Tickets are now on sale for the LIV Golf Invitational, but will traditional golf fans be in attendance? George Cooper asked some at the British Masters
Speculation and controversy is continuing to surround the newly formed LIV Golf Invitational, with a series of players including Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and even Robert Garrigus confirming their intentions to play in the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway series.
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But aside from backlash aimed at the competition’s potential playing participants, the rather extortionate ticket prices have also sparked bemusement in the golfing world.
As per the LIV Golf website, prices for the league’s inaugural event at Centurion in June will set fans back just shy of £70 for a day’s admission.
For context, day tickets for other events in the UK, including the British Masters at The Belfry, Scottish Open at Renaissance, and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, range between £25 and £50 across all four tournament days.
So as I was at The Belfry, I decided to ask the fans if they would be willing to cough up the cash in return for watching top-level action on their doorstep.
A few have absolutely no interest whatsoever…
“I don’t mind paying that much to watch The Open. But if it’s more than The Open, you can forget it. It’s not the best field to go and watch golf.”David, Nottingham
“Well I will not be going. That is extortionate. Ridiculously steep. We’ve only paid £30 for today!”Jake, Rugby
“Who is going to pay £70 to see a lacklustre field that is equivalent to a qualifying event or a senior’s league?”Larne, Southampton
“£70! To watch Garrigus? I live 10 minutes down the road from Centurion and I can tell you it’s not worth £70. The reality is it’ll die a death pretty quickly anyway.”Chris, Redbourn
But it seems not every fan has been put off by the prices, with a few admitting that the curiosity surrounding the breakaway league has sparked their interest…
“I would be prepared to pay that. If there’s going to be big names there, why not. I wouldn’t be put off by the links to Saudi, for me it’s purely a golf thing.”Nick, Nottingham
“I’m going out of pure interest. It might be the only time in our lives that an event like this happens, so why not go to the first one? I’m interested in the golf as a fan.”Joe, Salisbury
For many, the reluctance to pay the minimum entry fee simply comes down to the quality and quantity of golfers Greg Norman has managed to entice, rather than what LIV Golf stands for.
So far, only 15 of the world’s top 100 have reportedly registered their interest in the series, but it seems if more high-profile players were to sign up, a lot of fans would have no problem paying the hefty prices to watch at Centurion in June…
“If Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were there then of course I’d pay it. I don’t agree with it, but golf isn’t the first sport to do it. Formula 1 has done it, football has done it, there’s not many sports that haven’t.”Lee, Birmingham
“If all of the top players were going then £70 isn’t too bad. It’s more a case of who’s going to be there rather than the principle. For £70 you’d want a decent field.”Tom, Rugby
“If they can attract the very top players then maybe I would go, but they’re probably not going to.”Dan, Nottingham
Other fans I spoke to at The Belfry stood firmly on the side of morality, insisting they would not be attending Centurion even if ticket prices were significantly cheaper, or if the majority of the world’s best were playing…
“I wouldn’t go because of the principle. It’s all about money and there’s enough money in golf anyway. I simply don’t agree with it. Even if Tiger Woods was playing I wouldn’t go. I just think it’s greed.”Ashor, Warwick
“I won’t be going. As a concept it’s not a good idea. It’s really divisive. The justification that because other sports do it golf can do it, that’s just wrong.”Euan, Walmley
But this could all be moot after the PGA Tour decided to deny permission for its members to compete in the LIV Golf series, which will feature seven individual events across four countries including England and the United States, as well as a team championship.
Will you be attending LIV Golf Invitational?
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