Australian Golf Digest has obtained a copy of the memo LIV Golf Investments CEO Greg Norman sent to agents and players confirming the proposed Super Golf League seeks to challenge the PGA Tour’s ability to ban players.
According to an earlier report by Golf Channel, Norman had informed players he believes such a ban will violate antitrust laws and laid out his case with seven bullet points.
Here’s the memo in full:
Private and Confidential
In response to the PGA Tour’s threats against players of lifetime bans, which the PGA Tour issued during this week’s Genesis Invitational, please find attached our detailed response, which expands on our past discussions. Simply put, your players enjoy the freedom under law to choose how they make a living. In our view and in the eyes of the law, the PGA Tour’s threats are utterly impermissible under competition and other laws.
As you know, at LIV Golf Investments we have made every effort (1) to present a collaborative outlook and communicate our intent with existing professional sanctioning bodies, and (2) to share how our vision and operation will enhance the game at every level and add momentum to golf’s worldwide standing as a leading supporter of charitable causes. It is the PGA Tour’s choice—and not ours—to refuse to entertain constructive dialogue for the betterment of the game and stakeholders across all sectors, particularly players.
We will continue our efforts to respectfully co-exist. However, we will not stay silent in the face of unjust and punitive threats that seek to prevent your clients from pursuing their rightful career opportunities and LIV Golf’s right to compete. Competition is what makes us better and more successful, and your clients are entitled to the benefits of healthy and fair competition for their services. We will not permit the Tour—as the long-standing monopolist over professional golf—to stifle free and fair competition to the detriment of professional golfers and the game itself. For the good of your clients and the great game of golf, we hope you will not as well. Your players should not be encumbered by these outrageous threats.
We have retained noted antitrust lawyers to advise us on these matters. They are available to you and your counsel to provide you with further insights. In this regard, we encourage you to request the PGA Tour provide you with these threats in writing and written opinions of its outside counsel that these bans are legal and enforceable. It would not surprise us if the Tour is unwilling to do so.
Finally, you should know that LIV Golf Investments is on the side of the players. None of us should stand for these egregious acts of bullying by the PGA Tour. We look forward to supplying you with any further information or guidance you might desire.
LIV Golf Investments
CEO & Commissioner
Norman also attached the following bullet points to further explain his case:
One of the provisions in the PGA Tour Player Handbook and Tournament Regulations is that each PGA Tour member acknowledges the commissioner, the tour’s policy board and the appeals committee have the authority to permanently ban a member from playing in a tour co-sponsored, approved or coordinated tournaments if the member violates its regulations.
Legal experts have told Golf Digest that the tour would be within its legal rights to suspend or ban players under current antitrust legislation in the United States.