Alan Shipnuck, the New York Times bestselling author of Phil, returns with a major new work of insider reporting on the battle for the soul of professional golf between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League.
Over the past two years, professional golf has been at war, and Alan Shipnuck has been our most trusted correspondent on the front lines. Following closely on the heels of his bestselling sensation Phil, Shipnuck turns to the conflict that made Mickelson, and many other top golfers, villainous in the eyes of the public: LIV Golf’s controversial—and belligerent—storming of the professional golf world. (LIV’s unofficial motto, immortalized on hats gifted at a staff party: “F**k ’Em All.”)
In LIV and Let Die, Shipnuck delivers the inside story in real time, with fly-on-the-wall reporting from the yachts where LIV was hatched and within the corridors of power as the PGA Tour flailed to fend off the threat. Shipnuck has traveled seamlessly between both tours—having countless conversations with players, caddies, CEOs, agents, financiers, lawyers, flaks, fans, and Instagramming wives—to deliver a no-holds-barred account of the most chaotic moment in golf history. Anyone who has a stake in professional golf lined up for an interview with Shipnuck—because they knew everyone else was talking to him, too. The disruption to an old, proud sport was largely conducted in the shadows, but LIV and Let Die delivers numerous revelations about what really happened, and why.
Shipnuck’s unparalleled access and award-winning reporting chops provide rich portraits of the brand names at the center of this sprawling tableau: Greg Norman, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jay Monahan, His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Donald Trump, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Dustin (and Paulina!) Johnson, Pat (and Ashley!) Perez, Patrick (and Justine!) Reed, Bryson DeChambeau, Jimmy Dunne, and many more.
Bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf has upended the men’s professional game with vast riches—blatant “sportswashing,” from the mouth of Mickelson himself. Says Brandel Chamblee, “I think the LIV players are in a morally indefensible position, with a willful blindness to the consequences of their action, making them complicit to the ongoing atrocities.” Rory McIlroy said of playing a tournament alongside LIV golfers, “It’s going to be hard for me to stomach.” But the battle to thwart LIV revealed a deeper struggle within the game. “The Seminole guys, the Augusta National guys, they’re used to having all the power in the golf world,” says LIV’s Peter Uihlein. “They don’t like to be challenged. They’re not used to it.”
The bitter feuding (and trolling) between the PGA loyalists and the LIV camp made the battle between the tours deeply personal—but for the top leaders of the two tours it was strictly business, and in a series of secret meetings they reshaped the future of the sport. LIV and Let Die provides the previously unknown background and crucial context to understand the armistice between the tours that shocked the world in June 2023.
Long known as the most fearless writer on the golf beat, Shipnuck has delivered another hotly anticipated book packed with juicy nuggets and in-the-room-where-it-happened action...think Bob Woodward moonlighting on the sports desk. LIV and Let Die is the definitive account of the biggest (non-Tiger) golf story this century and a lively page-turner that in places reads like a spy thriller.
LIV lives on.
Excellent book. Better than Phil, although it was also good. Interesting to learn about Saudi Arabia and the amount of greed and hypocrisy among professional golfers.
I came away with more respect for LIV than the PGA Tour. At least LIV has a plan.
Waste of Time and Money
I primarily read nonfiction about current and historical events. As a golfer I thought this would give me some additional insights into professional golf and its structure. Instead it seems the author has nothing but axes to grind. He seems to hate everyone from Greg Norman to Jack Nicklaus in golf. Somehow he had to bring President Trump into the book. Nothing but disgruntled musings. I have better written and interesting books to read. Skip this book that doesn’t rise to the level of trash.