After the first season of the upstart LIV Golf Invitational wrapped up there were some staffing changes. Seven players were dropped by LIV Golf including Wade Ormbsby, Laurie Canter, Sadom Kaewkanjana, and others.
New players were brought in by LIV but none of the so-called ‘big names’ made an attempt to return to the PGA Tour which didn’t go unnoticed in the golf world.
When rumors recently surfaced that Brooks Koepka had ‘buyer’s remorse’ about joining LIV Golf people began speculating if he might be the first star to return to the PGA Tour.
Now, a report from SI‘s Alex Micelli has shed some light on how it would be almost unheard of for a LIV Golf star to break their contract. This is because it’s extremely cost prohibitive, with players on the hook for multiples of their signing bonus.
New Report On LIV Golf Contract Details Emerges
But with the exception of playing a one-off event in a player’s hometown or somewhere they have had success; many LIV golfers seem content to play their 14 plus majors and call it a season.
None want to play a full season on the PGA Tour, which is good because their LIV contracts, while not prohibiting them from playing a full schedule on another tour, does force them to honor their commitment to LIV and if for some reason they wanted to leave LIV, the penalty clause is two, three or four times their signing bonus to break their agreement.
This penalty clause effectively keeps the players part of the LIV stable until the contract expires after the 2025 season.
What does that mean for someone like Brooks Koepka who is rumored to have signed a contract in the realm of $100 million? This tweet suggest Brooks could be on the hook for up to $400 million.
John Nucci tweeted “If Brooks Koepka received $100m as reported, that could mean up to a $400 million penalty if he wanted to leave.”
In a follow-up tweet, Nucci added that “LIV contracts (and any challenge to a liquidated damages clause) would be governed under the laws of England & Wales.”
He expanded to say that “this ‘fee’ would be considered an unenforceable penalty if it is ‘extravagant and unconscionable’ when compared to the ‘greatest loss that could conceivably follow from the breach.'”
It would then become an interesting legal battle, should a LIV star attempt to leave, with LIV having to prove the cost of the negative PR caused by a player leaving.
Barstool Sports golf insider Dan Rapaport tweeted in response to that report. He wrote “For what it’s worth, in response to rumblings that he might be having some regret about joining LIV, Brooks Koepka says in this piece that he’s “satisfied” and “content with every decision” he’s made.”
The same report about LIV Golf contract details on SI also signaled expansion ahead which may or may not be their next big step. It says LIV may be eyeballing moving from 12 to 15 teams, a Monday qualification option, and relegation for the 3 worst golfers on the tour.
The report also suggests that some players may feel shortchanged with how LIV Golf owns 75% of teams and players own 25%. This would really come into effect if LIV were to ever become profitable and it was a 75/25 revenue split.