LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman is slated to arrive in the nation’s capital Tuesday as part of a push to educate lawmakers about the upstart Saudi-backed league’s vision for pro golf.
About a half-dozen meetings — both individually and in small groups of lawmakers — are planned over Tuesday and Wednesday, a person with knowledge of Norman’s Washington itinerary told Front Office Sports.
Norman is also expected to speak with the Republican Study Committee, a conservative group of comprised of members of the House of Representatives that is headed by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana). Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is also scheduled to talk at the RSC event.
Norman plans to meet with members of the Senate and House from both sides of the aisle during his trip up from his home in Florida.
Norman’s visit appears to be the latest effort for LIV Golf to distance itself from Saudi Arabia, which has committed hundreds of millions from the country’s sovereign wealth fund to challenge the PGA Tour’s dominance.
While it’s not clear what precisely Norman will cover with lawmakers, a source told FOS that the lawsuit LIV Golf filed against the PGR Tour won’t be on the agenda.
Beyond the lawsuit, the Justice Department’s antitrust division is examining whether the PGA Tour has engaged in anti-competitive practices.
“Given the PGA Tour’s attempts to stifle our progress in reimagining the game, we think it’s imperative to educate members on LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts,” LIV Golf spokesperson Jonathan Grella told Politico, the first outlet to report Norman’s trip.
The PGA Tour has spent nearly $200,000 in lobbying efforts in Washington this year already and has spent as much as $380,000 annually since 2015, according to Open Secrets.