The Super Golf League: Golf’s greatest moral dilemma quashed


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Golf is a sport often criticised for its lack of adaptation and willingness to develop, however, the Saudi backed Super Golf League seems incomprehensible.

The money involved is of a gargantuan level, with supposedly £1.5 billion of investment behind the breakaway tour.

An original attempt by Greg Norman in 1994 to create a “World Golf Tour” failed, but the Australian, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001, is again at the heart of these ambitious plans.

Norman has previously shown his displeasure at the PGA Tour due to the lack of opportunities to play in different locations stated as one of the main reasons.

Rumours strayed with 20 top players supposedly signed up and Bryson DeChambeau, one of golf’s more extravagant characters, as the poster boy for the new series of events.

However, DeChambeau along with Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and a whole host of top professionals have quickly shut down any talk of leaving the PGA.

So realistically, the Saudi Super Golf League is finished as it has failed to attract the top targets at the top of world golf, however, it would not be a surprise to see another attempt in the future.

Tradition is a key part of golf and it was shown in abundance as player after player came out to reject the proposal.

The PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan warned that any player attempting to join a rival league could face a lifetime ban, which may have impacted their chance to play in the major tournaments.

Legally, it is thought that the PGA would likely win a court case over the lifetime banning of a player so the ultimatum was clear.

Rory McIlroy was one of the most vocal in dismissing the Super League.

“Who’s left? Who’s left to go? I mean, there’s no one.

“It’s dead in the water in my opinion. I just can’t see any reason why anyone would go.”

When asked if he would be surprised if any golfer was to defect from the PGA, the Northern Irishman knew it would be impossible to get anyone to switch.

“Well, it would be because who else have you got to fill the field?

“I mean, Greg Norman would have to tee it up to fill the field.

“Like, I mean seriously? I mean, who else is going to do it? I don’t think they could get 48 guys.”

Although the PGA has managed to retain its top performers, this comes as a stark warning that the players feel a change is needed in the running of the tour as Phil Mickelson took the opportunity to hit out at those in charge of running the competition.

Making changes has never been golf’s forte but now is the time to consider what is needed to keep the star players happy.

It is possible to question the ethics of these golfers as many are multi-millionaires, and if money is what they want, then arguably, this could be spent on other things such as grassroots development of the sport.

The Saudi Golf League is an alternative that shows the progression of the game, but it is certainly not the correct way forward.

The PGA has survived this time, but this is not the end of the power struggle in golf.

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