Tiger, Rory lead in-arena golf gig

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy launched a new technology-sparked golf series made for television on Wednesday, with team competition before live audiences using giant video screens with a January 2024 debut.

McIlroy and Mike McCarley, founder of TMRW Sports, announced the partly virtual golf league on the eve of the season-ending US PGA Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

“It’s rooted in the traditions of the game, but it’s taking a big step into the future,” McCarley said.

“It starts with having the two biggest superstars in the game, Tiger and Rory, committed to play.”

Events would be played at a yet to be determined venue that would be custom made to allow for playing chips and putts live and sending longer shots into a video screen for virtual results.

Golfers would hit longer shots into huge screens that produce a virtual result similar to what would be seen on a regular course. Turfed playing area adjacent on the venue floor would allow spectators to cheer live short-game shots and putting.

The setting combines the atmospheres for in-arena gaming events, with music and entertainment, with the physical skills required for successful golf shotmaking with 18 holes done in a television-friendly two-hour format.

“TGL is the next evolution within professional golf,” Woods tweeted.

“I’m excited to be a part of this exciting new venture, which will harness technology to bring new approaches to the sport we love.”

The PGA Tour will partner on the project, with six teams of three PGA players each competing in a regular season of 15 Monday night matches leading to a semifinal and final, with the season having a January-April window.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for PGA Tour players to show a different side of themselves primetime on Monday night,” McIlroy said.

“It’s great for brand exposure to try to engage a different audience.”

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