LIV Golf is adding talent to its roster leading up to its third tournament this weekend.
Last week, popular golf commentator David Feherty joined the startup tour as a broadcast analyst. Reports this week say Charles Barkley and Gary McCord could be the newest members of LIV’s media team.
Barkley, basketball hall of famer and popular broadcaster, told The New York Post that he will be playing in the LIV Golf pro-am at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend as he talks with LIV about becoming a broadcaster with the fledgling golf tour aiming to eat into market share of the PGA Tour.
Barkley said there would have to be a large amount of money offered for him to join, and he gave the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed tour a deadline.
“They’ve gotten plenty of play out of me coming to play up there Thursday. I’m not just gonna be a no-show pony. I got y’all pub for a week. Don’t be wasting my time. I’m not gonna waste ya’ll time. But when I leave New Jersey Thursday night, if I don’t have an offer in hand, it’s over,” he said.
Gary McCord, former longtime golf commentator for CBS and pro golfer, could also be joining the LIV broadcast team. McCord told Golf Digest that he’s met twice with LIV CEO Greg Norman about a potential role starting next year and has another meeting planned.
“There’s a lot of potential there for some entertaining ways of doing this,” says McCord “Right now, I’m just listening and taking it all in and seeing where this thing goes.”
The new LIV Tour has pulled many golfers away from the PGA Tour with promises of hefty checks. For example, LIV will pay Phil Mickelson $200 million to play in the startup tour, which is nearly double what legend Tiger Woods has earned in prize money during his entire career. LIV gave the world’s number-one golfer Dustin Johnson a four-year, $125 million contract, which is double his lifetime earnings of $74 million.
Many big names in golf have joined LIV including: Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, Matthew Wolff, Paul Casey, and Henrik Stenson.
Broadcasting LIV events will likely be a major source of revenue, something LIV Golf does not have much of so far. While it is well-funded by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, revenue will be needed to offset the considerable payouts to golfers and commentators. Adding names like David Feherety and Gary McCord add credence to the tour, while personalities like Barkley provide promotional value.
The purse for this weekend’s tournament is $25 million, compared with the purse for the Masters Tournament, the crown jewel of tournaments endorsed by the PGA, is $15 million.
It seems LIV has set the bar high with its early rounds of generous contracts to lure top talent, and now others such as Barkley are hoping for the same.