Trump And The Saudi Bought LIV Golfers Are Alike Partners As They Attack The Stability Of Key Institutions!

By Donald A. Collins | 28 July 2022
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

The LIV golf tournament at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, NJ this weekend, continues a tour which will never achieve credible success.

The seminal point I want to make in this Op Ed is the importance of stability of institutions which provide society with consistently nurturing results. In this case, we have a sport which for centuries has added a powerful sense of history designed to encourage community adhesion and satisfying recreation for people of all ages.

Such LIV controversy compares in a minor way to Trump’s Presidential tenure where we encounter the dire effects of undermining traditionally effective institutions with lies and extreme corruption in pursuit of power. With LIV we see the unnecessary destabilizing effect of human greed attacking a long-respected activity.

However, as the adage goes, behavior often follows the money. Sad that well known star golfers have forsaken their PGA home and broken faith with their fans to follow a Pied Piper from Australia, the former golf star Greg Norman to take the huge money offered to these golfers by Saudi Arabia to boost its flagging reputation after the killing in October 2018 of Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi who as a Washington Post journalist.

These rich star golfers are joined by some golfers who never were or will be stars who all succumbed to the call from a despotic kingdom, took the bribes and upset the institution, the PGA that had succored them for decades.

What was Greg Norman’s main pitch—inciting disaffection with the PGA? Sounds a lot like Trump with his MAGA in 2016!!

Also, after years with CBS, NBC and the Golf Channel, it’s goodbye to David Feherty the long-time colorful golf commentator, who will be an LIV sports voice. Never a great golfer, but always fun to watch, I wonder what he will say about LIV, but I won’t be listening. But he’s only worth $3 million, so I guess money did him in. Reputation? Your call.

The LIV, which Greg Norman created with Saudi money, as I noted above, compares to Donald’s MAGA. The PGA, like the Executive, Congressional, Judicial branches of our federal government, was already a vital golfing entity. Even better the PGA has a reputation for honesty that the financial shenanigans of some other professional sports do not have.

Yes, golf is hard, and golf is often cruel. These professional golfers’ scores must be good, or they don’t get paid. In any tournament, golfers must make the cut—that is be in the top half of the entering field after two of a 4 round PGA or USGA event or you don’t play the weekend and get paid.

Were there flaws in the PGA’s governance? Probably, but surely with its good reputation at risk and a never to be duplicated history of famous competitions, discussions should have come to a reasonable solution.

Yes, I know, follow the money. But the purses now for big golf events are significant. Millions. Arnold Palmer won the overall golf money title in 1973 by winning $250,000 for his whole year of play. Tour winners today win well over a million for each tournament win.

The May NY Times article you can read here tells the whole sad tale of greed and stupidity that will tarnish the reputations of these great players forever.

Most serious golfers can never again watch Phil Michelson or Dustin Johnson without feeling utter disgust at their willingness to undermine the sterling reputation of the PGA by upsetting the sense of order it gave to golf that LIV will never achieve. Tiger Woods is worth $800 million, and Jack Nicklaus is worth $400 million, but both said no to big cash LIV offers. You could argue they could afford to decline, but they realized such acceptance would levy the unacceptable cost to their reputations.

In fact, as the Times article tells it, these bought PGA defectors must also know that and took the money anyway. The LIV’s events are only 54 holes, not the standard 72, which will ensure the results will not be enshrined anywhere except perhaps in Saudi Arabia.

Yes, it has now been proved that Trump knew he lost the 2020 election, but his attempts to destroy our democracy continue. LIV will not replace the PGA, nor we can hope, will Trump destroy democracy, but that is far from certain and calls upon all Americans to take heed.

Read here about the coming weekend’s 54-hole event at one of Trump’s many golf courses in Bedminster, NJ which to me echoes the morality of the sponsoring parties.

As the above article tells us, “Trump has been called on by the families of 9/11 victims to cancel this event, but he appears to have no intentions of doing so. Trump wrote on his social media platform that golfers should accept LIV’s money, according to The New Yorker.”

To assure their reelection Donald’s GOP spineless elected Congressmen stayed in his thrall at least up to now.

Trump’s likely pending indictment by the US Justice Department may cool their ardor. Maybe not, but the cracks in Trump’s popularity are showing even from his main toady Mike Pence. Ardor for the LIV tour will be similar.

Again, stupid, greedy institutional attacks we can hope will fail.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote” and “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”.

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