Blog

Dusek: LIV Golf is wreaking havoc on equipment endorsement deals. 

Dusek: LIV Golf is wreaking havoc on equipment endorsement deals. 

More than a century before Instagram Reels, Twitter takeovers and highly-polished YouTube videos started being made, Harry Vardon signed a deal with Spalding. The company paid him to tour the United States and play scores of exhibition matches using the brand new Vardon Flyer golf ball. That made Vardon, the winner of six British Opens, one of the first golf influencers.

In the years after he inked that deal in 1900, pros from Gene Sarazen to Jack Nicklaus to Joaquín Niemann have been signing lucrative sponsorship agreements with golf equipment companies.

The model for endorsement deals has not changed much since Vardon’s day. Companies pay players and supply them with equipment and technical assistance in exchange for the right to use their name, image and likeness in advertisements and commercials.

Players also agree to be involved in photo shoots, be available for a negotiated number of corporate functions and wear the brand’s logo on their bag, hat or shirt. Incentive clauses for things like winning a PGA Tour event, a major championship, finishing first on tour in driving distance and making a Ryder Cup team are also common.

Fulfilling the contracts is usually easy for pros because they just need to play golf, smile, shake a few hands and stay out of trouble, but with the emergence of the LIV Series, brands are being forced to reevaluate their marketing plans and reassess the value of players.

According to several brand insiders that Golfweek has spoken with, all of whom insisted on anonymity, golfers are typically obligated to compete in at least 15 to 18 PGA Tour events in a season to fulfill their endorsement contracts. If the player gets hurt, brands make accommodations and adjustments.

For elite players, reaching that threshold is easy. Last season, competing in the four major championships, the Players Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, then at Rivera, Bay Hill, the Memorial and the three FedEx Cup playoff events would get you to 12 tournaments. Sprinkle in a few events in preparation for the majors and you’re set.

However, the PGA Tour indefinitely suspended golfers who decided to play in LIV Series events. Many high-profile (and high-priced) players who participated in the first LIV Series failed to play in 15 PGA Tour events last season.

Kevin Na played 14 PGA Tour events last season, Sergio Garcia played 13 and Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen each played 12. Lee Westwood played in 10, Bryson DeChambeau (who was injured for part of the year) played in nine, while Phil Mickelson played six.

Now, imagine you are the CEO or the head of marketing for an equipment maker. What would you do if a player who was contractually obligated to compete in 15 PGA Tour events, and who did not sustain an injury, signed with LIV Golf, knowing he’d be suspended, and only played 11 or 12? Are you holding the player in breach of contract and not paying him, maybe pro-rating his payment based on how much he did play? Or just paying out the whole thing?

“If you pro-rate, you risk pissing off the player or the agent and creating some bad blood,” said one insider. “And if there is a deal struck between LIV and the PGA Tour and golfers get to do both at some point in the future, you may have burned a bridge with a star.”

Clubs, balls, and equipment have been flying off the shelves over the last few years, so as lucrative as some endorsement deals are for star players, brands may pay golfers their full contract payment even if they failed to play enough.

Read More On This Article

Article By: 
 
Date Published: October 3rd, 2022
 

Scottie Scheffler voted 2022 PGA Tour Player of the Year over Rory McIlroy after four-win season

Well past the midway point of the 2022 season, Scottie Scheffler was on an absolute heater. While that victory pace may have cooled over the final couple months, Scheffler capped a dream season Saturday by capturing the 2022 PGA Tour Player of the Year award. Scheffler, 26, received the nod from his peers -- the award is voted on by other PGA Tour players -- over Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith after picking up four wins at tournaments that ranked among the top 12 worldwide in strength of field.

Scheffler opened with wins at the Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before acquiring his first career major championship victory at the Masters. In winning four tournaments across six starts, Scheffler became the top-ranked golfer in the world and ended the season with more money earned on the PGA Tour across a single season than any golfer in history ($14.05 million). Among other earnings, he also picked up $5.75 million in FedEx Cup bonus funds and $4 million from the Comcast Business Tour Top 10 to capture a grand total of $24.8 million this season.

Receiving 89% of the votes over McIlroy and Smith, his award was announced Saturday on ESPN's "College GameDay." Scheffler, a former golfer at Texas, was honored ahead of the Longhorns' Week 2 college football game against No. 1 Alabama.

McIlroy, a three-time winner of this award, was also a three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season with his victories coming at the CJ Cup last fall and then over the summer at the RBC Canadian Open in June and in dramatic fashion to conclude the season at the Tour Championship where he topped Scheffler to pocket $18 million. That final win at a huge-money event felt like a culmination of McIlroy's incredible season, one in which he posted top-eight finishes at all four majors including the Masters (2nd), PGA Championship (8th), U.S. Open (T5) and Open Championship (3rd). He ended the year with $28 million more in his bank account between tournament earnings, FedEx Cup bonuses and the Comcast Business Top 10 payout.

"Scottie Scheffler is going to win the Player of the Year," said McIlroy after beating him at the Tour Championship. "There's no doubt about that. You know, it would have been fitting for him to end his breakout season with a FedEx Cup title. I think he ... deserves this maybe more than I deserve it. He played an unbelievable season. He didn't have his best stuff today, and I played well and took advantage of that.

Read more on this article!


 

Article By: By 

Date Published: Sep 10, 2022 

Link to Article

On Sunday, LIV Golf delivered the chaotic finish it has been promising

On Sunday, LIV Golf delivered the chaotic finish it has been promising

It’s taken months for LIV Golf to deliver what it has long promised to bring to the golf world, but it finally arrived Sunday: the first LIV Golf playoff, a highlight for one of the best golfers in the world and, before that, an hour of absolutely chaotic golf. 

Thanks to its everyone-on-the-course-at-once nature, the ending of LIV Golf’s Boston Invitational saw a host of its best players sprinting to the finish. There was Cameron Smith, the No. 2 player in the world and perhaps the most polarizing LIV commit to date. There was Dustin Johnson, two-time major winner and the biggest fish to join at its launch. There was Lee Westwood carding the best round of his season, and Anirban Lahiri nearly making eagle to win the event and Joaquin Niemann, another recent signee, trying to finish what he started. All around them were thousands of lubricated fans, creating a boisterous setting at The International Golf Club. Mix it all up in a blender, and that’s exactly what LIV wants to serve at its cookouts.

It was Lahiri who who locked up a score of 15 under first, about 10 minutes before the others. Then came Niemann, who preceded Johnson by only a couple minutes. When Johnson got up and down for a par to earn his spot in the playoff, it figured to be a lengthy one that dragged into the night. They’d play the par-5 18th as many times as necessary to crown a champion. 

Just seconds later, at least according to the TV broadcast, Westwood stood over his par putt on the 3rd hole, in a completely different part of the course, and for the first time the balance of a tournament hung in the air somewhere other than the 18th hole. Deeply important shots, just seconds apart, adding immediate context to this sprinting format. It’s unlike pro golf as we’ve known it, and it’s still imperfect. You weren’t always sure what hole was a par-4 or a par-5, and it isn’t always obvious whether it was a putt for birdie or a par-saver, but the goods are being served constantly. Do you like this golfy chaos? That’s up to you. 

Rich wasn’t speaking for for LIV Golf, as he was quickly ushered off the broadcast, nor the PGA Tour, which was off this week before a new season begins later this month. But he did seem to represent the fans at the Boston event. They were as loud and discordant as any LIV event we’ve seen thus far. That’s LIV’s motto: Golf, but Louder. Do you like it? That’s up to you.

The three-man playoff lasted only a few more shots, which was probably best for all. Niemann failed to give himself a birdie chance, and though Lahiri had a 3-foot birdie attempt waiting for him, he didn’t even get the chance to try it. Johnson took that away when he rammed in a 40-foot bomb for eagle. It smashed into the back of the cup, popped up and then dropped into the jar. Playoff over. The fans and the announcers went wild. It doesn’t matter what tour that happens on — most everyone is going to love it.

Lahiri couldn’t be angry. Nor could Niemann. They both smiled and dapped up DJ. They were both also set to make more money than they ever have before. 

To this point, LIV Golf finishes have exclusively been about that one thing: cash. Charl Schwartzel made a quiet bogey in London to finish a wire-to-wire victory in the inaugural event. The focus afterward largely was on his winnings. Branden Grace won by two in Portland, and it never really felt that close. Henrik Stenson won the New Jersey iteration of LIV Golf by two as well. There seemingly were no nervy shots along the way, only Stenson preparing a jab for the cameras about having his Ryder Cup captaincy taken from him. Through three events, the talk was mostly about the money, little about the shots, even less about the courses and holes the winning was happening on. That flipped, if only slightly, Sunday night in Massachusetts. 

Do you like it? That’s up to you. The next LIV event is just 12 days from now.

 

 


Article By: BY: SEAN ZAK (GOLF.COM EDITOR)

Date Posted: SEPTEMBER 4, 2022

Reference: Article Link

Labor Day Scramble

Shield Crest Is Excited To Announce Our Labor Day Scramble!

This event will be held on September 5th and will be a 9 AM shotgun start!

Event Cost: 

$30 MEMBERS

$60 FOR NON-MEMBERS

INCLUDES LUNCH

PLEASE CALL US TO SIGN UP AT

541.884.1493 

Shield Crest Labor Day Scramble Social


 

Who's In? Who's Out?

Who's in, who's out of the FedEx Cup top 30 and the Tour Championship

 

When Sahith Theegala finished his final round at the BMW Championship, he was projected to qualify as one of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup points standings. But there were too many players still on the course for him to celebrate.

“It would mean the world to make the Tour Championship and stand along 29 of the other best golfers in the world,” he said.

“A dream season,” is how Theegala, who a year ago was sweating out getting into the Korn Ferry Tour Finals when he boarded a plane for Boise not knowing whether he was in the field.

He entered Sunday sitting on the bubble and knowing what he had to do. That sort of pressure can do funny things to some golfers.

“I was like, I’m in 30th place out of 70 people, and I’m as nervous as if I were near the lead,” he said. “I had a little bit of the shakes warming up. I couldn’t hold my hands still.”

Theegala made birdie at the first hole to settle the nerves temporarily, but as he put it, his round was “a wild ride.”

He was one over for the day through 11 holes when strung together three straight birdies and then drained a 37-foot birdie at 17. Still, he’d hit only 1 of 14 fairways all day, dead last in the field, and tried something different, anything to find a fairway.

“I don’t know why I tried to hit a draw. My natural shot is a cut. Tried to draw a 5-wood, and it started 20 yards right of my target and then cut, so I hit it 50 right,” Theegala said.

He caught a good lie in order to slice one up near the green, but left himself a 7-foot par putt that was worth at least $500,000 – last place money next week when the rich get richer.

“That was such a grind,” he said after drilling the putt to shoot 3-under 68 and finish T-15. 

His “dream season” continues another week as he improved to No. 28 in the FedEx Cup points standings, one of two rookies along with Cameron Young to make it to Atlanta and East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship.

“It’s another step for me to feel like I really belong because I still don’t feel like I’m really there at the top of the game,” he said.

Next week, he’ll be alongside 29 of the best in the world.

Here’s a look at others who are in the field at the Tour Championship and those who aren’t:

Scott Stallings – IN

K.H. Lee – IN

Adam Scott – IN

Aaron Wise – IN

Shane Lowry – OUT

Trey Mullinax – OUT


By: 

Link to article

August 21, 2022

 
  • 1
  • 2
Close