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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Asian Tour Makes Things Interesting

Today I have a link to a GC article about... well, perhaps the biggest nightmare of the PGA and DP World tours becoming real.

Greg Norman and friends

Simply put, Greg Norman and the Saudi golf investors (aka LIV Golf Investments) who have been trying to launch their own tour now have a foothold on the Asian Tour. Tuesday at the Saudi International they announced "...the creation of the International Series, a 10-event slate that will be incorporated into the current Asian Tour schedule for the next decade with tournaments in not only eastern Asia but also the Middle East and England."

Brentley Romine's article is fairly long and gives a great overview of this complex deal, both in terms of its benefits to the Asian Tour and the potential headaches it may cause for players who wish to move between all these tours. It's definitely worth a read.

Here is what I see as the great irony of this: I don't think anybody can blame the Asian Tour for making this deal. The pandemic has created a lot of economic hardship for them and this must seem like a gift from heaven, providing some financial security -- and even a potential for unexpected growth -- in the face of uncertain times that don't look to end anytime soon.

Why don't I blame them? Because the deal is worth $300 million to the Asian Tour... and it's not like they had any offers nearly as attractive as that, if they had any other offers at all. What would you have done?

While the other tours have made deals to try and stabilize their own businesses and perhaps stave off the potential threat the Saudi group may pose, the Asian Tour has been left to fend for itself. I don't blame the other tours for that either; the game of business sometimes forces its players to make hard decisions. But for that same reason it's hard to blame the Asian Tour for making a deal that appears to offer them nothing but good things.

Time alone will tell how this all plays out in the ever-changing golf landscape. But I'd say the world of golf just got a lot interesting for everyone involved.

Again, here's the link to Brentley Romine's article. We definitely live in interesting times.

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