Greg Norman calls out 'disgusting' hatred towards LIV Golf's early players

“I compliment the boys who came on – the first movers.“

by Sead Dedovic
Greg Norman calls out 'disgusting' hatred towards LIV Golf's early players
© Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport

Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, has been an intriguing figure since the conflict began between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. The 69-year-old former golf star discussed the golf scene in an interview with Bloomberg, specifically addressing the first golfers to join LIV Golf. It appears that those early adopters of LIV Golf faced the most criticism. 

Fans of the PGA Tour were particularly harsh, using every opportunity to criticize their decisions. Norman has nothing but praise for these golfers who, despite the pressures and scrutiny, chose to embark on a new project and become part of LIV Golf. Norman isn't happy with the criticism and negativity that came from all sides during that time.

“I compliment the boys who came on – the first movers. They came on with a massive amount of headwinds. The vitriol and the hatred was just disgusting, to be honest with you.”-Greg Norman said.

A large number of experienced players, as well as golf stars, decided to join LIV Golf despite knowing what reactions would follow. LIV Golf emerged as a new project in the golf scene, supported by Saudi Arabia. Given the less-than-favorable history of relations between Saudi Arabia and the USA, most were frustrated by these developments in the golf world. LIV Golf has had immense financial power from the start, enabling them to recruit some of the best golfers. Some couldn't be bought with money, prioritizing loyalty and prestige above all else.

“Considering what these guys have done in the game of golf, how they’ve carried the game of golf, and the institutions they represented, [it] was disgusting," -Norman told Bloomberg.

Greg Norman
Greg Norman© Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images Sport

Phil Mickelson on LIV Golf vs PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson, a prominent figure in the world of golf, has also chosen the same path as many of his colleagues. Given his importance and status in the golf world, fans had strong words for Mickelson. His statements criticizing the PGA Tour had a huge impact, making Mickelson one of the most controversial figures among golfers. 

Mickelson, however, believes that the events of previous years should be forgotten and that the focus should be on the future. Mickelson bases his opinion on the current state of affairs in the golf world, where many fans are discontented.

“I need to let that stuff go. I need to let go of all the experiences I’ve had in the past that were less than positive. I need to let go of my hostilities and we all do for the benefit of the game.”-Mickelson told Bloomberg.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson© Asanka Ratnayake / Getty Images Sport

In May of this year, Norman also addressed comments in an interview with Bloomberg stating that LIV Golf has poor ratings and that many are not tuning in to watch. Norman disagrees with such rumors and opinions, citing the modern era and what it brings with it. Although the intention of LIV Golf's executives is to attract young people to follow this sport, the question remains how successful they will be, especially at a time when younger generations are increasingly less interested in sports, including golf.

LIV Golf has the right people, who are doing a good job so far. Norman hopes they can continue at the same pace in the future.

“What’s the definition of tuning in? To an 18-year-old, to a 25-year-old, tuning in may be 12 seconds on the phone. ‘Let me see this, then we’ll go back and do that, and then I’ll come back over here and do another 14 seconds on this.’

That to me is tuning in. That to me is a market that’s enormously wealthy, right? And enormously influential in the direction where we’re going.”

PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger

Discussions between LIV Golfers and PGA Tour players have been going on for a long time. It must be admitted that, on the other hand, tensions are less and less lately. It seems as if the PGA Tour stars have accepted their fate, knowing that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf cannot function as separate entities.

The attitudes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and others have changed a lot lately, aware that conflict and chaos do no one any good. Merger is one of the options, but the question is whether it will become a reality.

Negotiations have been going on for a long time. For a year, both sides have been trying to find a solution and reach a final agreement, but without success. The question is what we can expect in the coming period.

It will be interesting to follow the events on the golf scene in the coming period. Norman will remain an important figure in the next period as well.

Greg Norman Liv Golf