LIV Golf Player Contracts Revealed To Have Some Wildly Restrictive And Super Lucrative Provisions

LIV Golf 54 Signage

Vincent Carchietta-BroBible

With some players being offered tens and tens of millions of dollars, it’s been rumored that LIV Golf player contracts are very restrictive. The logic behind it is sound. If the LIV Golf Tour is going to commit a hundred million dollars to a player they would certainly want to make sure to get the most out of that commitment.

This week the WSJ published a report claiming to have reviewed an actual LIV Golf contract and it’s more restrictive than previously imagined. On top of that, there’s an extremely lucrative provision tucked into these LIV Golf player contracts that pays out a million dollars when players aren’t even in a LIV event.

LIV Golf Player Contracts Revealed To Have Some Wildly Restrictive And Super Lucrative Provisions

The WSJ was able to review a player contract which quickly made its way to the golf world. And CBS Sports golf writer Kyle Porter shared these two interesting excerpts from the report which have drummed up a lot of discussion on Twitter.

That statement reads:

“The contract includes a number of unusual provisions. Players are supposed to wear LIV apparel, even when playing in non-LIV events. They are instructed to refrain from giving interviews without approval. They agree to assist in recruiting other players to LIV, when requested. And they also need approval for most of the logos they were and branded products, “like coffee mugs,” that they use at events.

In addition to the rich prize money offered at the LIV events, the contract has one other surprising provision: the golfers are awarded a $1 million bonus for winning any of golf’s four major championships.”

And here’s another excerpt about the apparel:

That reads:

“A person familiar with LIV’s thinking said the language was aimed toward next season and beyond, when the circuit’s teams will be more firmly established, and that players may wear gear promoting their teams like they would any other sponsor.”

Let’s start from the top.

‘Supposed to wear LIV apparel’ doesn’t necessarily imply that it’s compulsory but it certainly seems like things would be headed in that direction. I’ve seen insiders suggest that playing on the LIV Tour could hinder the golfer’s ability to land massive endorsements but also question if the ‘team’ aspect of LIV Golf could lead to a situation where teams get sponsored and they actually earn more.

There are a LOT of players who have individual brands. These provisions don’t really address a golfer promoting something they own themselves on their hat or shirt or ‘coffee mug’ as they mention. But it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.

The $1 million provision for winning a major is certainly intriguing. The U.S. Open has the largest payout for 1st place of any of the 4 majors ($2,250,000) followed by $2,070,000 for winning The Masters, $1,980,000 for the PGA Championship, and $1,935,000 for the Open Championship. So another million dollars on top of that is pretty huge, but compared to the rumored hundred million dollar or more contracts being thrown around a million dollars isn’t all that much, is it?

The rumored LIV Golf ‘apparel’ enforcement starts in the future?

I’ve watched at least some portion of each LIV Invitational event so far. I’m an avid golfer, a member of a local course, I write about golf here at BroBible, and I’m generally just pretty tapped into the golf world. But I could not tell you a single team name from the LIV Golf tour. Not one.

The team names are probably the last thing in the world the fans care about or remember. The team logos on the live leaderboards are… sad. And that’s being generous, I think.

It is virtually impossible to imagine a world where the ‘teams’ are relevant enough by this time next year to see players and fans wearing logos and team names. If they actually succeed in making the teams relevant, that will be a more impressive feat than luring away top talent from the PGA Tour.

Which LIV Golf players will even be eligible for the $1 million major bonus?

It’s important to remember the PGA Tour does NOT operate golf’s four majors. So while the PGA Tour is in direct competition with LIV Golf, the 4 Majors are not. And while the Majors could theoretically change their ‘exemption’ awards over time, at this moment in time players who have won majors receive a lot of exemption benefits.

If you win The Masters you receive lifetime exemption into The Masters and 5-year exemptions into the other 3 majors.

Winning the U.S. Open secures a 10-year exemption to that tournament and 5-year exemptions to the other 3 majors.

Winning the Open Championship results in exemption until 60-years-old and 5-year exemptions into the other 3 majors.

And winning the PGA Champoinship means a lifetime exemption into the PGA + 5-year exemptions to the other majors.

So any of the major winners who are currently playing on the LIV Golf tour and have won any of those majors will have ample time to win those tournaments again. Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, and Dustin Johnson have all won The Masters. Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Brooks Koepka have recently won the U.S. Open. Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka both recently won the PGA Championship…

That $1 million ‘bounty’ for winning a LIV Golf player winning one of the 4 majors doesn’t seem so unrealistic, does it?

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