What is Super League Golf and Why is it Controversial?

Not content with dominating the football market, in Saudi Arabia, they want to get into golf.


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LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño

Let’s remember, for a moment, the infamous Super League. The proposal dominated the headlines of various newspapers last year. It consisted of the idea of ​​creating a new and improved football league, which would only include the best teams in Europe, such as Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, and Juventus. The initiative failed because the media, fans, and even some of the athletes themselves recognized in the “Super League” a project that only sought to generate the highest possible income, leaving aside the values ​​of competitiveness between large and small European teams.

Also read. 5,000 Dollars for a Parking Lot?: Super Bowl Costs

Now, something similar could be happening in the world of golf, with the new proposal for the “Super League” of golf, sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. This would be an entity that would compete with the PGA TOUR, the most important golf organization in the world. But beware, like the Super League of soccer, the golf league does not have competition in mind, it only seeks one thing: to benefit the pocket (and the image) of the Saudi government.

Why is a professional golf league sponsored by Saudi Arabia a concern?

Because it is a fundamental part of a strategy that this country has been carrying out for years: sports washing. This is a form of propaganda in which governments accused of human rights violations (such as Saudi Arabia) invest in sports to “wash” or soften their public image. Thus they appear more benevolent investors in the eyes of the world.

With more than $580 billion, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has already invested in racing sports, boxing, tennis, and soccer. For example, we can highlight the case of Newcastle United, which became the richest football club in the world overnight when this organization bought them for 409 million dollars.

And it is that the strategy of buying a professional league could already be working for them. High-level golfers like Jason Kokrak, number 26 in the world, have already acted as ambassadors of this new league. “I’m going to try to make as much money as I can in the shortest time possible, so if the money is right, I’d love to go play on that tour and play against some of the guys that are going to come out.” Kokrak admitted.

On the other hand, the PGA has made clear its position on this idea. Just as when the Premier Golf League project, the British equivalent of the PGA, was launched, PGA members “will have to decide if they want to remain members or play in a new series,” as Jay Monahan, the league’s commissioner, put it.

Players like Rory McIlroy himself, fifth on the PGA TOUR, have also spoken out against the Saudi league. “Look, I’ve lived it: For the best, all that money isn’t really going to change their life,” he said in an interview with Golf Digest. “I’m in a much better financial position than I was a decade ago and my life is no different. I still use the same three, four rooms in my house. I just don’t see the value in tarnishing a reputation for extra millions.”

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