LIV Golf’s Amateurish Production

LIV, Golf, London, (Photo by Joe Maher/LIV Golf/Getty Images)
LIV, Golf, London, (Photo by Joe Maher/LIV Golf/Getty Images) /

LIV Golf debuted Thursday and flopped in at least one major area.

An unbelievable four hours after the final putt on the opening day of the team/individual competition at Centurion in London, it was still impossible to view an actual leaderboard anywhere, including on LIV Golf’s own website.

All performance-related data was also absent, making it impossible to make even the most cursory objective assessment of how well the LIV Golf 48-player field actually performed.

The only thing approaching data to be presented by LIV Golf was a list on the tour’s TV feed – repeated in an amateur screen-grab on its Twitter page — of the top couple dozen first-round scores from the 48-player field.  And even then, the “scoreboard” only listed players by a three-letter designation of their name.

Just who was that “S. Vnt” fellow who shot three-under? Turns out that’s Scott Vincent, who plays out of Zimbabwe.

Where did “S. Vnt” make his birdies, or for that matter his bogeys, if any? Some day, if LIV ever posts actual hole-by-hole cards, we may find out…or not.

The opening day performance by the LIV media and stat folks was as amateurish as it gets.

Especially when contrasted with its arch-enemy, the PGA Tour. As it always does, the PGA Tour’s website presented – virtually in real-time – hole-by-hole scoring for all 151 players in the field at the RBC Canadian Open.  That included ShotLink and Strokes Gained data for every player.

Since the ShotLink system rights are held proprietarily by the PGA Tour, nobody ever expected LIV Golf to debut with the kind of elite-level Strokes Gained info we have become used to in PGA Tour events.

But it is not asking too much of organizers as well-heeled as the Saudis to take to the course with something that would at minimum measure the length of drives, the number of fairways hit, or putts required.

None of those things are especially sophisticated from a technological standpoint. The PGA Tour has been measuring average driving distance since 1980. (Since you asked, Dan Pohl led that year at 274.3 yards.)

We got none of that data Thursday from the debut of LIV Golf. The entire TV/website presentation appeared to treat scores as some sort of tangential relevancy.

Perhaps that data will appear at LIV Golf at a later hour Thursday, or possibly Friday.

The television presentation was in many notable respects equally amateurish. If you watched the TV presentation on LIV Golf’s website, you noticed an utter absence of the kind of graphics we have come to take for granted, including such basic “bugs” as the length and par of the hole being shown, or the flight path of drives.

Next. 2022 RBC Canadian Open: Course Breakdown, Projections, and Best Bets. dark

Again, given how much money the organizers purportedly laid out, didn’t anybody think to toss in a few bucks for presentation? Save for the fact that the action was presented in color, it was as if one was watching a replay of an event from the early 1960s.

It’s not too much to ask LIV Golf, if it wishes to be taken seriously, to upgrade its presentation to 21st Century viewer expectations. Or if not that, at least to 20th Century expectations.