Rob Broadfoot 0:20
Mock, the podcast. All right, Episode 75. On the lovely Friday today.
Yeah, I feel like I always do it on Fridays, for some reason.
Rob Broadfoot 0:29
You’re the good Friday guy.
Rob Broadfoot 0:30
That is Mr. C. For those who Don’t recognize the voice. He is our guest podcaster today.
Rob Broadfoot 0:39
And so I thought today, we would… the last few had been about sports. So we’re just going to keep that theme rollin. We’re going to talk about golf.
Rob Broadfoot 0:55
Yeah, with the recent merger, I think. Well, they’re calling it a merger. Is it a merger? I don’t know. Is it a buyout? Is it-
Rob Broadfoot 1:01
Is it more of an acquisition? Who knows? But with the recent development between the PGA and the Saudi-backed LIV Tour, which is only, what, about a year old?
Yeah, it’s only a year old.
Rob Broadfoot 1:14
It’s only a year old.
Well, I guess it was in the works maybe two years ago, but this is the first year.
Rob Broadfoot 1:19
First year of actual tournaments.
I think so, yeah.
Rob Broadfoot 1:21
So we thought it’d be interesting to talk about that a little bit. Might bore you to tears for those who don’t play golf. I don’t know.
But with this story, I feel like people who aren’t golf people are talking about it.
Rob Broadfoot 1:34
I think so, too. I think so, too. It’s bigger than golf. Yeah. It transcends golf.
Yeah. Into human rights.
Rob Broadfoot 1:40
That’s right, and I think that it’s interesting to think about it, too. We’ll get into some of that, about what this will do for the brands- the PGA brand in and of itself, the LIV brand, and then whatever this new brand, I guess, is going to be.
Yeah, I’m assuming they’re gonna keep it the PGA Tour.
Rob Broadfoot 1:59
Yeah, they’ll keep that. Yeah. But then they’ve got the- So real quick overview, for those who don’t know. So the PGA, which everybody, I’m sure, has heard of. That’s the old, been around forever, Professional Golf Association. They run the big tours and all the good stuff now. Then, recently, I guess about a year ago, they launched LIV, which is backed by is it PIF? Is that what they call the fund? It’s the Saudi Arabia fund.
Sovereign, you know.
Rob Broadfoot 2:32
But by the Saudi royal family.
Rob Broadfoot 2:35
Blood money, as some might call it. There was a very strict division between PGA purests, and some of those who were dead set against it. Then there were others. They were all offered a ton of money.
Tons of money, more money than you see in most professional sports, and to do nothing.
Rob Broadfoot 2:58
Right. So the typical PGA Tour event takes place over-
Rob Broadfoot 3:07
Four days. 72 holes.
72 holes, four rounds.
Rob Broadfoot 3:11
Versus LIV. What is that format do?
They do 54 holes, three days. Anyone who’s watched golf knows that a lot can change on Sunday. In fact, just asked Brooks Koepka at the Masters. It was a lock.
Rob Broadfoot 3:27
So you have guys like the big… So Greg Norman is-
Rob Broadfoot 3:32
He’s the shark, is head of LIV. Then you’ve got the big names. The marquee name, I would say, is Phil Mickelson.
He was the first big draw that they got.
Rob Broadfoot 3:43
And they paid him $200 million, guaranteed money.
That’s before hitting a ball.
Rob Broadfoot 3:49
Before hitting the ball, $200 million.
Anything he makes after that is just money made on LIV, but that was just to sign and play.
Rob Broadfoot 3:55
Then the word on the street is that they offered Tiger almost a billion.
I think it was 800 million.
Rob Broadfoot 4:00
800 million or something like that.
Rob Broadfoot 4:02
Not that he needs any more money.
No, but that would have come close to doubling his net worth.
Rob Broadfoot 4:07
Then Koepka, younger guys like that, who are playing really well. He just won on tour.
Yeah, he just won the PGA championship. His third.
Rob Broadfoot 4:16
And what did he get paid?
He got paid 100, which I thought was a head-scratcher for me, because DeChambeau got 125. And DeChambeau’s only one one major US Open. I think Cam Smith also got 100. That was right on the heels of him winning the open at St. Andrews, I believe. Koepka was a four-time major winner already. So I thought that he- I don’t want to say he got shortchanged. I feel like maybe 200 would have been a better offer for him.
Rob Broadfoot 4:48
Yeah, so it’s interesting. Those guys obviously offered- I mean, that’s life altering money. Yeah, yeah.
That’s generational wealth.
Rob Broadfoot 4:55
F-you money, I think as they call it. Generational wealth. So then the obvious moral question, I suppose, is for those who took the money, knowing that Saudi Arabia is accused of all kinds of human rights violations.
Most recent, I mean, the Jamal Khashoggi.
Rob Broadfoot 5:16
The journalist, yeah.
American Saudi journalists, who was executed at the-
Rob Broadfoot 5:21
Embassy in Turkey, I believe.
Rob Broadfoot 5:23
I think that’s right.
Now we know that it was the crown prince who ordered the execution and all of that. That story had only been out for, I want to say around a year, when the LIV golf whole thing started. So I mean, that was pretty soon after an execution of an American journalist.
Rob Broadfoot 5:44
Yeah, it’s not like these were things that took place 50-60 years ago.
Rob Broadfoot 5:51
It’s kind of new. So you had you had some of the marquee guys Phil and Brooks and some of those. Cam Smith and those guys, who took the money and went to play for LIV and that, obviously then, you have the guys like Rory McIlroy, I guess, who are probably Rory and-
Jordan Spaeth, Justin Thomas and Tiger- they all kind of stayed firm.
Rob Broadfoot 6:17
Those guys said, No, we’re holding tight with the PGA.
Collin Morikawa and Hideki Matsuyama. Also major winners who turned it down. I saw stat that I think, between those guys, well between Morikawa, Matsuyama, Tiger, Rory, I think one other person, they collectively turned down $2 billion.
Rob Broadfoot 6:38
$2 billion. So you have the two divided sides. Then here we are. It was everybody sued everybody.
PGA sued LIV.
Rob Broadfoot 6:52
And LIV sued PGA. There’s litigation from both sides. So it became very limited, litigious very quickly.
And they banned the players. I don’t know what the details of that ban were. Then we should note that the four majors operate independently.
Rob Broadfoot 7:10
They are not PGA events.
They all kind of took the cue from the Masters. When the Masters said, we want to have the best level of competition, and we’re not going to say no to these players, then the other majors kind of followed suit. That’s why these guys have been in this years set of majors.
Rob Broadfoot 7:29
And you have… I mean, you could argue that the PGA forever was a monopoly.
It was. If you want to play professional golf.
Rob Broadfoot 7:38
Yeah, I mean, you have your lower level tour, Korn Ferry tour.
You have the European tour, web.com. Then there’s like Cue School and stuff where guys qualify.
Rob Broadfoot 7:49
But the PGA Tour forever has kind of been a monopoly. So it was a really interesting thought to me, regardless of where you fall on yea or nay. But LIV came along and busted up a monopoly.
Yeah. I think when we first heard about it, I think most people’s reactions were, well, who’s who’s going to play. This is just going to be another European tour. This is going to be another thing maybe for the guys who were all have been on the web.com tour and haven’t been able to get their their PGA card, maybe they go and they get some money, finally. When Phil signed, it was like, the floodgates opened. All of a sudden, all the older guys- Ian Poulter, Lee, Westwood, Lou Saison- they all went. Then I think we’d all kind of expected well, the the young guys, the guys who are in the prime of their career won’t go. Then boom, they got four or five of them right out the gate.
Rob Broadfoot 8:39
I mean, it’s interesting to think about. I don’t know. So I think from a brand standpoint, if we think about it that way, the PGA to me the brand is very conservative. It’s certainly gotten younger and younger, I think as Tigers rise to fame, sort of brought a younger… the youth movement.
Definitely Tiger helped to bring diversity and attention to the PGA Tour from groups of people who otherwise wouldn’t have been interested in golf. That’s one of Tiger’s big legacies. But if you just look at like the advertisements you see during a PGA Tour event, it’s like rich, old white guy brands. It’s like Rolex, and Belvedere vodka, and things like that.
Rob Broadfoot 9:33
I think Tiger’s mark on the game has also just been, because forever golf was like this, and I’m (speaking very quietly)
Now you see the-
Rob Broadfoot 9:43
Now you see the crowds following Tiger and it’s everybody’s hooting and hollering. I mean, it’s not quite happy gilmore, but-
but the waste management-
Rob Broadfoot 9:52
Look that up. If you’re a golf fan, and you haven’t seen that, the waste management. Which hole is it, the par three out there?
I think that’s the 16th.
Rob Broadfoot 10:00
One of them. There’s one, believe it’s a par three. It’s crazy. And somebody shot an ace this year.
Yeah. I feel like every year because they… Tiger shot one there in 2000. I want to say it was 2000. It was right at his peak when he had the tiger slam. Back then there was no stadium around it. It was like 160 yards or something. Since then, and people went bonkers. Since then, I think that they’ve really pushed for more and more hole in ones. So they’ve made it up, just a pitch shot, like 120 yards.
Rob Broadfoot 10:29
And then they built stands all the way around. Yes, fully enclosed, like a stadium. It’s one of the coolest holes in golf, I think.
Rob Broadfoot 10:37
It’s super loud, and beers get thrown everywhere. I mean, it’s raucus.
If you bogey the hole, they will boo you.
Rob Broadfoot 10:45
Yeah. So I think that the PGA brand over the years has certainly, I think, lightened up a little bit and become a little bit less conservative, but it’s still a pretty conservative brand. Then along comes LIV and LIV is kind of the opposite of that.
Yeah, they’re playing music. It’s weird. I’ve never seen a golf atmosphere like that. Even at the waste management.
Rob Broadfoot 11:07
Yeah, it’s like a club.
It’s like golf meets a nightclub.
Rob Broadfoot 11:13
Yeah, it’s really interesting. Some people are gonna like that. Some people are gonna hate that. It just kind of depends on where you fall. But it sounds like the way the deal is put together, there’s a parent company that now owns or finances all of it. And that’s that fund- the Saudi fund- that we were talking about. But I don’t know if… I mean, the PGA Tour will stay intact, and the LIV tour will stay intact? Are they going-?
That’s the big question mark for me. I think what’s going to happen is they’re going to add events. I think they may open up certain events to a larger, to people who don’t currently have PGA eligibility. Because that was part of the whole thing behind LIV, right?
Rob Broadfoot 11:58
So I’m assuming they’re doing that. Then I think everyone’s expecting that the purses across the every tournament will get bigger.
Rob Broadfoot 12:05
Money’s going up. And that’s a good thing. I think that’s a good thing. I was I was telling you the other day, I played with a pro at a charity thing a week or so ago, a couple of weeks ago. A touring a low-level touring pro, really good golfer, guy by the name of JJ Gray.
If you’re on the tour.
Rob Broadfoot 12:21
Yeah, really good golfer. It was interesting to hear him, we were sort of hanging out after the round. The other group that we were with, they were playing with a touring pro as well. So it was interesting to hear their perspective on LIV and the whole deal. What was interesting to me was to hear about how the PGA- at least from their point of view. If you’re a top-ranked player, you’re gonna make money no matter what, right? You’re on the PGA Tour, you’re gonna make ton of money.
Yeah, if you can make cuts, and assuming if you’re a top 10 player, you’re making cuts, obviously,
Rob Broadfoot 12:56
But I think it’s the middle level, and kind of the lower level, the tier two and tier three players that again, in these guys point of view, PGA was not very generous to them, and made it very difficult for those guys to be able to continue to tour, and try and make money and make a living out of doing this. So I think that the money overall is going to go up. I think that’s a good thing. I think that’s a good thing for a few different reasons. But one of those is guys that maybe were on the edge about whether or not they could actually make a living out of doing this, are now going to be able to do that. To me, that’s going to bring more players, better players, more competition. And I think that’s a good thing. If you think about it from a purely monetary standpoint, the impact that that’s going to have.
If you look at the guys who are on the cusp, there every week, having to go out and try to keep their eligibility for the tour, even the guys who are on the tour like Joel Damon, what was it two years ago, had to play some small, Pro Am event and I think it was in Florida. Really no other like name Tour players there, just to qualify for the US Open. If you remember, in the Netflix documentary, Full Swing, Ian Poulter, who has been around a long time, went to LIV. He was trying to keep his eligibility and he was trying to qualify for the US Open and the majors. So for the guys who haven’t won a major, you’re kind of constantly trying to play each week, in order to keep enough points, keep enough points in the FedEx Cup, and stay on the tour. Because for those who don’t know, tour players are basically independent contractors. They don’t get paid by the PGA. You have to play to win. You got to make cuts to make money and then win tournaments, obviously, to get the big stuff. But if you miss the cut, then it’s basically all just expenses for you. You just rented a jet and flew out here and spent all this money. It’s not like they’re putting you up in a hotel.
Rob Broadfoot 15:00
You gotta pay your caddy, you gotta-
Yeah, you got to pay your caddy. So I’d be interested to see if there ends up being some kind of baseline pay for just being in the tournament, because half the field isn’t going to make any money that week.
Rob Broadfoot 15:15
Right. Right. Well, it’ll be interesting, too, and I don’t know the answer to this. So they formed the company that now finances and funds PGA and LIV. So will they will they brand that new company? Will that be a holding company that no one talks about?
That’s kind of how I think about it.
Rob Broadfoot 15:31
Or are they going to brand it and make that a new entity?
I think that where the money is coming from is so politically…um… toxic.
Rob Broadfoot 15:43
Yeah, yeah. I would wager that they’re going to try to just keep the PGA brand and try to make everyone forget that the money is coming from Saudi Arabia. It would lend me to think it’s going to be a holding company.
Rob Broadfoot 15:56
If you think about the way all of this has gone down, it’s been interesting to me because it’s the Saudi money and it was the very public outcry against LIV because of the money, because of the money, because of the money. What’s interesting, and some people know this, and some people don’t, but that same Saudi fund has a vested financial interest in several companies.
Stephen A. Smith was railing about this on ESPN.
Rob Broadfoot 16:29
Including Uber, including Google.
AT&T. Morgan Stanley. I mean, the names go on and on of- Amazon. Companies that have taken a ton of money from this very same place. No one’s boycotting any of them.
Rob Broadfoot 16:43
No one’s even talking about it. No, no one’s even talking about it.
I think it was because the money was almost going directly from from the Saudi pocket straight into the pockets of these famous players. And then they were constantly being asked questions. If Vladimir Putin had a tournament, would you play that? What amount of money would you-?
Rob Broadfoot 17:05
Yeah, there’s definitely, I guess- at least it feels like there’s- a difference between somebody like Amazon taking the money versus an individual.
A person you know.
Rob Broadfoot 17:18
A person. Yeah Phil Mickelson. You’re you’re being held individually accountable for the decision.
Exactly. People who… if we’re talking about branding, I mean, Phil Mickelson is a brand by himself.
Rob Broadfoot 17:29
He’s in all kinds of different commercials, insurance commercials. There was a couple pharmaceutical commercials he was in.
Rob Broadfoot 17:37
It definitely tarnished his brand. You’re not seeing brands reaching out to him.
Rob Broadfoot 17:46
For those who don’t know, Phil was kind of the aw-shucks, nice guy.
Lefty. Everyone loved Lefty.
Rob Broadfoot 17:52
Everybody loved, everybody always rooted for Phil.
His wife survived cancer. It was such a great story when he won, I think it was his third Master’s, was the one I really remember.
Rob Broadfoot 18:01
No, I think you’re right, though. I think his brand absolutely took a hit.
Oh, yeah. Now he’s always wearing black, he’s the black hat now.
Rob Broadfoot 18:08
Whereas somebody like Brooks Koepka didn’t really have a brand.
No, it was kind of like golf’s bad boy, didn’t really care what you think. He and DeChambeau used to have that little feud.
Rob Broadfoot 18:18
They’re lind of in the same boat together.
Rob Broadfoot 18:21
Yeah. So I don’t know. It’s interesting. We’ll see where it goes, I suppose. But you got to look at somebody like Rory and just feel bad. You got to feel bad for the guy. I mean, he was the mouthpiece for the PGA. He was the one who was most vocally opposed to any and all of this happening.
And Jay Monahan, the Commissioner of the PGA, he was really kind of using Rory almost as the player commissioner or representative for the players.
Rob Broadfoot 18:43
And now it kind of looks like he’s got egg on his face because he’s been… Monahan sent Rory out, trying to talk to the players, trying to do all that. And now it’s like-
Rob Broadfoot 19:04
He was the ambassador.
Yeah. Now he’s having to go out and answer questions, saying well, it’s gonna be good for the game of golf. Clearly struggling to kind of stomach this decision. But it also appeared that he and some of the other ones have known that this has been, at least, in the works for some time. It was something, I guess, that they weren’t going to be able to avoid.
Rob Broadfoot 19:25
And Monahan… so a year ago, I think the quote was, “no one ever has to apologize for being a PGA player.”
Right? Yeah. I think it was something like that.
Rob Broadfoot 19:38
It was something like that. As a dig at LIV. Then here we are a year later, and they struck a deal. I think his quote now, the PR spin for him was, “I made the decision with the information I had at the time.” Which really just means they offered us a giant check and we couldn’t turn it down.
Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what it was. I think LIV didn’t make very much money, because of how politically controversial the whole situation is, in terms of where the money is coming from. They weren’t able to get broadcast rights. So-
Rob Broadfoot 20:13
Yeah, that was a big problem.
I think finally the CW broadcast them.
Rob Broadfoot 20:17
Is that where?
It’s what it was because I’m looking at Jim Nance, kind of taking a dig-
Rob Broadfoot 20:21
A dig at CW?
At Augusta, you hit it onto the crosswalk and it goes “There’s Brooks Koepka, on the CW,” which is pretty funny.
Rob Broadfoot 20:31
That’s a pretty good line, that’s pretty good.
That was the only broadcast rights, I think they were able to get, so they weren’t able to get big network money. Because the money really for golf is going to come from the advertisers, just like everything else. And there were so many brands who want to stay away from LIV, that I think LIV honestly… I mean, they had to have lost money. All they did was buy players and then lose money. So for them, they needed the PGA, I think. For the PGA, they could see that they weren’t going to be able to compete financially with these guys. And eventually, as the political polarization died down. They were going to start to get more and more players and they didn’t want LIV to become the dominant brand. So I think for their own sake, they had to take the money- hold their nose, take their money and try to save the PGA Tour.
Rob Broadfoot 21:19
Yeah, it will be interesting, too, to keep an eye out for what the brands do. The Golf brands with this news. Are they, are they’re going to-
Are there going to be advertiser that pull out?
Rob Broadfoot 21:30
Drop sponsorships? Are they going to have advertisers pull out? What’s going to happen?
It’s going to be interesting whose bag has some kind of Saudi company on the on the bag or something. That’s interesting.
Rob Broadfoot 21:42
I have to correct myself. I called him Roger Nance. Earlier in the podcast.
Oh, you did?
Rob Broadfoot 21:47
Well, I meant to say Jim Nance.
Rob Broadfoot 21:49
The reason I said Roger Nance is because we used to work with a Roger Nance right around the corner.
Oh, did you?
Rob Broadfoot 21:53
Shout out to Roger.
Jim Nance. He’s the the famous voice on golf. He’s the voice of golf.
Rob Broadfoot 21:58
Seasoned voice of golf.
It’s Augusta. Sunday.
Rob Broadfoot 22:00
Welcome to 16.
Azaelas in bloom.
Rob Broadfoot 22:01
Okay, I think we’ll kind of wrap it up here. But yeah, interesting if you’re a golf fan, interesting if you’re not a golf fan.
It’s been indefinitely in the national news, well outside of sporting news.
Rob Broadfoot 22:15
We’ll see what happens to the brands. Do they take a hit? Do they stay where they are? Do they shift? Who knows? So we’ll see you. “We’ll see you next year in Augusta.” No, we will see you… well why don’t you tell us where the people can find us?
You guys can find us at mocktheagency.com and on the socials @mocktheagency.
Rob Broadfoot 22:35
Maybe you’ll see us out on the course, who knows?
Maybe- you’re getting back into it.
Rob Broadfoot 22:39
I am. I’m going out tomorrow.
Dusting off the old clubs.
Rob Broadfoot 22:41
Dusting off the old sticks and getting out there. So all right. Thanks, everybody for tuning in and we will talk to you next time.