PGA/LIV Meeting: Tracking the Planes

PGA/LIV Meeting: Tracking the Planes
Planes closely associated with Saudi's PIF making their way towards the US on 3/17/24 ahead of a joint meeting with PGA officials for a potential LIV/PGA merger

In the coming hours, the golfing world anticipates learning more about a private meeting between officials from the PGA Tour and representatives of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour. Approximately nine months ago, a surprising joint announcement was made by PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, head of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). This announcement revealed an interest in exploring a partnership between the two tours. Since this declaration, the PGA Tour has received an investment from the US-based Strategic Sports Group (SSG), though specifics remain sparse. A critical meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, between representatives from the PGA and LIV.

In the wee hours of Sunday, March 17, 2024, at about 3:30am, curiosity got the better of me, and I found myself checking the flight paths for any noteworthy developments before the scheduled meeting. To my surprise, I noticed two planes, N650XA and N651XA, both associated with LIV Golf and the Public Investment Fund (PIF), making their way towards North America. Although these aircraft are registered in the US, they are stationed in Saudi Arabia and are part of the fleet belonging to Saudi Aramco.

N650XA - the plane most closely associated with Yasir himself and the one I'd be most confident he is aboard - started the trek yesterday from Saudi Arabia. It made a short layover for fuel at Shannon airport in Ireland, and is now continuing onward to Houston, TX to KIAH. The other plane, N651XA began near Egypt and had a short layover in Greece and is now en route to Nassau, Bahamas. The only thing to note there, most likely unrelated, is that Tiger Woods' yacht Privacy is also in Nassau right now.

I will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide an update on any additional aircraft of interest heading towards northeastern Florida in preparation for Monday morning's meeting.