Everything you need to know about TGL, a new golf league now launching in early 2025, formed by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Mike McCarley in partnership with the PGA Tour.
If you’re a golf fan and haven’t heard of the Tech Golf League (TGL) then we can only assume you’ve been living in a cave.
The TGL is a virtual venture spearheaded by three of the most influential people in golf – Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, and sports media executive Mike McCarley.
Together the trio founded TMRW Sports (pronounced “tomorrow”), a technology company ‘harnessing technology to build progressive approaches in sports media and entertainment’, and central to that vision is TGL.
The Woods and McIlroy-fronted project is a data-rich golf league, conceived to engage new TV audiences and capitalize on modern golf consumer trends that show golf can thrive outside of non-traditional formats of the game.
TGL was due to tee off in January 2024 until a failure of the temporary power system caused the air-supported dome of the SoFi Center to deflate, leaving organizers with little option but to postpone the launch date.
Speaking after the announcement, Tiger Woods said: “Although the events of last week will force us to make adjustments to our timelines, I’m fully confident that this concept will be brought to life by our great committed players.”
Rory McIlroy added: “The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement. Above all, we are happy that no one was injured. We are looking forward to the launch of TGL. Given the circumstances, while the delay is disappointing, the postponement will allow us to regroup, refocus and return stronger.”
But what exactly is TGL, who is playing, and what is being said? Let’s take a look at what we know so far, and see what all the excitement is about.
What is TGL?
The TGL will feature six teams of three PGA Tour players competing on giant golf simulators paired with a tech-enabled short-game complex, all housed inside a purpose-built arena.
Players will compete in a 15-hole format dubbed ‘Modern Match Play’ that involves nine holes of triples (3 vs 3 alternate shots), followed by six holes of head-to-head singles matchplay (players will play two holes of singles each). 18 holes was found to be too many to jam into the strict two-hour broadcast slot.
An overtime tiebreaker closest-to-the-pin competition will separate any ties after the conclusion of the 15 holes.
Each team will play five matches across a 15-week regular season with the top four teams advancing to the semi-final playoffs followed by a best-of-three series final to crown the 2025 TGL Champions.
How are points awarded in TGL?
TGL will use a points-based system for regular-season matches with two league points awarded for a team win, one point for a loss in a tiebreaker, and zero points for a loss in regulation.
Each hole has a value of one point with the team or player registering the fewest shots on each hole securing the point for their team. There are no half-points awarded for ties on a hole.
Are there new rules for TGL?
TGL has revealed more about their modern matchplay format which will include several new competitive elements that will feel familiar to many golf fans due to their prominence in team sports such as football, basketball, and hockey. They include:
The Shot Clock
Each player will have 40 seconds in which to play their shot. Failure to do so will result in a shot clock violation and a one-stroke penalty for the team. The time frame is based on current USGA recommendations on pace of play.
Each team will receive four timeouts to use across the match, split into a maximum of two timeouts per session with no carryover from the Triples (session 1) to Singles (session 2). Timeouts can be called by any team member and must be before the shot clock expires for the team playing the shot, or before the player has addressed the ball for the opposing team.
With TGL being a team sport, there will be a ref and booth official on hand to enforce the rules and adjudicate on unique situations whereby expert knowledge of the rules of golf may be required.
When will TGL take place?
TGL is scheduled to take place on Monday evenings within a two-hour window. McIlroy says Monday was chosen to accommodate better players’ schedules which are typically filled with Tuesday and Wednesday practice days ahead of tournaments commencing from Thursday.
The inaugural matches of TGL are now scheduled to take place in early 2025.
Where will TGL take place?
TGL matches will be broadcast live at prime time and played in front of a studio audience under a $50 million purpose-built inflatable dome in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, named the SoFi Center.
On match nights, the 250,000-square-foot arena will hold 1,600 fans, encouraged to create a Ryder Cup-esque atmosphere. The players themselves will be mic’d up to provide audiences with unique, unsolicited access to the heart of the action.
Who is playing in TGL?
The 24-player roster for TGL’s inaugural season is now complete and with a combined 223 PGA Tour wins, 32 Major wins, and 886 weeks at No.1, talent is one thing guaranteed not to be missing when the action gets underway.
Four players will be assigned to each team with one player sitting out each week.
Woods and McIlroy will be joined by fellow Major winners Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Shane Lowry, and Wyndham Clark.
Ryder Cup players from both sides of the Atlantic are set to do battle again with victorious European stars Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton confirmed alongside Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, and Rickie Fowler.
Cameron Young, Kevin Kisner, Lucas Glover, Keegan Bradley, Sahith Theegala, and Billy Horschel complete the American contingent alongside South Korea’s Tom Kim and Australian Min Woo Lee.
Jon Rahm will no longer take part in the inaugural TGL season saying: “It would require a level of commitment that I can’t offer. Best of luck to everyone involved and may the best team win!”
In a statement, TGL added: “We understand that players have to balance a lot of different facets of their professional and personal lives and respect Jon’s choice and wish him well.”
Are LIV players involved in TGL?
No LIV players are involved in the TGL, whose competition league format initially drew criticism and accusations of hypocrisy from the breakaway tour.
However, McIlroy and Woods believe the pioneering high-tech competition format is exactly the type of innovation that the sport needs and offers a distinct contrast to current professional golf formats.
“You could make the argument that they haven’t innovated enough from what traditional golf is or they have innovated too much that they’re not traditional golf. They’re sort of cut in no man’s land whereas TGL is so far removed from what we know golf to be”, said McIlroy.
Woods added: “Some of the stuff I’ve seen in LIV… I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Here it’s very simple. TGL is a modern twist of traditional golf and ultimately will make the sport I love more accessible.”
What teams will compete in TGL?
All six TGL teams and their ownership groups have now been announced:
Atlanta Drive Golf Club: led by Arthur M. Blank, AMB Sports and Entertainment (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA TOUR Superstores).
Boston Common Golf: led by John Henry, Tom Werner, and Fenway Sports Group (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Pittsburgh Penguins).
Jupiter Links Golf Club: led by Tiger Woods’ TGR Ventures and David Blitzer (Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, Cleveland Guardians, Washington Commanders, Crystal Palace FC, Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals, Joe Gibbs Racing).
Los Angeles Golf Club: led by Alexis Ohanian (Angel City FC), Seven Seven Six, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams; as well as limited partners the Antetokounmpo brothers, Alex Morgan, Servando Carrasco, and Michelle Wie West.
TGL New York: led by Steven A. Cohen (New York Mets), Cohen Private Ventures.
TGL San Francisco: led by Steven A. Cohen (New York Mets), Cohen Private VenturesTGL San Francisco: a group led by Avenue Sports Fund’s Marc Lasry, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, and Klay Thompson.
The leadership groups announced have significant ownership experience across the elite sporting landscape spanning the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Premier League, NASCAR, MLS, and NWSL.
Atlanta Golf Club, Boston Common Golf Club, Los Angeles Golf Club, and Jupiter Links Golf Club have already established their brand and team names for the 2024 season, while TGL New York and TGL San Francisco are due to unveil theirs in the coming weeks.
Who is playing for each TGL team?
Atlanta Drive Golf Club: Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Billy Horschel, Lucas Glover
Boston Common Golf: Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton
Los Angeles Golf Club: Colin Morikawa, Sahith Theegala, TBC, TBC
Jupiter Links Golf Club: Tiger Woods, TBC, TBC, TBC
TGL New York: TBC, TBC, TBC, TBC
TGL San Francisco: TBC, TBC, TBC, TBC
*Watch this space for imminent signing announcements.
What are the players saying about TGL?
Here is what some of the players have had to say ahead of their TGL debuts:
Tiger Woods (USA): “Having the opportunity to not only compete but also own a team to represent Jupiter is an exciting next chapter for me. I expect Jupiter Links GC to showcase the golf culture of my hometown as we compete against the best players in the world.”
Tommy Fleetwood (England): “I have been excited about the TGL since it was announced. Many of my fondest memories in golf have been playing in team competitions. With the players who have already been announced along with the names and stature of the ownership groups and investors, the league is in a position to showcase our sport in a cool format to a new group of viewers and fans.”
Patrick Cantlay (USA): “The more I talked to the other players involved in TGL, the more I wanted to be a part of the competition. This is a great opportunity to move golf forward providing something for our core fans while also showcasing our sport in a new, tech-forward, prime time, and more digestible format.”
Tyrrell Hatton (England): “I’m very excited to join the boys as part of TGL. It’s great to see golf try something new by playing in a customized venue using new technology. I am looking forward to getting started to introduce golf to new audiences. There are so many amazing people that are a part of the TGL and I cannot wait to see what team I am going to be a part of.”
Shane Lowry (Ireland): “Everything I’ve heard about TGL is really intriguing. Between Ryder Cups and World Cups, I’ve always enjoyed playing with a partner or for a team. It’s great to see golf being creative and trying new things. I imagine this will be a lot of fun.”
Tom Kim (South Korea): “I’m a firm believer that TGL is going to be an incredible opportunity to reach a younger generation and fans in Korea, specifically. The mix of technology and competition is exactly what friends my age are interested in consuming. To join an incredible list of top players, many of whom I have watched myself as a fan, is a dream come true.”
Rickie Fowler (USA): “I love the idea of inviting fans to watch golf within an environment that is very similar to other primetime professional sports. Innovative approaches like this will broaden the appeal of golf, not just provide traditional fans an opportunity to see the sports’ biggest stars compete in primetime, but a modern presentation that broadens golf’s fanbase – especially with younger fans.”
Sahith Theegala (USA): “I am honored and excited to be joining Los Angeles Golf Club. Being part of this dynamic team presents an incredible opportunity to represent my hometown of Los Angeles and grow the game of golf locally. I look forward to representing LAGC on the course and contributing to the success of the team in the upcoming seasons.”
What will players be paid in TGL?
The players will own a 10 percent share in TGL in addition to prize money that is yet to be revealed. McCarley’s TMRW Sports has a majority stake of 54 percent with 18 percent each going to the PGA Tour and team owners.
What technology is behind TGL?
TGL announced Full Swing as their ‘Official Technology Partner’ tasked with delivering a fully immersive and interactive golf experience that brings TGL to life.
“When we started looking at the technology required to make TGL a reality, I knew that Full Swing would be the key company I’d be comfortable working with to provide the best experience for players and viewers, said Woods.
“I’ve used Full Swing for almost ten years now and they continually innovate to make the experience better across their entire product line that I use at home and on the range. This is why I trust Full Swing to help power a majority of TGL’s gameplay platform.”
Full Swing is already an official PGA Tour licensee and its simulator technology and launch monitors are used by several of the TGL’s confirmed participants, including Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, and Woods himself. These relationships have been used to adapt and develop the technology for TGL’s inaugural season.
Full Swing’s state-of-the-art simulators will power virtual courses, displayed on a giant simulator screen measuring 64ft x 46ft. The size of the screen makes it possible for players to hit from much further away than when playing on a regular-sized simulator. This longer ball flight permits more data points to be measured, in turn providing a more accurate representation of the ball’s real-world trajectory, bounce, and finishing location.
The balls to be used in TGL will look, feel, and play the same as pros are accustomed to, however, they have been constructed with specialist materials that make it easier for Full Swing’s radars to capture spin rate.
How will chipping and putting work in TGL?
Once greenside, players will transition from the simulator to a virtual short-game space about half the length of a soccer pitch. Underneath the putting surface, 189 actuators and jacks will dynamically alter slopes and gradients via the push of a button.
When players hit drives and approach shots into the simulator, the green complex will remain dormant, before lifting and rotating to conform to the course architects’ plan.
What courses will be played in TGL?
An exciting element of TGL will undoubtedly be the removal of real-world barriers to golf course design, typically restricted by budgets, environmental issues, planning permissions, and availability of land.
All these obstacles that would normally have to be navigated are removed in TGL, permitting course designers to demonstrate their artistry like never before.
Speaking to Wired.com, Agustin Piza, one of the world-class architects hired by TGL said: “The easy way out is just to say, let’s do this crazy thing and make it fabulous and majestic and fantagious.
“The point is, how do you stretch the boundary but still respect the integrity of the game?”
Piza explained how one of his virtual holes, ‘The Scorpion’ forces players to choose between two stretches of fairway that resemble claws, or a narrow risky central route where players might reach the green in two.
He added: “I wanted to dig deep into their brain thoughts.”
Is the PGA Tour supportive of TGL?
The PGA Tour was quick to endorse TGL, with Woods’ involvement no doubt critical. The PGA owns an 18 percent ownership stake and unlike LIV Golf, TGL has never been viewed as a rival golf tour.
Senior officials at the PGA will be watching closely to see whether any of TGL’s innovations, such as the ‘shot clock’ or players’ biometric data could also feature in the traditional format’s future.
Who is TMRW Sports and who has invested?
Mike McCarley’s TMRW Sports is supported by an all-star roster of athletes, celebrities, and business leaders from the worlds of sports, media, technology, and finance who make up a powerful and diverse investor group.
Woods and McIlroy are the headline investors with a combined 791 weeks at World No. 1, 105 PGA Tour wins, 19 Major Championships, and 15 Ryder Cup appearances between them.
Other members of the investor group combine to add 113 Formula 1 wins, 40 Emmy Awards, 32 NBA All-Star Games, 16 NFL Pro Bowls, 26 Grand Slam singles titles, 21 Olympic medals, eight MVP titles across four sports, ten Grammy Awards, eight NBA Championships, seven F1 World Championships, five UEFA Champions League titles, three Stanley Cups, three MLB All-Star Games, three WNBA Championships, two FIFA Women’s World Cups, and a World Series champion.
“Over the past year, we’ve assembled a team of investors who will help deliver on the TMRW Sports’ mission to positively impact how sports are experienced in the future. And we’ve been intentional about the diversity of expertise, thought, and backgrounds as we mobilized this strategic group, McCarley said.
“From the very beginning, our plan has been to partner with the best-in-class in every way imaginable, and Tiger, Rory, and I value the support of this unrivaled team of investors, advisors, and ambassadors who believe in our vision to harness technology to create progressive approaches to sports.
Their combined broad reach and cultural relevance will expand potential opportunities and fanbases for TMRW projects. Plus, many share a passion for golf that only adds more fuel to TGL, our first project in partnership with the PGA Tour.”
How did the concept of TGL develop?
McCarley had been wondering since 2019 whether a virtual format of golf could provide a solution to the inefficient production costs associated with wiring a golf course for TV.
In a wide-ranging interview with Wired.com, McCarley explained how he envisioned helping the sport engage new fans with teams of elite golfers playing head-to-head with no need for producers to choose which shots to show live or have to cut back and forth between different holes.
He said: “This scenario approaches golf like other sports, where you can see everything happening in front of you in a stadium-like environment.”
The ‘live or die’ moment for TGL was in January 2021 when McCarley went to Jupiter, Florida to share the idea with golf’s most influential person, Tiger Woods.
Woods, who himself has invested in simulated entertainment through his T-Squared Social venture with Justin Timberlake, was quick on the uptake, promising to commit providing McCarley was all in too.
The final piece to the puzzle was securing the support of Rory McIlroy who was already an advocate for golf moving with the times. McIlroy said: “I loved it. I’ve always said that golf must try to embrace the 21st century.”
With Woods and McIlroy signed on as partners, McCarley parted ways with his NBC employers, launched the TMRW Sports Group, and began fundraising for the venture.
How can I watch TGL?
If you live in the USA then TGL will be broadcast live on ESPN. There are plans to show TGL in the United Kingdom and across Europe, but details are yet to be announced.
“We believe ESPN is the right home for TGL and recognize the strategic benefits of Disney’s portfolio, CEO of TGL Mike McCarley said.
He added: “ESPN is often the first stop for sports fans, no matter the platform, and are honored by ESPN’s view that TGL complements their current offering of major league sports.”
If you want to watch live, 1,500 to 2,000 people will be inside the studio each week to see the action unfold with details of how to get tickets yet to be revealed.
About the author
Golf Equipment Writer
Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation. He’s also an expert in golf apparel and has a keen interest in sustainability.
Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.
Ross uses a Cobra King SZ Speedzone driver, Titleist TSi2 3-Wood, TaylorMade Sim2 Rescue, Callaway Apex Pro irons (4-PW), Cleveland 588 RTX wedges (52°, 58°), TaylorMade Spider Ex putter, and a TaylorMade Tour Response golf ball.