Inaugural TGL virtual golf play delayed until '25

1 week ago 14
  • Associated Press

Nov 20, 2023, 12:21 PM ET

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy volition hold until 2025 to motorboat their tech-infused TGL contention due to the fact that of harm to the Florida arena that was going to instrumentality excessively agelong to repair and make scheduling problems for tv and players.

The six-team league was expected to debut connected Jan. 9 connected ESPN and decorativeness the play earlier the Masters successful April. Ownership of the six teams had been announced and players were filling rosters. And past the league abruptly had nary spot to play due to the fact that of a powerfulness nonaccomplishment past week.

The Nov. 14 nonaccomplishment of a impermanent powerfulness strategy and backup systems utilized for operation of the SoFi Center successful Palm Beach Gardens caused the dome to deflate, which damaged the air-supported dome conception of the arena.

No 1 was injured, and astir of the exertion was not affected.

"Although the events of past week volition unit america to marque adjustments to our timelines, I'm afloat assured that this conception volition beryllium brought to beingness by our large committed players," Woods said.

The conception of TMRW Sports, co-founded by Woods and McIlroy, is squad lucifer play successful a 250,000-square-foot arena astatine Palm Beach State College. The longer shots are deed into a surface 20 times larger than a modular simulator, and existent shots from 50 yards oregon person are played to a high-tech greenish analyzable that rotates connected a turntable to make antithetic shots.

Full shots are played disconnected existent writer oregon sand, depending connected the shot.

Instead of racing to marque repairs to commencement the league adjacent twelvemonth and apt play a partial schedule, cardinal partners -- from TMRW Sports to ESPN to commercialized sponsors to the 23 players and six ownership groups -- felt it champion to postpone the debut by 1 twelvemonth and get it right.

Woods is part-owner and subordinate for Jupiter Links. McIlroy is connected Boston Commons with Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and Tyrrell Hatton. Other teams with their high-powered ownership groups are successful New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

"The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement," McIlroy said. "Above all, we are blessed that nary 1 was injured. Given the circumstances, portion the hold is disappointing, the postponement volition let america to regroup, refocus and instrumentality stronger."

Woods, McIlroy and erstwhile NBC Golf Channel enforcement Mike McCarley founded the TMRW Sports amusement and media group. They announced successful August 2022 the instauration of TGL, giving play a three-month squad league that catered to a caller assemblage without trying to beryllium accepted golf.

It attracted an All-Star lineup of players from Woods and McIlroy to Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.

Jon Rahm primitively was portion of the 24-man roster until deciding precocious to beryllium retired the archetypal twelvemonth due to the fact that of concerns implicit question to Florida for the once-a-week matches, though teams don't play each week and lone 3 of the 4 players are activated for each match.

The 15-hole matches are expected to instrumentality 2 hours and acceptable into the docket of ESPN platforms amid chiefly assemblage hoops during prime-time hours.

"We are partners with TGL and afloat enactment their decision," said Robyn Durant, ESPN's enforcement vice president of programming and acquisitions. "We person believed successful them and their imaginativeness from the beginning, and that has not changed. The further clip to plan, trial and rehearse volition lone marque it better."

All the owners, from Fenway Sports Group (Boston) to Atlanta Falcons proprietor Arthur Blank (Atlanta) to New York Mets proprietor Steven Cohen (New York), expressed enactment to postpone the debut 1 twelvemonth to marque definite the league doesn't chopped corners successful a unreserved to start.

TGL did not supply a timeline for the repairs oregon bespeak if it would rebuild the aforesaid structure oregon heighten the archetypal plan and its technology. The arena is to clasp up to 1,600 spectators, and the people is astir the size of a shot field.

"We recognize the unfortunate and unavoidable hold of the inaugural play to 2025, but we are assured that this volition let the league and teams further clip to execute and present an exceptional experience," said Andrew Cohen, co-founder of Cohen Private Ventures that invested successful the New York team.