Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s new golf league, TGL, will have to wait until 2025 for its debut season after the innovative event’s purpose-built tournament venue was damaged.
The air-supported dome section collapsed after storms hit Florida in November, leaving a power outage and damage too severe to be repaired in time for the initial 2024 start date.
McIlroy said the postponement brought “mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement”, adding: “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."
Woods and McIlroy, the masterminds behind the project, came together to announce the launch in August 2022, hoping to provide an alternative viewing experience to traditional professional golf tournaments and tap into a new market of recreational players.
TGL had partnered with the PGA Tour, with several of its highest-profile stars set to take part. Here is everything you need to know about the new golf league.
What is the TGL?
TGL is a tech-infused golf league that will see 18 of the world’s best golfers compete in events held in a custom-built arena in Florida. The format will use golf simulators for some aspects with the hope of offering fans a shorter, different golf viewing experience.
The project is in partnership with the PGA Tour but has received funding from a host of celebrity investors including Lewis Hamilton, Lebron James, Justin Beiber, Shaquille O’Neal and Justin Timberlake amongst others.
Why has it been delayed until 2025?
The inaugural season of the TGL was postponed until 2025 due to damage to the purpose-built tournament venue in Florida in November.
It was scheduled to start in January at the SoFi Center, a state-of-the-art simulator venue that has been designed to hold around 1,600 fans.
But the venue was hit by storms in Florida last week, with the air-supported dome section collapsing. Officials said a power outage caused the deflation of the structure and the damage was too severe for TGL to begin at the start of the year as planned.
A statement from TGL added: "Following discussions with key partners, including players, our six team ownership groups, PGA TOUR leadership and our commercial partners, SoFi, ESPN and Palm Beach State College, the decision has been made to postpone the start of the TGL season until early 2025.
"This decision came after reviewing short-term solutions, potential construction timelines, player schedules, and the primetime sports television calendar. Despite this new timeline for the venue, we remain excited about the future of TGL and will continue to build excitement between now and the start of the season with our players, fans and teams.
"We have begun to update plans and timelines and are confident that the extension will only improve our delivery."
What is the format?
TGL has six teams, each made up of four golfers. Each match will see three players from each team compete, meaning that one player will be rested from each team.
The format will see two teams face off in a 15-hole match which is split into two distinct sections. The first nine holes are “triples”, a three-man alternate shot format akin to the style of Ryder Cup foursomes. The final six holes are “singles” whereby each hole is one-on-one with both teams rotating their three golfers each hole.
Each hole is worth a point for the winning side with no points earned for a tie. At the end of the 15 holes, the team with the most points wins. In the event of a tie, there will be an overtime three-on-three closest-to-the-pin competition which is won when one team hits two shots closer to the pin their their opponent.
Teams get two points for a win, with the losing team earning one if they lose in overtime but none if they lose in the regulation 15 holes. The season will see 15 regular season matches, with the top four teams advancing to semi-finals and finals. All players will be mic’d up with matches set to last around two hours in front of an audience of around 2,000 fans.
Who is involved?
As the founders of the concept, Woods and McIlroy will both be participating in the format. Woods has not competed in a professional tournament since he withdrew from the Masters during his third round in April 2023.
The full list of golfers set to compete is:
Justin Thomas has been confirmed as a member of Atlanta Drive GC— (Getty Images)
Min Woo Lee
What are the teams?
There will be six teams competing in TGL which have all been sold to private owners. All of them are tied to a US city. The first four announced were:
Los Angeles Golf Club - bought by tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams as well as Serena’s husband, Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Atlanta Drive GC - bought by Arthur Blank, co-founder of US retail company, The Home Depot.
Boston Common Golf - bought by Fenway Sports Group, owners of Premier League team Liverpool and the Major League Baseball side Boston Red Sox.
Jupiter Links GC - bought by Tiger Woods’ TGR Ventures and David Blitzer, senior executive at the private equity firm Blackstone and investor in several sports teams.
New York team (name unconfirmed) - bought by Steve Cohen, owner of MLB side New York Mets.
San Francisco team (name unconfirmed) - bought by Marc Lasry’s Avenue Sports Fund and NBA player Stephen Curry.
When does it start?
The first match was due to start on 9 January 2024, but the event has now been pushed back to 2025 after damage to the purpose-built stadium. In America, it will be broadcast on ESPN, with UK streaming rights yet to be formally announced. Matches will be broadcast on weeknights outside of regular PGA Tour tournaments in an attempt to capture a new primetime audience.