In the absence of the “Tiger” course factor, a resoundingly relevant age for the PGA which drew viewers from the entire melting pot cauldron of economic and racial demographics, the organization has failed to find an identity, while avoiding identity politics. There was a brief resurgence of enthusiasm when the “Tiger” drama variable involved a raging wife and visceral intoxication within the confines of an affluent Florida gated community feverishly implanting a golf club into the rear of the links icon’s luxury SUV, a gesture that elicited a multitude of apt metaphors, and challenged the gentlemen’s reputation of refined country club culture.
As the Jack Nicklaus and Wood’s ages have succumbed to time and audience attrition, the PGA brand has struggled to find a niche. With desperation setting in on each and every fairway trim of Bermuda grass, the answer to overcoming stagnation has come in the form of appallingly and cross-cultural temporary remedy that does not merit the tag of actually existing as a solution.
In an announcement that can fairly be categorized as shocking as the LGBT alphabet surpassing the infinite scope of Pi in creating abbreviation identifiers, the PGA and the DP world tour (formerly PGA Europe) announced a merger with the previously adversarial LIV tour, basically an subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian government. Other facets of the vast and lucrative conglomerate includes what can lightly be put as a “a headhunting agency for mercenaries”, a venture conjoined with a Semtex manufacturing consortium. The LIV tour was launched last year as a fierce competitor to the PGA, hosting events in Asia, Australia and North America, and featuring a gaggle of golf figureheads swearing their allegiance to their new overlords and receiving an infusion of capital from the Saudi Arabian crown prince. Curiously, the “LIV” represents the number 54, or a score achieved if a golfer hypothetically birdied every hole on a par-72 course. Speaking of numbers, the head of the Saudi Arabian royal family has control of the $620 billion “Public Investment Fund”, the seventh largest sovereign wealth fund on the planet, which ponied up the cash for the LIV tour to exist.
While the formidable combining of the three golf entities will alleviate active legal channels and logistical issues, the ramifications of the new golf super league transcend athletics, as the association with the oil tycoon empire and fundamentalist Muslim state simply cannot be ignored.
The former PGA players who defected to the LIV received harsh criticism throughout the entire political spectrum in a reasonable response to the athletes aligning themselves to a government funding terrorism and permitting an unrelenting flood of human rights violations endured by its unfortunate citizens and the ongoing violent schism between Islamic factions.
As oil remains as the underlying theme both keeping Saudi Arabia forgivingly relevant among industrialized nations, and providing the financial resources to undertake an invasion of the West through sports culture, the idealistic apologists continue to embrace the victimization of tyrants, a phenomenon that is evident on a terrestrial front in enabling criminals, while attempting to instill control on law-abiding citizens. The trending influencers of professional golf are being effectively utilized as propaganda mechanisms for normalizing government allocated atrocities aimed at the general population, and the etiquette displayed over an 18-hole round only amplifies the insidious pretenses surrounding a militant campaign framed through the smoke and mirrors of entertainment. The PR syndicate of the crown prince has managed to brand societal mutilation as the gentle caress of mentorship, and the acceptance of public stonings of political and religious dissidents at terrestrial tournaments such as The Masters may be only a decade away, as the extremist ideology of leftists has marred professional sports. Not surprisingly, in this unlikely scenario that satisfies the requirement for irreverence, the estate and legacy of “Hootie” Johnson embraces the practice of deliberate torture and dissuading individuality for conformity among a diverse selection of demographics.
While the infiltration of sociological proportions continues, the casual golf fan remains replete to the notion that the trivial which has been relegated to shots per round is now controlled by an organism coded for dominance and demanding submission. The Saudis have perfected nepotism and similar to the Chinese, are heavily invested in Westernized ventures to garner prestige and flex their proverbial biceps. However, unlike their Communist colleagues, the crown prince and government possesses 17% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves according to OPEC, which gives the rogue regime leverage and compensates for a military that ranks only 22nd on the globe in efficiency and effectiveness. When the enemy cannot simply be overrun by force, alternative tactical methods are required to win a battle, and the LIV tainted by dissident funding is nightmare waiting to happen.
Permitting the geographical dynamic of social morays misunderstood of those oblivious to bureaucracy remains the affliction of a symbiotic relationship that has yet to be understood as is the case with government running a commercial sporting venture. Will Saudi Arabia use the LIV as a tool for disruption and coercion by interjecting weaponized politics into the framework of golfing events, and will the LIV in turn exist as a blueprint to marginalize the spate of radicalism infiltrating the culture?
Within the current confines of what is described as an infuriatingly simply “get the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots” invented by the Scottish hacking through lavish shrubbery, things are now needlessly complex. As the totalitarianism of the Saudis is prevalent the simple “win-lose” dynamic of a competition has much greater ramifications than making the cut.