What is TGL? Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s new high tech golf leagues with teams?
Golf has had an injection of unexpected controversy of late as the tug of war for attention continues to develop, even into the virtual world.
Picture the seen, if you will. Two legends of the game of golf, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, lining up against other stars of the PGA Tour, aiming to drive off the tee to the middle of the fairway, chip close to the hole from a poor bunker lie, or land a 40-foot putt by expertly judging the contrasting undulations of the green.
Now picture the action all taking place in an indoor venue.
Woods, McIlroy and virtual golf
Two of the biggest names in the world of golf over recent years, Woods and McIlroy unveiled a technology-focused golf league, known as TGL, in partnership with the PGA Tour that will feature players competing on six three-man teams. Woods and former Golf Channel president Mike McCarley, who has partnered with him to form TMRW Sports, outlined the startup that will combine virtual technology and a green complex at a custom-built venue.
“We’ve been working on this for two years,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for PGA Tour players to show a different side of themselves, prime time on Monday night. I think it’s great for brand exposure to try to engage a different audience.”
McIlroy confirmed that Woods plans to compete in the matches. That, in itself, is a victory in the eyes of McIlroy, considering Woods has only competed in three tournaments this season while recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident outside Los Angeles in February 2021.
“Who knows where we’re going to see Tiger Woods play golf next, right?” McIlroy said. “We don’t know what his schedule is going to be. We don’t know how his body is going to be. But to be able to see him still showcase his skills on prime time, on TV without really any wear and tear on his body, I think to be able to see Tiger hit golf shots and still sort of provide people with a glimpse of his genius -- I think it is a really good use of his time.”
When is TGL starting and how will it work?
The new league, TGL, will begin in January 2024 and have teams compete in 18-hole matches during 15 regular-season events, with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. The contests will take place in prime time on Monday nights.
Woods said in a statement that he is looking forward to giving a fans a different look at the sport.
“Embracing technology to create this unique environment gives us the ability to move our sport into prime time on a consistent basis alongside so many of sports’ biggest events,” Woods said. “As a big sports fan myself, I’m excited about blending golf with technology and team elements common in other sports.
“We all know what it’s like to be in a football stadium or a basketball arena where you can watch every play, every minute of action unfold right in front of you. It’s something that inherently isn’t possible in traditional golf -- and an aspect of TGL that will set it apart and appeal to a new generation of fans.”