Apr 18, 2024 3 min read

Live Nation is going to show you just how entertaining golf can be. No, really. Prepare yourselves...

Isn’t golf great? We all love a bit of golf. Who doesn’t? Where else can you enjoy power, entertainment and a walk with lots of rests? It really is the perfect sport. Vehemently pro-golf company Live Nation has now teamed up with golfing body The R&A to take The Women’s Open “to the next level”

Live Nation is going to show you just how entertaining golf can be. No, really. Prepare yourselves...

What’s the one thing that you think of when you think of music? If the answer wasn’t “golf” then what’s actually wrong with you? 

Golf and music go so well together: the silence of the green, the gentle thwack of stick and ball, the ever-so-genteel golf clap. Polyester slacks, diamond patterned sweaters. All of these things sit perfectly alongside the energy of a crowd, a mosh pit and 50,000 people screaming their favourite lyrics wildly off key, revelling in sweat-soaked glory.

If you don’t think golf and music go together like bread and butter then you probably need your head checked.

Forget that golf is the sport of choice of comfortably proportioned old men who can huff and puff their way through eighteen holes. Forget that it’s the sport of choice of Donald Trump, possibly the best advert ever for what happens to you if you care more about golf than anything else.

Golf is also the sport of POWER, and those comfortably proportioned old men run the music business. Who can forget Eddy Cue and Irving Azoff’s golf-inspired bromance? And, of course, Live Nation Chair Greg Maffei is a keen fan of waggling his club around, often snapped out and about on the golf course.

Presumably, this is why Live Nation - possibly keen to distract from an apparent looming DOJ antitrust investigation - has teamed up with The R&A to “take one of golf’s most entertaining championships to the next level”. For those less fluent in the vernacular of golf, The R&A is one of golf’s most august bodies, born out of The Royal And Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and which oversees The Open, the golf world’s biggest men-only sticks-and-balls face-off.

The “most entertaining” of championships, central to Live Nation’s interest, is The Women’s Open golf championship - though quite why the Women’s championship is considered more “entertaining” than the men-only Open is not entirely clear from the frothy press release provided. That’s probably a question best not contemplated too closely. 

Golf, like many sports, has a long and rich history of misogyny where female athletes have long been subject to everyday sexism - a point recently illustrated when professional golfer Georgia Ball had to fend off unsolicited “swing advice” from a male golfer, captured in a viral TikTok video

But wait! The Women’s Open is PURE ENTERTAINMENT! Last year’s event had a fan festival village and “non-stop entertainment for attendee’s alongside women’s golf at the most elite level”. This year’s event will ramp this entertainment up even further by “integrating live music performances” into things. Quite what this will look like is currently somewhat fuzzy. A Live Nation spokesperson said that the new partnership will see that “non-stop entertainment” get even more non-stop, with “more entertainment and performance all day across the weekend in the Fan Village”.

Hopefully that could include choice renditions of favourite golf-related songs, like Glen Everhart’s ‘The One Putt Strutt’ or ‘Trouble In The Gorse’. Indeed, perhaps all play could stop at the ninth tee for a tribute rendition of Caravan’s ‘Golf Girl’, which is exactly the sort of song that you’d imagine someone singing about golf might sing. 

With Caravan still playing live shows it is to be hoped that Live Nation would see the value in snapping them up for some golf-appropriate entertainment. Whether or not that will happen, only time will tell. 

One thing is certain though, and that is that golf is such a core part of Live Nation’s culture that its code of conduct makes specific reference to what you should do if you’re offered a gift of golf clubs. I’ve never been offered a set of golf clubs as a gift, so clearly I’m moving in the wrong circles. Or, perhaps, the right ones.

Either way, the TLDR of Live Nation’s code of conduct is that it’s fine to accept a gift of golf clubs, but only if they are less than $500. That is a situation that, it would seem, Live Nation finds unlikely, saying that the unlikely Live Nation staffer would “most likely not” be allowed to keep the golf clubs as “unfortunately” the code of conduct means that “only gifts of nominal value may be accepted”.

Presumably in Live Nation world you don’t expect to be gifted a $439 set of golf clubs from CostCo. This is, after all, a company whose CEO legendarily said that Live Nation was part of an $8 billion industry adding “that’s like cocaine money”, and compared the Taylor Swift ticketing-debacle to a robbery at a Prada store.

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