Jon Rahm ‘not allowed’ to make public appearances amid stunning LIV Golf move

Jon Rahm ‘not allowed’ to make public appearances amid stunning LIV Golf move

Jon Rahm’s move to LIV Golf has made him and his family incredibly wealthy for generations, but it has also come at a cost.

The two-time major champion, who doubles as one of the best orators in the sport, is not allowed to make public appearances for the time being, according to a report from Reuters.

“I am under very strict instructions not to do public events, which I have imposed on myself a little bit for myself, and for the change I have given to the world of golf in the last week,” Rahm said.

“There will be nothing until February. I’m not allowed to.”

The 2024 LIV Golf season kicks off during the first weekend of February, so until then, Rahm will have to lay low.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund for the authoritarian Saudi Arabian Kingdom, has bankrolled LIV Golf since its inception in 2022. The PIF has signed numerous major champions, including Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Cameron Smith. The fund has spent north of $1 billion creating the league, which has since become a stern rival of the PGA Tour and altered the structure of men’s professional golf.

It reportedly signed Rahm for over $400 million to join LIV Golf, perhaps the most significant move during golf’s civil war.

Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, The 151st Open

Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson speak during a practice round ahead of The 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
Photo by Stuart Kerr/Getty Images

Yet, Rahm, currently the third-ranked player in the world, has also been a voice of reason for the past few years, relaying his honest opinions on various topics. He has openly discussed—and provided excellent perspectives about Mickelson’s decision to join LIV, the Ryder Cup, and how the PGA Tour should have better bathroom access for players, among many other topics.

However, Rahm’s new restricted approach may be self-imposed and not at the behest of LIV Golf, according to Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated. Regardless, some LIV Golfers must have interviews pre-approved.

Rahm made these comments about his public appearances—or lack thereof—in Bilbao, Spain, near his hometown of Barrika. He was surprised to find so many television cameras and journalists at the Sociedad Bilbaina, the club that honored Rahm with the ‘Dama Bilbaina 2023’ award for his excellence in golf.

“I didn’t think there would be any cameras and that it would be a bit more intimate,” Rahm admitted.

Perhaps Rahm is indeed looking after himself. After all, his departure to LIV Golf sent shockwaves around the golfing world, so maybe he wants a break from media coverage. And yet, on the flip side, there is a strong chance someone above Rahm is calling all the shots.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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