LIV Golf made a lot of professional golfers an offer they couldn’t refuse.
However, it turns out that those massive contracts came with some pretty shocking fine print that will make it pretty impossible for any of them to ever opt out.
According to Alex Miceli of Sports Illustrated, if a LIV player wants to break their contract for any reason, the penalty they will have to pay is astronomical. While the specifics depend on the contract, some of the deals will require the golfer to pay back as much as four times their signing bonus in order to leave.
“LIV Golf maintains that some of its players still want to play on the PGA Tour,” wrote Miceli. “But with the exception of playing a one-off event in a player’s hometown or somewhere they have had success; many LIV golfers seem content to play their 14 plus majors and call it a season.
“None want to play a full season on the PGA Tour, which is good because their LIV contracts, while not prohibiting them from playing a full schedule on another tour, does force them to honor their commitment to LIV, and if for some reason they wanted to leave LIV, the penalty clause is two, three or four times their signing bonus to break their agreement.
“This penalty clause effectively keeps the players part of the LIV stable until the contract expires after the 2025 season.”
NEW: if a LIV player wants to break their contract, the penalty is 2x-4x their signing bonus, per @AlexMiceli.
If Brooks Koepka received $100m as reported, that could mean up to a $400 million penalty if he wanted to leave.
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— John Nucci (@JNucci23) March 28, 2023
For example, if Brooks Koepka actually did receive $100 million to join LIV, as was reported, he would have to pay $400 million in order to leave. Koepka has said in recent days that he is very happy with his deal in spite of reports that he might have “buyer’s remorse.”