LIV Golf, the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway series, has accelerated its plans to expand following its inaugural season by announcing a 14-tournament league starting in 2023.
The announcement is set to cause further disruption to the sport after LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman had previously said that only 10 events would be held in 2023 before expanding to 14 in 2024.
The confirmation comes ahead of the next LIV Golf event at Bedminster, New Jersey this weekend, the third of eight to be played this year.
While a rotating cast of players have featured in LIV Golf’s two opening events, due to new recruits subsequently joining the breakaway, the announcement added the new league would feature “48 players and 12 established team franchises”.
Although the full schedule has yet to be announced, LIV Golf also revealed plans to host events in Australia and the Latin Americas, adding to existing tournaments in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.
“LIV Golf’s expanding global platform will add a new dimension to the golf ecosystem as we know it, one that provides an opportunity for players and fans around the world to help maximise our beloved sport’s true potential,” Norman said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Our franchise model will bring new energy and excitement to fans from all corners of the world, establishing a league of teams to connect and grow with.”
Players contracted to LIV Golf will also compete in International Series events on the Asian Tour as a way to gain vital world ranking points, a factor seemingly at odds with claims from some players that they joined LIV in order to play less golf and spend more time with their families.
Speaking during the Open Championship at St Andrews, new recruit Paul Casey said: “There’s a lot of discussion, a lot of WhatsApp chat group feeds going around. I’m not part of most of them.
“I think the discussion was if guys turn up en masse, then it lifts the world ranking points. So if they’re going to go play an Asian Tour event, they all go together.”
The full list of events will be announced at a later date and, according to a press release, “will not compete with the Majors, international team events or heritage events”.
Additional reporting by PA