Frank Nobilo thinks golfers are paid too much

Frank Nobilo, former player and renowned golf commentator in the United States, is a respected and influential voice in the industry

by Andrea Gussoni
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Frank Nobilo thinks golfers are paid too much
© Rob Carr / Getty Images Sport

Frank Nobilo, former player and renowned golf commentator in the United States, is a respected and influential voice in the industry. In a recent episode of his podcast, "Five Club", the New Zealander candidly expressed his opinions on the ambivalent personality of Phil Mickelson and the vast sums of money in professional golf.

"Players may not like to admit it, but compared to other sports, golfers are overpaid," stated Nobilo, addressing the exorbitant amounts of money being distributed across various global circuits, including the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the two most lucrative avenues.

As a former player on the European and PGA Tours with 14 professional wins, Nobilo is a prominent figure in golf media, offering valuable insights in his NBC commentary and through his podcast.

His frank views on the ongoing struggle amongst circuits and its ramifications should not be ignored.

Frank Nobilo, statements

"Our current situation is strange. Television audiences are only comparable to those of volleyball.

Yet, I see no volleyball players travelling on private jets or enjoying extravagant perks."

Nobilo's perspective on the current state of professional golf offers a valuable contribution to the discussion, and one which merits attention.

The enormous sums of money being offered to players in the LIV, PGA Tour (Viktor Hovland recently amassed $21.8 million in winnings from two tournaments in 2023 alone), and soon the TGL ($21 million shared among 24 players) have resulted in an astronomical booty for the world's best players.

However, Nobilo isn't questioning the Saudi money invested in LIV Golf, which triggered a significant uptick in prize money offered by the PGA Tour, particularly with the Signature events slated for 2024.

Instead, he's criticizing the players' insatiable desire for more money, which could potentially lead to an explosion of professional circuits in the long run.

"If the LIV Golf never existed, would PGA Tour dissidents have spoken so poorly of the American circuit? I believe we all know the answer.

There has been a real rift. And now we're talking about a possible merger between the two circuits? I find it hard to believe. I fear that the bidding war will continue."

Mickelson is receiving criticism for his stance on the matter.

The former winner of the Trophée Lancôme in 1991 has openly criticised a player whom he had previously played alongside on the fairways and who has been leading the criticisms aimed at the PGA Tour amongst those who have moved to the LIV: Phil Mickelson.

The five-time Major winner reportedly complained that the winnings were not being fairly distributed to players on the PGA Tour.

"I am deeply disappointed in Phil Mickelson's attitude," admitted Nobilo. "There is a real duality in his personality.

He used to have genuine moments of generosity a few years ago; for example, he and his wife donated a lot to charity organisations. He also has an impressive track record and was an incredible player, and I respect that. However, he has now become a statesman for the LIV, and that's disastrous. Unfortunately, all the terrible things being written about him today are true. The damage seems irreversible to me."

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