Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are bringing trendy expertise to the royal and historic sport with TGL, a team-based golf league performed over 15 holes that mixes an outsized simulator with precise photographs to a tech-infused inexperienced that may change contours relying on the shot.
Fourteen months after it was introduced, and two months earlier than TGL launches at newly constructed SoFi Middle in Florida, the league on Tuesday offered particulars on simply what it’s and the way it works.
5 of the six four-man groups have been introduced for New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta.
The prime-time matches on ESPN platforms (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+) shall be between two groups, every activating three gamers for the match.
The opening 9 holes shall be known as “triples” – alternate shot for the three gamers, with one level awarded for profitable a gap, no carryovers if there’s a tie. The ultimate six holes shall be singles, with every workforce member enjoying two holes.
Any match ending in a tie goes to additional time, just like what quantities to penalty kicks in soccer. Every participant goes face to face in a closest-to-the-pin competitors.
A workforce win is value 2 factors. The shedding workforce get no factors in regulation, 1 level if the match is set in additional time. Each workforce faces one another in the course of the common season, and the highest 4 advance to the playoffs.
TGL debuts on Jan. 9 and ends earlier than the Masters
“Should you take the macro view, we’ve got a sport with 600 years of historical past and custom that we’re now combining with expertise that exists and has by no means been deployed on this method,” mentioned Mike McCarley, founder and CEO of TMRW Sports activities, which developed TGL.
“You mix historical past and credibility with a brand new entry to golf, and I believe it broadens the fan base … making golf related to new teams of individuals in new methods.”
The idea – 15 holes, a mixture of alternate shot and singles, the scoring system – is not like anything in golf. McCarley mentioned it was developed via brainstorming involving him, Woods, McIlroy and their administration teams.
Woods favored alternate shot to herald extra technique, significantly as a result of the gamers shall be sporting microphones.
As for the precise competitors, it begins with a tee shot from one in all two areas – 35 yards away or 20 yards away from a display screen that’s 64 ft by 46 ft, roughly 20 occasions the scale of an ordinary simulator. The ball must be within the air for a half-second earlier than hitting the huge display screen for all the info to register and simulate the shot.
From there, the subsequent shot to the large display screen shall be performed from both actual fairway grass, tough or sand, relying on the accuracy of the tee shot. As soon as gamers get inside 50 yards, they play precise photographs to a inexperienced advanced that’s bigger than 4 basketball courts.
The three,800-square-foot inexperienced contains three digital greens, 15 ft by 27 ft, wherein the slope of the inexperienced can change to create selection.
Do not get the thought they are going to be enjoying Pebble Seaside or Riviera. High golf course designers have pitched in to assist design the holes.
SoFi Middle is constructed at Palm Seaside State School in Florida, a 250,000-square-foot area with a 75-foot-high apex. It could possibly maintain about 1,600 spectators, and the “course” is concerning the dimension of a soccer discipline.
Justin Thomas on Tuesday was the primary participant assigned to a workforce – Atlanta Drive GC. Extra bulletins are anticipated by the tip of the week, and nonetheless to come back is the sixth workforce.
Participant assignments are anticipated to have regional connections (assume Keegan Bradley and Boston Commons GC as a risk), together with what suits into their tour schedules. McIlroy, for instance, is enjoying consecutive weeks in Dubai beginning the week of the launch.
Key to TGL – together with a world-class roster of gamers – was getting a TV contract with ESPN, permitting for cross promotion. ESPN plans a promotional present on Dec. 30.
The concept is for the matches to final concerning the size of a basketball sport. Most matches (there might be doubleheaders) shall be in prime time on Tuesday.
Nonetheless to be introduced is the prize cash for TGL, and another wrinkles to the competitors.