,” an intentional bit of misdirection for the people then in Detroit, including me. But even with mergers, one party ends up on top, although it’s occasionally not the intended party.

          The Saudis styled this acquisition lamely as a “partnership,” and the “creation of a new legal entity,” an elaborate way of saying it’s a garden variety acquisition. Merger language was much in the press, which seemed to be a way of tamping down concerns about what the Saudis will new with their new laundromat.

        • bmaz says:

          Daimler wanted a foothold into the US. Picked the wrong one. Although there remain some used Chrysler products, especially the vans, that are basically Mercs and are great values.

        • Robert Kimball says:

          Q & A from back in the day:
          Q: How do you pronounce “DaimlerChrysler”?
          A: The Chrysler is silent.

  19. Bay State Librul says:

    Answer to name that new entity contest
    Could it be LIV and Let Die … it has a “par for the course” ring to it, with a 007 Thriller Tag

  20. nighthowl says:

    I can recommend the game of Ultimate without reservation to any and all. Check around your community and I feel certain that you will find answers.
    I know of a half dozen or so folks in their 60s or better that play weekly and can make 20-30 somethings look slow and silly in a game.

  21. Legonaut says:

    My father passed in 2015. Every day I miss him, but I’m glad he missed the Trump years, and now what’s happening to his beloved golf. I think his ashes are rotating at about 3500 RPM right now.

    They haven’t come for NASCAR yet, have they?

  22. MsJennyMD says:

    This was previews to coming attractions. Follow the money. What percentage will he get?

    “All of those golfers that remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year. If you don’t take the money now you will get nothing after the merger takes place, and only say how smart the original signees were. Good luck to all, and congratulations to really talented Cam Smith on his incredible WIN!”
    Trump, July 18 2022, 7:39 AM

  23. Paully says:

    Golf should be finished as an American sport..
    Only ass***** and traitors would want to play or watch now..

  24. HikaakiH says:

    Very convenient timing for this merger before the relationship between Trump and the Saudis and LIV Golf gets fully exposed (given there were recent reports of SC Smith looking into Trump’s foreign business entanglements). Or is that just my suspicious mind?

  25. Narpington says:

    Did anyone really think that golfers and golf clubs were anything but a bastion of entrenched privilege, deliberately blind to societal change?

  26. StillHopeful says:

    Played golf now for 60 years; walked all rounds ‘til age 66.

    Am addicted; so, as much as I hate the “merger”, got to keep getting together with my friends, share some jokes, share some oaths, and head to the 19th.

    Cyndi Lauper got it right a few years ago, Money Changes Everything.

    I’ll be watching to see how long the current PGA Tour brass will last……

      • StillHopeful says:

        Yeah, that’s true.

        As I said, I’m addicted, so got to keep trying to be better (not easy as time moves on) by playing.

        But, should I watch on TV? Still trying to figure that one out. There are a lot of likeable personalities to root for, that got caught in the mix.

        Anyway, still enjoying listening to Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople and his solo career) to celebrate his 84th birthday, fascinating stories set to rock n roll!

        • bmaz says:

          Well, by now you know my affinity for Mott and Ian, consistently fantastic. Bowie knew it, everybody should. I used to go to golf tournaments because it was a party (especially the Phoenix Open), but have not been in a while. So that is no loss at this point. As to watching, rarely watched much other than the majors. If it is a close Sunday, I might still do that, not sure. But this alliance announced today truly sucks. If you like golf, keep playing!

        • theartistvvv says:

          He’s been doing the autobio songs a good long time; here’s a fave:


  27. Bears7485 says:

    I watch PTI when I have a chance, or when there’s a big to-do in sports. Tony & Mike’s takes are usually spot-on, but they seriously pissed me off yesterday. Either the Mouse told them to “stick to sports” or they are THAT clueless, but it proved to me that the Saudi sportswashing is working. It’s fucking disgusting.

    Also, there’s been a pretty distinct advertising strategy from the largest companies during events in SA & other Islamic states regarding Pride month, and now the PIF head is in control of investments into the league.

    I hope that Tiger, Rory, Morikawa, and others who rightly stood against this inaccurately named league sue the pants off of Monahan, and split off and start their own thing. I feel bad for the middling players who can’t afford to walk away though.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, they have not “bought” F1, but the giant money in the Middle East has attracted multiple dates on the F1 calendar.

  28. Molly Pitcher says:

    Perhaps the answer for those wanting to watch golf on TV, but not go to the dark side, is to follow the LPGA. I can’t imagine that the Saudi’s will spend any money that would look like support of women.

  29. Tracy Lynn says:

    I’m all about sports, but I think that the merger of the PGA & LIV is a a sideshow to other, more serious aspects of foreign ownership of American assets.

    For example, Saudi ownership of a company that owns land in Arizona on which it grows alfalfa and drills for water to irrigate its crops—which go back to the MIddle East as forage for livestock there.

  30. Mark F says:

    Thanks for this post.

    “The subsequent developments include Saudi Arabia fucking with the global economy right now by reducing oil production, thereby working toward higher oil prices while countries are struggling with inflation.”

    Handing over the world economy to Saudi Arabia has always seemed like a bad idea.

    An absolute monarchy, accountable to nobody.

    just another huge reason to speed up the transition to renewable.

  31. Molly Pitcher says:

    Well, the Saudi’s lost this one. Lionel Messi just signed with David Beckham’s Inter Miami !

  32. Surfer2099 says:

    Hey Rayne,

    Is there anyway the Justice Dept can come in and deny the merger as it sometimes does with other entities try to merge but some reason, DOJ won’t allow? And if so, what is the best argument for disallowing this merger?

    • Rayne says:

      No idea if this is an M&A deal DOJ needs to review for antitrust. Also not certain if this needs CFIUS review by Senate.

      With this being about sports entities and not business or infrastructure critical to U.S. economy and continuity, I don’t know that there’s adequate reason for federal government to bother. If there was, Twitter’s sale which hinged on foreign investment would have been a more likely subject of review since it was used as a communications platform by government entities.

  33. Allagashed says:

    I don’t post much in here at all; I am unqualified to even ask the questions; but I read daily, and my education is growing exponentially. As for the golf thing: I have zero interest in golf, but I almost always watch a little of the Masters, or the British Open. The sport, and its followers are utterly foreign to my way thinking; I simply don’t get it. That being said, I completely support your desire to pursue the sport and wish you nothing but the best. My horror at what the PGA has just done is complete. My obsession is also a singular one, albeit with no observers, and no money ever is ever given out. Fly fishing is the demon that sits on my left. There was a great book by Paul Torday, entitled “Fly Fishing in the Yemen”, about a vastly wealthy Yemeni Sheikh who tries to bring Atlantic salmon fishing to the Yemeni desert. Unfortunately, for golf, the worst has come true. For me and my fly fishing brethren, so far all they’ve done is make a movie about the attempt.

  34. e.a. foster says:

    Not that I’ve ever followed golf or played it, but when I read the saudi league and the PGA group were now one thought I was hallucinating and ought to go back to sleep. Its interesting how sauid seems to be getting into sports these days. Its probably a good P.R. stunt and it gives them access to circles they may not have been welcomed into previously. Now they own the “circus”.
    What has me pissed is this murderous owned entity is gaining access to other countries, etc.
    The suddenness of the “amalgamation” did get me wondering if this was the plan all along. Wonder if the next purchase will be into football, basket ball and hockey.

    If those who stayed with the PGA are really concerned about the amalgamation, they could simply stop playing for the new organization or simply break away and start a players association which plays at various golf courses at various times. they might be able to gather some sponsors. Of course all the American and Canadian t.v. stations will continue to show these golf games run by the murderous bunch from saudi. too bad they don’t have any moral center and simply tell the Saudis we aren’t going to show your games on our networks, but then of course there is so much money involved, that is not going to happen.
    Wonder if the new organization will .permit Jews to play and for that matter, Skihs, Hindus also. Wonder if they will try to change how women appear on golf courses.
    Perhaps some day we will find out how much the former PGA sold their souls for.
    The whole thing stinks on ice

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