Tiger Woods’ new golf league announced the creation of teams on Thursday. Wow – that was quick!
Tiger and Rory knew that team golf would be the talk of the golf world by Thursday. They just didn’t know why. Shocker to all – The “MERGE” happened
The two golfers and principal partners in the new startup golf venture TMRW Sports were planning this week for months. Their new golf league, the TGL — a high-tech, indoor league founded and operated by TMRW Sports in partnership with the PGA Tour — was ready to make its biggest announcement yet.
On Thursday morning, the news came. The TGL announced the creation of its first-ever golf team, Los Angeles Golf Club. LAGC will be one of six three-player teams involved in the new league, which will be played at a high-tech indoor stadium on Monday nights beginning in January. Alexis Ohanian, the millionaire founder of Reddit, will join Serena and Venus Williams as franchise owners. A press release announcing the news revealed a glitzy new team logo and a 30-second promo video touting golf “for everybody.”
The problem, however, was just that. While Thursday’s announcement was meant to serve as a reminder of the multitude of differences between the new, PGA Tour-backed startup and its rivals at LIV Golf — it actually served as the opposite.
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Of course, nobody at the TGL could’ve known about what would happen on Tuesday morning. Every indication is that Woods and McIlroy didn’t know about the merger between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund until minutes before it was announced to the world on CNBC. But two days after that announcement rocked the golf world to its core, the TGL news comes as a strange aftershock.
For one thing, the PIF news brings into question the role served by the TGL in the golf ecosystem now that LIV is under the Tour banner. How can the TGL product claim to fully differentiate itself now that the is Tour committed to, in commissioner Jay Monahan’s words, “exploring team golf” as a viable option heading forward? How can it receive the full support needed from the Tour and its TV partners to generate and create a following? How can a Tour team product, LIV, and the TGL all exist without confusing golf viewers and exhausting players?
Yes, these were questions faced by TMRW long before the PIF agreement emerged, but they’re more glaring than ever now that golf faces a future in which lasting Tour/LIV peace seems at least viable.