A few months ago the very future of LIV Golf was questioned, now the talk is of players being traded courtesy of a transfer window. A report in Sports Illustrated explains that the details remain unclear but it will likely form a different aspect to how LIV will look in the 2024 season.
This was always the plan but, given the seismic nature of this golfing season and trying to coordinate its first full season, it's taken time to sort but that will all change next year.
Throughout this season the key message has been to push the team element of LIV Golf, with daily reports headlining the team side of things rather than the individual, and trades will now spice things up even further.
The most obvious fall-out between team members has been captain Brooks Koepka and Matthew Wolff, both members of Smash GC.
Koepka said of Wolff after he withdrew midway through a tournament. “When you quit on your round, you give up and stuff like that, that’s not competing. I’m not a big fan of that.
"It’s very tough to have a team dynamic when you’ve got one guy that won’t work, one guy is not going to give any effort, he’s going to quit on the course, break clubs, gets down, bad body language, it’s very tough. I’ve basically given up on him. A lot of talent, but I mean the talent is wasted.”
Wolff replied that the comments were 'beyond disappointing' and it's certain that he will be on his way to another team at the end of the season.
The Range Goats captain Bubba Watson explained that personal relationships, or lack of them, would likely be the main reason behind players switching sides.
“It's gonna be a reason of not getting along. This guy can help us or I'm buddies with this guy, or all the team's friends with this guy.”
Crushers GC captain Bryson DeChambeau added: “I can't speak for everyone but what I can say is that if it comes to the time to where someone's not performing well, and it's been enough time to try and get given that opportunity to play well and it's not been done, I will make a decision based on that.”
Along with the obvious..
“It'd be money and an opportunity to be a part of something new, unique and special. And another opportunity to impact the game of golf in a unique way that's never been done before.”
In the off season Talor Gooch left the all-conquering 4 Aces to join the Range Goats and Peter Uihlein left Smash to fill Gooch's place after an impressive debut season and Uihlein believes that this is all to be expected.
“It's no different than any other sport, right? Baseball, football, basketball, guys get traded (though) you obviously build a rapport with your squad. But at the end of the day, if your franchise thinks they can do better, then they have to make hard decisions, and it's just business.
“It's everything, it could be monetary, it could be travel, it could be anything. There's a lot that one team can give you that another team potentially can’t. The RangeGoats might have a little bit more to offer than the Cleeks right now just based on the value of the franchise.”
Co-captain Ian Poulter, whose Majesticks franchise has signed a sponsorship deal with crypto exchange OKX, won't be getting involved in any transfers though he could see the benefits to it.
“We are in a very fortunate position to have three very senior players that are co-captains and we've signed Sam Horsfield, who we know extremely well, who's an incredible talent in the game of golf. So for us, it was about making sure we had stability in there. We didn't want the volatility of having players dropping off and the possible trade aspect.
“Some teams are already in the position where they know they're going to need to either strengthen their team or they may have a couple of members that are playing this year that won't play next year. They'll be looking to work out who's available, who's coming in, who they may be able to trade from another team so there's quite a lot of excitement coming within the LIV teams between now and the end of the season, and it's different.
"For the fans, it gives a really great dynamic into a sport that has never seen that before.”