motherjones.com – By Russ Choma – Donald Trump has a reason to gloat. “GREAT NEWS FROM LIV GOLF,” he crowed on his Truth Social platform, referring to the Saudi-backed golf league that will be merging with the PGA Tour. A BIG, BEAUTIFUL, AND GLAMOROUS DEAL FOR THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF GOLF. CONGRATS TO ALL!!!”
For Trump, the blockbuster merger, announced Tuesday morning, is something of a personal victory. The world of professional golf has traditionally sought to avoid controversy, and Trump, a golf fanatic, represents a lot of controversy. Following his 2015 announcement that he was running for president, the PGA Tour began stepping back from Trump—shifting a tournament from his Miami course to Mexico. After the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the organizers of several of the major golf tournaments made it clear that Trump’s properties would never again host their prestigious events.
Trump fought back, quickly cozying up to LIV Golf, a renegade league launched last year. LIV, which is owned by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, was shunned by the mainstream professional golf community. It eagerly embraced Trump, who hosted several LIV events at his properties and used social media to promote the new organization—which focused on paying high-profile players exorbitant amounts and dumping some of golf’s more traditional rules (like the requirement that players wear pants).