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Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Announce New Virtual Golf League

Sports

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy announced on Wednesday a new X-Golf/Top Golf-inspired league | Image by Getty Images

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After PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced a series of changes to the Tour’s schedule and player compensation at a Wednesday press conference, Rory McIlroy followed with an announcement of his own.

McIlroy and former Golf Channel executive Mike McCarley announced the creation of the TGL, a new virtual golf league designed to compliment the PGA Tour’s schedule and features the PGA Tour as a partner. Tiger Woods is also a partner in the project through the trio’s new venture, TMRW (pronounced tomorrow) Sports Group.

Woods and McIlroy are the first two players committed to participating in the TGL, which will launch in January 2024.

The new golf league will have two-hour, 18-hole virtual matches on Monday nights and will consist of six three-man teams competing against each other in a 3-on-3 format. Each of the six teams will compete five times during a 15-week schedule.

The TGL will be a “tech-infused league” played at a brand-new, custom-built venue, according to McIlroy. The venue(s) will feature a virtual course with a “not quite” IMAX-sized screen for longer shots and a designated green area for chipping and putting.

McIlroy said he has been working with McCarley on forming the new virtual league for the last two years.

McCarley stated that he hopes to have the matches televised while fans in legal betting states will be able to gamble on the event.

McIlroy added that he believes the TGL will allow players a chance to interact more with fans and grow their following across the globe. He said players would have the opportunity to have an ownership stake in the league.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for PGA Tour players to show a different side of themselves prime time on Monday night,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s great for brand exposure to try to engage a different audience. We’ve all heard about the fact of how old the golf audience is, trying to get younger eyeballs on to it.”

Woods, who has played in only three tournaments this season while recovering from serious injuries he suffered in a car wreck outside Los Angeles in February 2021, called the new league the “next evolution within professional golf.”

“Embracing technology to create this unique environment gives us the ability to move our sport into primetime on a consistent basis alongside so many of sports’ biggest events,” Woods said in a statement. “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.”   

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