Woods & McIlroy launch new golf league amid Saudi rebels row

The US golf icon says the new format is designed to appeal to younger fans

Tiger Woods has joined forces with fellow pro Rory McIlroy and the PGA Tour to form a new ‘tech-infused’ golf league which they say will help grow the sport for a new generation of fans.

The league, which is called TGL, will see six teams of three players each competing against one another in a “data-rich virtual course”, with each 18-hole course taking no longer than two hours to finish, and will be run by TMRW Sports – a sports technology group launched by both Woods and McIlroy this week.

TGL will begin in early 2024 and will see 15 weekly events which will lead to a semi-final and a final before a winning team is crowned.

The move comes amid continued scrutiny being placed on the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV Golf group which has threatened to uproot the accepted structure of the sport and for which Woods and McIlroy have been amongst its most prominent critics.

Some reports have stated that Woods turned down a fee north of $700 million to join LIV Golf, whose detractors say that it is just another example of Saudi Arabia attempting to ‘sports-wash’ its unenviable reputation for human rights abuses.

Several high profile players have joined forces with LIV Golf, including the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson.

European star Henrik Stenson, meanwhile, was stripped of his Ryder Cup captaincy after joining the LIV Golf tour after the PGA Tour announced a range of fines and suspensions for rebel players.

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Not keen: Woods turned down the rebel league proposal. © Keyur Khamar / PGA TOUR via Getty Images
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Woods and McIlroy both attended a players-only meeting in Delaware last week to discuss the potential impact that LIV Golf is having on the sport. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that the PGA Tour was to increase its prize money for 12 of its events to fall in line with the finances on offer by LIV Golf. 

“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,” Woods said of the TGL project in a statement.

“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.”

TGL events will take place in a custom-built arena which they say will offer fans a dynamic view of the sport which would have been impossible without the advent of state-of-the-art technology.

“TGL will tap into the appeal of team golf within an exciting, fan-friendly environment, comparable to sitting courtside at an NBA game,” added McIlroy.

“TGL will widen the appeal of golf to younger and more diverse fans and serve as another avenue to introduce people to the game I love.”

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