ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are bringing their own version of team golf to the PGA Tour.
A day after Woods and McIlroy announced a new media venture called TMRW Sports, on Wednesday they unveiled the project, which features 18 players competing in a series of matches that use technology as well as shots.
It’s called ‘TGL’, a technology golf league that will be held in a purpose-built stadium where fans will be able to watch teams of three compete in 18-hole matches – using driving simulators, live putting for shorter ones, it will take only two hours.
The league is due to start in January 2024 and will feature 15 regular season matches on Monday evenings, followed by semi-finals and finals.
“For the fans, imagine sitting courtside during an NBA game. It’s such an environment — music, getting to know the players. As a fan, you’re in the spotlight,” said Mike McCarley, the former Golf Channel president who co-founded and is CEO of TMRW Sports with Woods and McIlroy. “You see it all happening in front of you.”
TMRW Sports – pronounced “tomorrow” – was created to create technology projects with a progressive approach to sports, entertainment and media.
Investors include Dick Ebersole, the retired chairman of NBC Sports, whose extensive contributions to televised sports include Sunday Night Football. He worked with McCarley at NBC.
“Since I retired I’ve held back from doing any real work other than giving advice to a lot of friends, but it’s the right idea at the right time with one of the few people I’d like to do it with,” said Ebersol.
The announcement is missing many details, including a broadcast partner that NBC considered a likely candidate given its relationship with the PGA Tour and with Ebersole and McCarley. In addition, McIlroy struck a deal with the GolfPass venture in association with the Golf Channel.
The 18 players in the six teams and the timing of the matches have yet to be determined, although most players will have a week of elevated events announced on Wednesday. new PGA Tour schedule which will start next year.
“As a huge sports fan, I’m excited about golf’s combination of technology and team elements common in other sports,” Woods said in a statement. “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 the action unfold right in front of you. This is something that is inherently impossible in traditional golf.”
Woods has previously competed in Real Golf on Monday Night, when he participated in the Showdown at Sherwood and the Battle of the Bighorn. It disappeared within a decade, although Monday’s place in the sports calendar from January to August is attractive.
Woods has played just three times this year — all majors — as he recovers from leg injuries sustained in a car accident in February 2021. But he will play in TGL and will not have to go far.
“We don’t know what his schedule will be. We don’t know what his body is going to be like,” McIlroy said. “But we can see him still showing off his skills on prime-time TV without the wear and tear on his body to be able to see Tiger make golf shots and putts. -still give people a chance to see his genius, I think that’s a really good use of his time.
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