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LIV Golf – What is That?

Written by Posted On Friday, 24 June 2022 00:00

If LIV Golf is something you may be unfamiliar with, just hang on as we try to give you our best description of this new enterprise. LIV Golf is financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia which is among the most lucrative sovereign wealth funds in the world. Its value is estimated at $600 billion!

LIV has drawn many of the most famous golfers in the world. Let’s start with LIV’s CEO – Australian entrepreneur Greg Norman who has won 89 professional golf tournaments, 20 PGA tournaments, and 2 Open Championships in 1986 and 1993. Those tournaments alone have made Norman a multimillionaire. The LIV is mostly about money, money, money!

The LIV will be a major challenger to the PGA Tour which has just suspended Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and 15 other players for joining the LIV. Tiger Woods has reportedly turned down more than $9 million to play on the LIV tour.  Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and several other major players have also turned down this opportunity. But Bryson DeChambeau, Pat Perez, and Patrick Reed all recently signed to play in LIV Golf.

LIV Golf is controversial because of the source of its funding – the Saudi Arabic Public Investment Fund (PIF).  PIF serves as the financial arm of the Saudi government, which has been accused of several human rights violations — the assassination of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi among them. While America has a long way to go in the field of human rights and social justice, are we the only nation that truly cares?

In an attempt to cleanse its reputation, the Saudi government has invested heavily in sports organizations and events, ranging from Premier League soccer to the WWF, a practice known as “sports washing.” Sports washing is commonly utilized as a propaganda technique to distract the public. Perhaps the first distraction took place as the LIV Golf first event was in London last week where Mickelson, Johnson, and others played. Other events scheduled on the tour include Portland, Oregon; Bedminster, New Jersey; Chicago, Boston, Miami, Bangkok, Jeddah, and, of course, Saudi Arabia.

Where does this “battle” go from here? As the TunneySide sees it – lawyers get your briefs ready for court. If either organization bars a golfer from his rightful place to earn his living, the final resting place may have to be in the courts.

On another golf note, the TunneySide congratulates Mina Harigae who recently finished second in the 2022 U.S. Open in North Carolina. Mina first learned golf at AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf. She will be playing in the 2023 US Open Women’s Tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Course from July 5-9.

What is your take on the LIV Golf intrusion on the PGA tour?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

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