The series has drawn attention to its origins: it is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The country’s human rights record has made it a magnet for criticism.
PORTLAND, Ore. — As organizers of a controversial Saudi government-backed golf tournament slated for Oregon declined to answer questions about the fabric of the event, they revealed an array of activities designed to attract families, veterans and teachers.
LIV Golf has further confirmed that some of the biggest names in the sport – Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau – will take part in the tournament, which will take place from June 30 to July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains.
Series LIV has drawn attention to its origins: it is backed by the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The country’s human rights record, which includes the murder of a journalist and the question of whether authorities helped a driver accused of hit and run to leave Portland before his trial, has made it a pole attraction for critics.
RELATED: Senator Ron Wyden urges Pumpkin Ridge golfers to consider Saudi government’s human rights abuses
Many have called the tour “sportswashing,” which refers to events designed to distract from a country’s questionable policies and other wrongdoings.
The Portland Business Journal had reached out to golf league organizers LIV for comment on a story that ran June 22. The group responded to PBJ Thursday by passing on the opportunity to explain how the event landed in Pumpkin Ridge, its potential economic impact. about the region and reactions to the LIV event.
The LIV series, which hopes to rival the PGA Tour by offering giant bonuses and tournament payouts, has drawn criticism from many PGA golfers.
RELATED: Despite Growing Backlash, Controversial Saudi-Backed Golf Tournament Comes to Oregon
LIV Golf has detailed a number of activities that will take place at Pumpkin Ridge. The festivities include:
- An interactive “Fan Village”, described as “an immersive zone featuring a food festival atmosphere with popular food and drink from the region.
- Within the Fan Village, a “Kids Zone” that “will engage youngsters with children’s entertainers, face painting, soft play equipment for climbing, mini-golf challenges and educational activations based on STEM lessons”.
- A “Golf Performance Center” with professional coaches who will offer advice on chipping and putting.
- The “metaverse tent”, for gamers.
- A fireworks display after the end of the game on Saturday evening.
The Portland Business Journal has more details.