Paulina Gretzky Reveals Dark Side of Dustin Johnson's LIV Golf Move: Death Threats

"There were people sending death threats and awful, awful, awful things."

by Sead Dedovic
Paulina Gretzky Reveals Dark Side of Dustin Johnson's LIV Golf Move: Death Threats
© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport

Joining LIV Golf had great consequences for many golfers, especially those who decided to join by leaving the PGA Tour. Fans of the PGA Tour did not welcome such news with joy, often calling out golfers who disappointed them and took a completely different path. 

Dustin Johnson was one of the golfers who felt enormous repercussions after joining LIV Golf. The American became a target of criticism day by day, and things eventually went too far. Johnson and his family received death threats via social media. 

The Netflix golf docuseries, 'Full Swing,' revealed many things happening behind the scenes that were not widely discussed. In the documentary, Johnson primarily explained the reasons for joining LIV Golf. 

Upon joining this Tour, Johnson secured a contract worth $125 million. He knew that joining LIV Golf brought huge money with it, along with something else important: playing fewer tournaments.

"For me it was playing less, making more money. Pretty simple," Johnson said, as quoted by

"Someone offers anyone a job, doing the same thing they're already doing but less time at the office and they're gonna pay them more. Pretty sure you're gonna take it. And something's wrong with you if you didn't."

Paulina Gretzky, Johnson's wife: There were people sending death threats

Dustin Johnson's wife, Paulina Gretzky, revealed additional details in the new edition of the Netflix documentary about Johnson and his move to LIV Golf. Gretzky emphasized that threatening messages and death threats were coming in day by day. Although she initially felt huge stress and didn't know how to cope with it, over time, she realized that she had to accept such things. 

Paulina understood that many people have their opinions, and changing such opinions is challenging. However, death threats are more than just ordinary opinions...

"There were people sending death threats and awful, awful, awful things. People were aggressive, that’s for sure, but that’s when I shut it down for a little bit and I was like ’I don’t need to look at this, everyone has an opinion on it and fine.'"- she said.

Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky© Sam Greenwood/Getty Images Sport

Johnson, like his colleagues, knew what to expect when joining LIV Golf. It seems that his wife was also aware of the consequences. However, they endured the worst period, knowing what might follow. After almost two years, things have become considerably calmer between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, although tensions still exist. 

Considering the recent events and departures of PGA Tour players, the reactions no longer seem as intense as they were at the beginning. Whether this is due to the PGA Tour leadership or people accepting LIV Golf is still uncertain.

“We have a little bit more time together now since things have changed a little, whereas before it was 'go go go.' We have more control now of how we do things."

Regardless of all the criticisms and messages, Paulina has no doubt that her family made the right decision. It seems that Dustin didn't think much about joining LIV Golf.

"The old life we had, it was 'I had to take a back seat' but now it feels like we’re in the front of the plane together flying. It was the right move.”

PGA Tour and golf fans believe that the PGA Tour players should receive better treatment in the future, especially since most golfers resisted great offers from LIV Golf. Declining such offers and remaining loyal is not an easy decision. However, those golfers who value tradition, prestige, and the history of this competition had no doubts about staying.

Dustin Johnson on whether the PGA Tour should reward PGA Tour players who stayed on the Tour

In response to whether the PGA Tour owes anything to those who didn't join LIV, Johnson doesn't think so. He believes that the golfers who joined LIV Golf faced criticism and took risks, and therefore, there's no need for compensation from the PGA Tour.

Johnson knew that choosing LIV Golf would lead to criticism, especially from dedicated PGA Tour fans. Despite expecting backlash, he confidently stated that if given another chance, he would make the same decision. For Johnson, the choice was about what he believed was best for himself and his family, and he stands by it. 

After Justin joined LIV Golf, a large number of his colleagues followed the same path, creating a significant problem for the PGA Tour, which is trying to enhance its tour and offer much better rewards to its players. The recent investment by SSG is the reason why many believe that the PGA Tour will rise and take the lead in the future.

Dustin Johnson Liv Golf