When a golfer hits an errant shot that might bonk an unsuspecting spectator on the head, the proper cry of warning is: “Fore!” But what do they shout when they hit a bad shot that boomerangs and bonks the golfer on the noggin?

Actually, this shot has rarely if ever occurred, so there’s been no need for a warning shout… until now.

This spring, a small group of professional golfers — led by former superstars Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson — decided to turn the game that has made them fabulously rich into an unsporting game of SleazeBall.

They say they want to set up an independent series of global tournaments, called LIV, to compete with the PGA, the Professional Golfers Association. Fine — pro sports should be about top quality, honest competition.

But there’s the rub: LIV is not honest, not a sporting competition, and not even about golf. It’s entirely about money and the most callous kind of greed.

The LIV scam is funded by the brutish petro-royals who ruthlessly rule Saudi Arabia and have made the oil-rich regime a global pariah.

Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince who is the mastermind behind this multibillion-dollar golfing scheme, is the same fellow who ordered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered in 2018. But killing him wasn’t enough. The prince had Khashoggi cut into small pieces, packed in suitcases, and tossed away.

His golf gambit is a blatant case of “sportswashing” — buying the marquee names of a few dozen golfers for a sports spectacle, hoping to distract attention from his government’s depravity. Hitler tried this by staging the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany, but it didn’t wash.

Likewise, the Saudi golf tour won’t wash off the regime’s indelible ugliness. But — fore! — it will boomerang on the money-grubbing golfers selling their once-good names to it.


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Jim Hightower

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.

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