With the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season coming to a close Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia, more announcements are expected to follow pertaining to players joining the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series. Cameron Smith, currently sixth in the FedExCup standings heading into the Tour Championship, is one of several players rumored to be taking their talents to LIV Golf once the season wraps up.
Smith, the No. 2 player in the world, would be another massive land for LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and of course, Phil Mickelson, among others, have already jumped ship from the PGA Tour in favor of the Saudi-backed league.
Given LIV’s success at snatching up multiple big-name players in recent months, Tiger Woods led a meeting with top PGA Tour members last week ahead of the BWM Championship to discuss the future of the sport. Following the meeting, reports suggested that a new schedule was a main topic of conversation, along with increased purses for the events.
However, the PGA Tour and Woods, along with Rory McIlroy, made their biggest move against LIV Golf on Wednesday afternoon by announcing the launch of a new tech-infused golf league. The league, TGL, will have two-hour, 18-hole virtual matches on Monday nights and will consist of six three-man teams. Each of the six teams will compete five times during the 15-week schedule.
Based on the announcement from TGL, the custom-made venue(s) will feature a simulator for longer shots, plus, a designated green area for both chipping and putting.
Scroll to continue
Woods and McIlroy are the first two players committed to the TGL, which will kick off in January 2024.
“Embracing technology to create this unique environment gives us the ability to move our sport into primetime on a consistent basis alongside so many of sports’ biggest events,” Woods said in a statement. “As a big sports fan myself, I’m excited about blending golf with technology and team elements common in other sports.
McIlroy said that he has been working with Mike McCarly, former president of Golf Channel and current CEO of TMRW Sports, on forming the new league for the last two years. McCarly stated that he hopes to have the matches televised, while fans in legal betting states will be able to wager on the event.
McIlroy also believes that the TGL will be a chance for players to interact more with fans and grow their following across the globe.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for PGA Tour players to show a different side of themselves prime time on Monday night,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s great for brand exposure to try to engage a different audience. We’ve all heard about the fact of how old the golf audience is, trying to get younger eyeballs on to it.”
With just days to spare before more players presumably join LIV Golf, the PGA Tour has responded in quite an intriguing way. Will the new, tech-based TGL convince more members to stick around? We’ll find out in just a couple of days.