We asked you what you thought of LIV Golf last week and our feedback was overwhelmingly opposed to the new tour. This week we wanted to share some numbers obtained by the Harris Poll in advance of LIV Golf's American debut at Pumpkin Ridge outside Portland, Oregon. 8 of the world's top 50 golfers will be in the field, lured by the promise of guaranteed pay, bigger purses, and fewer events.
The Harris Poll survey found that while a much larger proportion of respondents were familiar with the PGA Tour than with LIV (80% as opposed to 35%), both golf fans and the population are LIV-curious. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of golf fans and 55% of U.S. adults who both have heard of LIV Golf said that they plan to watch an LIV event this year. Two-thirds of LIV-aware golf fans report already having watched LIV Golf's first event.
Here are three other trends found in the Harris Poll data:
- Younger Americans are more aware of, more interested in and more open to the LIV tour, according to the Harris Poll — and the split is sharp. 40% of those 45 years old and younger are familiar with LIV, as opposed to 35% of the overall population, that figure falls to 27% among those aged 55 and over. And while 55% of U.S. adults familiar with the league plan to watch an LIV event, that number rises to more than 7 in 10 (71%) among those aged 18-34.
- Those aware of LIV Golf's funding sources are nearly evenly split about it (35% oppose the relationship while 36% support it). A majority (52%) of those 45 and younger are OK with the arrangement, while those aged 55 and older report far more frequently that they disapprove. But by a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans say that professional sports funders' identities have no bearing on whether they watch.
- While younger fans are generally more supportive of LIV, they are also more likely to support the PGA Tour's suspending golfers who join the rival startup. Among golf fans aware of the PGA Tour's suspensions, 45% support the decision. At the same time, half of those aware of the PGA's tradition of awarding prize money only to top performers said that they support the practice, a figure which rises to 54% of both golf fans and those aged 45 and younger.
What this all seems to point to, is a genuine battle for eyeballs and golfers is upon us. The PGA is under duress and the initial response has been swift? Will it be enough? Are we destined for a multi-tour future? Let us know what you think in the comments!