The First Cut Podcast: Drama encircling the golf world has created angst … and a bit of excitement

USATSI

After six weeks of exhausting chatter about which golfers would move to LIV Golf and which would stay on the PGA Tour — and after all the posturing, rumormongering and straight up lying about that subject — a niggling thought has persisted as it relates to this crossroads of professional golf. Despite all the nonsense and a complete maelstrom of cognitive dissonance, convoluted interconnectivity and childlike branding by sometimes-churlish organizations, a lightbulb went off for me after the US Open.

This is all … kind of fun.

That’s the conversation we had Tuesday on the latest edition of The First Cut podcast. And while there are about 400 caveats to that statement — the most important being it’s paramount not to conflate the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf as one is trying to be a legitimate and the other is not even pretending — the fervor in the game is nevertheless noteworthy.

Though the last two months have been stressful for fans, they had to be compelling for fans. Facts are facts: listenership for podcasts and traffic on websites are up as controversy surrounds the sport.

To put this in the simples terms possible: Are more people paying attention to Brooks Koepka jumping leagues or who is named first alternate at the Travelers Championship?

Obviously the current engine for this drama — whether golfers will move from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf — will not last forever. The level of drama this year is unsustainable. However, it does create interesting talking points.

  • Should the PGA Tour shrink its season?
  • Will team golf play prove to be popular?
  • Can a better path to success be created for young stars?
  • Would sponsors consider paying more for less with bigger names?
  • Is all of this achievable simultaneously?

Let’s dive into our discussion from the latest edition of The First Cut as Jonathan Coachman is joined by Kyle Porter and Mark Immelman. to discuss Brooks Koepka’s move to LIV Golf and preview the Travelers Championship. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.