According to a report, the Wall Street Journal has reviewed a LIV Golf draft contract offered to players in order for them to join the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. While it’s unclear whether the terms of the draft are included in other LIV contracts, the report provides a brief peek behind the heavily guarded curtain.
The draft contract did not include mention of the hundreds of millions of dollars that players have reportedly received, like $200 million for Phil Mickelson and $125 million for Bryson DeChambeau, with the Journal reporting that a separate rider specific to players included details about the money.
The following “unusual provisions” were included in the Journal’s reviewed draft contract:
Players are awarded $1 million for winning a major championship
Players must wear LIV Golf apparel (as seen with Patrick Reed at the British Open)
Players are not allowed to give interviews without approval
Players are to help with recruiting other players to join LIV Golf
Players must receive “approval for most of the logos they wear and branded products, ‘like coffee mugs,’ that they use at events”
The Journal also noted that the draft contract was, at times, comparable to what players dealt with as PGA Tour members, saying “the deal is structured with the players as independent contractors. They also broadly sign away their media rights from LIV events.”
Ironically, one of Mickelson’s biggest gripes with the Tour was how they handle media rights.
“LIV Golf, as a start-up, is proud to offer our golfers competitive contracts,” a LIV spokesman said in a statement to the Journal. “Our future is bright and we continue to be excited by the player and fan response.”
Mum has been the word when it comes to LIV Golf contracts, but that may soon change. Last week, three suspended PGA Tour players – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford – lost a ruling that would have allowed them to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The players were suspended for competing in LIV Golf events. Contracts were submitted under seal to be used for last week’s hearing, and according to the Journal, a federal judge is expected to rule on a motion by the Tour to unseal those contracts this week.
In other legal action, 10 players have sued the Tour over their suspensions, while the United States Department of Justice is investigating the Tour for potential antitrust violations.