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The greed of the Super Golf League

The Saudi-backed Super Golf League of 40-odd professionals contesting 18 events bears more than a superficial resemblance to football’s European Super League.

Of course golf clubs are in the bag not sporting superpowers but nonetheless some of the proposed participators have had their success in the past like Phil Mickelson.

Rory McIlroy is working both sides of the street but with every year the time since he last won a Major extends.

Similarly, in the ESL, AC Milan and Juventus have not won the Champions League for some time and Barcelona and Real Madrid are no longer the force they once were.

Those who are courted and apparently already signed up – like Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose – are already multi millionaires worth more than US$100m.

They certainly  do not need the money and I don’t buy into the argument that they attract the spectators the most.

I enjoy the fact that every golf year new kids on the block emerge. This year it’s Collin Morikawa who has already won a Major, Victor Nevland, Matt Woolf who surely soon will and Cameron Champ.

The next group up in age is that of Daniel Berger, Xavier Schauffele and Max Homa and then the likes of Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Bryson Dechambeau.

The over thirty one of Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Ricky Fowler, whose participation at the Masters  was watching it at the home of Tiger Woods, now may not produce another Major winner.

Such elitism in a super league not only does its sport little good it does not even reflect merit and aspiration.

The defence of the US and European Tour is to ban. The Ryder Cup is at risk. McIlroy seems to be lead negotiator of the golfers extracting more money for their commitment to the tour.

The European Tour currently being played out in the Canaries at the Costa Adige course in Tenerife has been ravaged by the pandemic.

The biggest difference between the two super leagues is publicity and exposure.

The Super Golf League hardly merits a front page story which the ESL did.

Nor is there the degree of opposition amongst fans reclaiming their game, though Amnesty International is vocal in castigating Saudi Arabia’s lack of human rights.

Those of us that enjoy our golf fear that the landscape of our game will be irredeemably changed for the worst.

For me it can only be sad that Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stensen, who fought out one of the best Opens in recent years, would be making up the numbers in this proposed league.

About John Pargiter

John Pargiter’s biggest claim to fame is his first-ever work experience job, as ‘legs’ (or runner) for Henry Longhurst. For many years he worked in insurance at Lloyds. After retiring he has returned to his favourite sport of golf and is a keen recreational sailor and grandparent. More Posts