March 26, 2024

According to a former golf agent, Mark H. McCormack came up with the idea for LIV Golf nearly six decades prior, therefore the concept is not new.


In an interview with Gary Williams of 5 Clubs Golf, Hughes Norton—who was previously Tiger Woods’ agent and the CEO of LIV Golf—made the allegation in an effort to promote the publication of his new book Rainmaker, which provides intimate details about his time spent representing Norman and Woods.


“This, in my opinion, is the biggest revelation in our book,” stated Norton in his opening statement. He went on to describe how, long before Norman opened the circuit in 2022, there was a notion for a tour akin to the limited-field, no-cut LIV Golf.


He declared: “These guys in Britain, or Greg Norman, did not invent LIV, the idea of a smaller tour with a few elite players, not 150 people in the field, with higher prize money, with benefits for players, with a limited schedule so players have more time at home and to focus on the Majors.”


Hughes Norton, a super agent in golf, represented some of the greatest players in the world, such as Tiger and the Shark. Both his book “Rainmaker” and his interview with



Norton then cited McCormack’s 1967 biography of Arnold Palmer as the source of the concept. McCormack created the first world ranking system in golf and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.


As Norton put it: “Mark McCormack. Writer Arnie: Evolution of a Legend, once again two steps ahead of everyone else, wrote about this. We lay out this concept in detail in the book, which Mark came up with in 1964.


Nearly thirty years prior to the establishment of LIV Golf, Norman had been a supporter of a World Golf Tour. At his 1994 Shark Shootout tournament (which would later become the QBE Shootout), he presented players with the concept of a circuit that would include forty of the best players in the game competing in eight high-profile events.



Although Norman had previously rejected the idea of starting a tour like this, Norton recalled the scenario in which Norman disclosed the specifics of his plan and stated that Palmer was not at all sold on the idea.


“Greg made this big pitch to the players,” he went on. “Guys, you do whatever you want but I’ve been through this before,” said Arnold as he got up. “Greg, how many times do you think Jack [Nicklaus], Gary [Player], and I were approached about an idea like this?” Arnold then turned to face Greg. For the benefit of the game and, above all, the Tour, we would never do that.


2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational with Arnold Palmer


Arnold Palmer’s response to Greg Norman’s intentions for the World Golf Tour was detailed by Norton.


“After taking a quick glance around the room, he said, ‘It’s up to you, make up your choice. I don’t care what the rest of you guys do. “I’m not going to give you instructions, but I’m leaving,” he said, turning to leave the room.


With the introduction of LIV Golf, Norman achieved his goal nearly thirty years later. The PGA Tour and its supporter, the Saudi Public Investment Fund, are currently in talks about how the two organizations may cooperate, which is just one way that this action has had a significant impact on the elite game.


Published on March 26th, Rainmaker: Superagent Hughes Norton and the Money-Grab Explosion of Golf from Tiger to LIV and Beyond.

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