The big differences between the LIV and PGA tours


The LIV Golf tour is fresh on the professional golf scene. With its emphatic entrance into the golf world, it has some differences from the traditional PGA Tour.

The first and one of the most prolific differences is simply the number of rounds. Traditionally, a golf tournament has been four rounds. The LIV Golf tour is only 3. This comes alongside another change, one that might be the most impactful. There are no cuts.

The PGA Tour has over 100 players per event. This means they have a cut after the second round on Friday. The LIV Golf tour on the other hand has just 48 players whom play all three rounds. This is a big difference. It makes the LIV Golf tour more casual. There is no penalty for two bad rounds in the LIV Golf tour with guaranteed money no matter what, unlike the PGA Tour where if you don’t make the cut you don’t get paid.

The scoring system of the tournaments is the same though. The lowest score at the end of either 54 or 72 holes does win.

The next big difference is start times. The PGA Tour has traditional tee times, while the LIV Golf tour does a shotgun start; a shotgun start is where all the players start at the same time on different holes. Responding to a Tweet about how the LIV Golf tour doesn’t need a shotgun start when it already has a shorter tournament, former PGA Tour member Branden Chamblee added, “because they don’t understand the nature of golf. That the order of holes is laid out by an architect which provides a rising and falling of action which frames an event.” This is a good point.

Every course, especially courses selected to hold a professional event, are designed with the utmost care and planning of exactly what the designer wants to happen. This is completely undermined by playing the holes out of order.

The final major change between tournaments is payouts. As previously stated, LIV Golf tour players get paid even if they do not make the cut, in strict contrast to the PGA Tour. The LIV Golf tour payouts dwarf any PGA Tour purse. This has been the biggest reason why players are leaving the PGA Tour for the LIV tour. New LIV player, Charles Schwartzel, made more money from one LIV Golf tour win than his entire PGA career. “You can’t lie and say it’s not about the money. There’s a lot of money out there, and it’s more than anything these guys have played for.”

The bad blood between these two tours is definitely shown in how the tours are reacting to each other announcing changes. For example, the PGA Tour has announced larger purses in response to the massive amounts offered by the LIV Golf tour. The tours are battling for the best of every option. At the end of the day, the tours are going to stick to their fundamental differences and stick out the few years where the players are settling into the tours they like more. There is room for both tours; however, over time one may fade out if the players like one more than the other.