I'm curious why you think the situation with independent contractors on Tour is unique?
I've seen similar in my 20+ years in the tech biz. Independent contractors are hired to work for a firm, they sign an agreement that they won't work for anyone else (in a related field) until the contract is over/ended. Very common.
I've even heard of construction contracts for high profile jobs who are restricted to working on that project until completion...
In general, as long as two parties agree to terms and the work/service is legal, I would consider it binding
I donít know enough about contract law to answer, and donít pretend to know if the status of Tour players as independent contractors is in any way different from any other industry. I do know that from the beginning of this, litigation has been viewed as inevitable.
My point was that courts often take a dim view of lawsuits over bylaws when the suit is brought by a party who joined an organization voluntarily, and agreed to those bylaws as part of the joining process AND is free to leave at any time.
A good example of this is the NCAA, which is a voluntary non-profit that member institutions join voluntarily, and are free to leave at any time. (State high school athletic associations, fwiw, are typically the same.) Suits by members of such organizations typically donít get far. The players are independent contractors who joined the Tour voluntarily, and are completely free to walk away at any moment. (That the door will lock behind them is another issue, yet to be resolved.)
At the same time, we have a long history of courts also not being tolerant of restraint of trade, which is a likely argument by the players, and a good one. I think thatís why so many people were surprised when the Tour announced that there would be NO waivers for the Saudi Tour events. That said, Iím guessing the Tour has really really good attorneys, and must think they are on solid legal ground.
It will be interesting, lengthy, and expensive.