It’s been close to a year since the PGA Tour found itself dealing with a thorn in its side in the form of LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed league that announced its intentions to take on the organization’s de facto monopoly before successfully poaching Phil Mickelson and a number of other notable names.
That development injected a virtually unprecedented amount of drama into the world of golf, as the players who’ve sworn allegiance to the rival factions have routinely butted heads with a gradually increasing amount of ferocity as the divide between the two sides has steadily grown.
Many of the players who’ve defected to LIV have caught heat for pretending the massive contracts they were offered weren’t the primary factor in their decision to jump ship. While some of them have acknowledged that fairly obvious reality, plenty of others have trotted out the “Grow The Game” talking point to justify their decision to switch sides.
Rory McIlroy has been one of the more vocal LIV Golf critics (thanks in no small part to his feud with Greg Norman), but he’s far from the only notable name who has more than a few bones to pick.
Earlier this week, Nick Faldo celebrated a belated Festivus during an interview with Jamie Weir where he was more than happy to air his grievances with LIV Golf while firing a few shots at Norman in the process.
Chatted to Sir Nick Faldo yesterday who was pulling no punches pic.twitter.com/1t14kgKYA2
— Jamie Weir (@jamiecweir) January 26, 2023
Here’s what he had to say about that “Grow The Game” argument via Golf:
“What gripes me is, it’s not growing the game of golf. That really gets me when they fly across the world, and they suddenly say, ‘Oh, we’re growing the game of golf’ to a country that’s been playing the game of golf for 100-plus years.
It’s pretty embarrassing that at the end of the season, nobody was watching. Didn’t their numbers go down ’til their streaming was like 17,000 people? In the whole world? We did a streaming thing for my Faldo series — we put a camera on a par-3—we got 100,000 people…and they’re spending a fortune to get 17-odd-thousand people watching globally.”
He also didn’t let Norman off the hook, as he made it clear he thinks The Shark has irreparably tarnished his legacy while serving as LIV’s CEO:
“To have this attitude of what he wants to try to do and what he’ll be remembered for—wow.
He was a great golfer. He did an awful lot, didn’t he? He was a charismatic, exciting golfer and he’s absolutely wrecked all of that.”
I think it’s safe to say Faldo is not a fan.