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Tiger’s new hi-tech golf league to start in New Year


Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Golf’s latest venture – an indoor “high-tech series” launched by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – will begin on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

Fifteen of the world’s top 20 are among the 24 PGA Tour players signed for the inaugural season.

All events will be broadcast and played at a purpose-built venue in Florida.

Supporters include Serena and Venus Williams, Stephen Curry and Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group.

While many details have yet to be finalized – such as the prize money available, the name and owner of one of the six teams, or which team each golfer will play for – here is what we do know.

What is that?

The league – known as TGL – will be run by TMRW Sports, the technology-focused sports company launched by Woods and McIlroy in August 2022.

It will be six teams of four players, playing each other once in a league format. Only three of the four players will compete in any one event.

Five teams have been announced so far, with names linked to the US cities of Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

NBA star Curry is involved in the establishment of San Francisco, and tennis greats Serena Williams and her sister Venus are among those supporting the LA team. The Fenway Sports Group is associated with the Boston side.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (left) tries to pass Kent Bazemore of the Los Angeles Lakers during Tuesday's NBA season opener.

Basketball player Steph Curry is among those who will support the new competition.
Photo: AFP

The Sofi Center, at Palm Beach State College, will host each event, which will take approximately two hours to play and will be broadcast live in the US.

The venue can hold around 1,600 spectators.

Who is playing?

Woods and McIlroy, naturally. Spain’s Jon Rahm and American Justin Thomas were the next players to register.

Thomas is the only player assigned to a team, two-time major champion Thomas. Atlanta Drive GC announced on October 31 that the 30-year-old would be on their roster.

Since then, Scottie Scheffler has been at the forefront of the world and fellow Americans Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele are among those who have joined.

England will be well represented and Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Justin Rose are all confirmed to play, as is Ireland’s Shane Lowry.

How will it work?

In each event two teams will compete against each other and two points will be awarded to the winning team.

There will be two sessions within a game.

The first is a nine hole ‘trial’ where the three players will compete in an alternate format over nine holes. The second session consists of six ‘single’ holes, a head-to-head competition in which each golfer will play two holes.

Points are awarded for winning a hole and the team with the most points at the end wins.

In the event of a tie, the closest to the pin shootout will determine the winner.

The series will be 15 games, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals and the winners progressing to the best-of-three final.

The second game is to take place on Tuesday, January 16.

How will they play indoors?

Each hole will begin on a golf simulator, with players hitting tee shots into a giant screen, which at 64 feet x 46 feet is about 20 times larger than a standard screen.

For shots of about 50 yards or less, players will switch from the simulator to hitting the greens with 189 customizable actuators and a jack changing the slope of the putting surface for each hole.

Rather than using iconic holes or courses that most simulators allow players to experience, some new holes have been designed specifically for the TGL season.

This story first seen on the BBC

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