LIV Golf has cleaved men’s professional golf like no other force since the 1960s.

The new league, largely owned and bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, created a crisis for the PGA Tour, which has scrambled to reinvent its economic model as it has watched some of its biggest stars switch circuits. But LIV has also been a target of fierce criticism, skepticism and litigation. Although much about the circuit’s operations remains unclear — many documents that would reveal details are under court seal — some information about its structure and its operations has emerged in legal filings, interviews, business records and internal documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Some of the world’s top players, including Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, have become the faces of LIV Golf. But the enterprise has been made possible by a web of investors, fixers, political allies and patrons from around the world, including a former U.S. president and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.