LIV Golf’s one year anniversary – the players speak

Fatiha Betscher

Graeme McDowell (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

This week’s London LIV marks the first year anniversary of LIV Golf.

Yes, it’s been 12 months since this new ‘look’ in men’s pro golf took to the Centurion Club on the northern outskirts of London.

It’s fair to say that at the time, the golf world really didn’t know what to expect but now in returning to London a year on, LIV Golf has captured the golfing world’s imagination.


The format is fresh, it’s captivating and it’s great seeing many of the game’s best warming to the crowds as they have travelled around the globe promoting LIV Golf.

Let’s hear what the players themselves think looking back on this 12-month anniversary.


“I mean, I guess 12 months in, 15 events, the golf landscape has changed a lot in that period of time. I think we as team Majesticks feel pretty happy about what we’ve been able to achieve in that short space of time.

*I think what LIV has been able to achieve in that window has been very impressive. So huge kudos to everybody that’s worked as hard as they’ve worked collectively to have this product out there for the fans, which I think is groundbreaking in a way.

“I think we offer something a little different, different being good, and I’m pretty excited about where it’s going”.


“It’s been an interesting year. Feels like more than a year. Golf has changed a lot, and it’s nice to see everybody starting to get on the same page and more transparency in the sport now, yeah, so it’s good”.


“Yeah, it’s definitely groundbreaking and something new. Yeah, we can see now it’s starting to move, as well. It’s not something we’ve seen before on golf bags. We’ve seen it in their partnership on Formula 1 cars, and yeah, it brings something special, and we’re excited to team up. We’ll see how many times it’s going to flicker on here in the next minute.”


“Yeah, obviously it’s been a pretty crazy 12 months in the world of golf. There was obviously a huge amount of trepidation this time last year when we were standing here at Centurion with a startup company, not knowing where it was going to go.

“Obviously mixed reactions from the golfing world, you could say.

“But I think 12 months in, I think the 48 players that are involved right now, there’s a huge amount of belief in the product. There’s a huge amount of momentum. There’s been so much good stuff happening this year from a tournament point of view. Fans are getting it now. They see the potential of what we have out here.

“The team stuff was probably the biggest thing that kind of took me by surprise last year was how compelling the team environment was, how much guys were into that stuff, and it’s been a lot of fun.

“We’ve got a bunch of great guys out here that are certainly great brotherhoods that have been forged together through some tough times the last 12 months, what we’ve all been through.

“But like I say, momentum and LIV and the product and the fan base getting engaged, taking it down to Australia to Cam’s part of the world and kind of the reception we got there was pretty epic. It really showed what was possible, what the potential is if we go to markets that really want to see us.

“Excited to see the crowd here in London this week and see how much that’s changed from last year as people really get into the product and really see where it fits into the world of golf.”

BUBBA WATSON (Looks back on the ‘hostility’ present a year ago at The Centurion Club)

“Somebody asked a question earlier, somebody over here, if I would change the year, I would have signed up earlier, but I had surgery so this tournament last year I got to watch from my bed. I had knee surgery. My son was with me, and that’s what took me over the edge of wanting to join because of the team atmosphere.

“But when you look back at the hostility, yeah, it’s sad that we were in that — that we had those problems, name calling. Everybody is trying to do a job. If you all change over news stations, nobody yells at you for changing over news. It’s the same news but on a different station.

“It’s been a fun year. Hopefully we can get behind it and the game of golf grows and we do some great things. Another $3 billion to charities puts the PGA Tour at $6 billion would be a good thing for the game of golf.

“There were some kids out here yesterday. The Majesticks yesterday had a bunch of kids out here learning the game, and then I heard there’s going to be some this afternoon. We’re going to do some more this afternoon at 3:00.

“That’s the whole goal of all these tournaments is to grow the game, and when we say grow the game, get more people to play golf, even if it doesn’t matter what the age is. It’s the whole thing.

“All the name calling and yelling is just sad. A year later now everybody is friends again”.

CAM SMITH (Looks back on his 2022 Open Championship winning press conference)

“Yeah, it was definitely, I guess, a frustrating media conference after the Open. I think, like you said, perhaps a little bit overshadowed that I’d probably just won the biggest tournament that I’ll ever play in and someone was asking that.

“But as I look back on that, it’s just a guy trying to do his job. I suppose it was a little bit harder from then onwards, definitely whilst making the decision, just some nasty stuff, I suppose, said by the keyboard warriors. I knew it was going to be tough, but I feel since I made the decision, I made the right one.”

GRAEME MCDOWELL (Commenting on pre-LIV negative’ press 12 months ago)

“Yeah, listen, I kind of mentioned it earlier. I feel like perspective, 12 months has given me a lot of perspective into what’s happened. I feel the same as what Bubba said. I really don’t hold a lot of grudges towards anything. The keyboard warriors are one thing. That comes with the territory. But like professional media writing some pretty damning stuff about players that have spent 20 years building a solid reputation for themselves that seem to just dissolve overnight, I look back on it with perspective now and think to myself, those guys were paid representatives for a narrative that — like I say, they were being paid to represent.

“All these players out here are trying to do is represent the golf tour that they’re paid to play on.

“Everyone has their territory to defend, and they did that, and sometimes it was pretty vitriolic. Like I say, I look back on it now, and I really don’t blame guys too much at all because that was their job, and I’m never going to begrudge anyone an opportunity to do their job.

“I just hope we can all move on and that the game of golf will come together. Looking forward to catching up with a lot of guys I haven’t seen in a long time.

“Where this all goes from here, we don’t know yet, but I think we’re all pretty excited about the possibilities”.


“Last year this time was a little nerve-racking. We didn’t know what was going on, what to expect, and look at where we are now. Everything has gotten bigger and better as the weeks progressed on. Obviously the way we started last year was like a fairy-tale start, getting on”.


“As Branden said, last year at this time, there was a lot of uncertainty. We were getting a bit of scrutiny.

“But here we are a year later, and it seems like there’s a lot of positives for the future. Wherever we’ve gone in the last year, it seems like every event has gone really successful, and it looks like there’s a lot more — people are looking for more tournaments, more local tournaments going forward, so it seems like it’s very positive.”


“Obviously going into this last year, we were excited but we were also very nervous, excited about being part of something different, being part of a team, having friends on your team. But it was a fairy-tale start, like Branden said, with us winning and then every week just got better and better, and here we are a year later.

“I think it’s even going to grow from here. We’re going to get more events and play great courses going forward. It’s so much fun to be part of all of this.”


“I don’t know if I should say what I really want to say. No, look, it’s been amazing. Like they said, I didn’t really know what to expect. They kind of comforted me coming in. They had played a whole season, pretty much all eight events.

“Coming into Mexico, being welcomed by three guys like this was awesome, and like they say, we’re taking a world-class field all over the world to places like this, like London that has had world-class fields and we’re still filling up the crowds. It’s positive. Australia was a testament to that. Our support back home is a testament to that.

“We’ve got a great following back home in South Africa, and we’re a team country, and to have a team like the Stingers, all South African out here, is really cool.

“I think they’ve grow from strength to strength and that’s what we’re going to try and do is defend what happened and what these boys did last year.”

Well said fellas.  Here’s to the next 12 months.

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