LIV Golf Investments, the newly formed company of which Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the majority shareholder, has today (March 16) announced the launch of a new Invitational Series to take place this summer.
The series will feature a total of eight events to be staged in London (UK), Portland, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago (US), Bangkok (Thailand), and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
The events will begin in June and organizers have said the series will include an “innovative new golf format” featuring teams playing for more than $250 million in prize purses.
LIV Golf is providing more than $400 million in seed money to launch the series.
Each event will consist of three rounds with 54 holes and no cut, as well as shotgun starts. As a result, players will play head-to-head against each other throughout the year.
In the inaugural edition, the series will be held over the seven regular-season events listed above, culminating in a Team Championship match play grand finale.
Four events are slated to take place in the US and three events are to be staged internationally, while the Team Championship venue is to be announced at a later date.
The schedule will not compete with golf’s four majors, international team events, or heritage events, in an effort to attract more high-profile players.
The first year will feature a maximum of 48 players on 12 four-man teams with golfers to be invited from all tours around the world to beta test the new format. Each event will have teams comprised of different players determined by a draft the week of the event.
Total prize money for the eight events will reach $255 million. The first seven regular-season events will carry a total purse of $25 million comprised of $20 million in individual prizes (all players in the field will earn a share) and $5 million for the top three teams.
Following the first seven events, an ‘individual champion’ will be crowned offering a total fund of $30 million for the top three individuals of the season. The season-ending eighth event will be the Team Championship which will provide $50 million in total prize funds.
The LIV Golf Invitational schedule will begin in London at the Centurion Golf Club from June 9-11. It will be followed by the event in Portland at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club from July 1-3 and the additional US events in New Jersey (July), and Boston and Chicago (September).
The legs in Bangkok and Jeddah will both be played in October.
LIV claims the series will “modernize and supercharge the game of golf via expanded golf opportunities for fans and players alike”.
Greg Norman, the former heavyweight golfer and now the chief executive of LIV Golf Investments, said: “I want golf to grow, players to have additional opportunities, and fans to have more fun. My mission is to help the game reach its full potential and we know the role of golf as an entertainment product is critical to overall participation in the sport.
“In many ways, we are a start-up. We have a long-term vision and aim to grow. I believe we have a very bright and exciting future.
“Our events are truly additive to the world of golf. We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events. I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential.”
LIV and the Asian Tour recently launched a separate International Series as part of their own new 10-event partnership.