Tiger Woods has confirmed he will play in his new tech golf league starting in January – and he headlines the sixth and final team in the competition.
The news is extremely encouraging for Woods and his overall future in golf. He has not played since withdrawing from the Masters in April and had ankle surgery 10 days after that.
The Golf League opens in January and while there is no firm guarantee he will play on opening night, Woods said he will play a role.
“Having the opportunity to not only compete, but also own a team to represent Jupiter is an exciting next chapter for me,” Woods said Tuesday. His words also come after he caddied for his son Charlie during a tournament
Woods and his TGR Ventures and David Blitzer, the investor that owns all four major sports leagues, were announced Tuesday as owners of Jupiter Links GC, the sixth and final team for the first-of-its-kind golf league that begins in January.
Tiger Woods has confirmed he will play in his new tech golf league starting in January
Woods will launch The Golf League alongside Rory McIlroy in January next year
Woods, Rory McIlroy and former Golf Channel president Mike McCarley are founders of TMRW Sports, the sports and entertainment company behind TGL.
Woods called TGL a “modern take on traditional golf” that will ultimately make it more accessible by harnessing the glitz of technology. The key to the modernization is playing at the SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, an arena that seats about 1,600 spectators.
Teams will compete for nine holes of alternating shot and six holes of singles, starting by hitting shots from real grass on a screen 20 times larger than a standard simulator, and then switching to actual shots from 50 yards or closer . into a green complex that can rotate 360 degrees to create different angles. They place a plastic surface on which contours can change.
It starts on January 9th. The two-hour matches – two teams at a time – will air on ESPN on Mondays and/or Tuesdays and end before the Masters. The prize money is $21 million, of which $9 million goes to the winning team and players ultimately gain equality in the competition.
Technology is one thing. Woods also said the two-hour period is key to attracting fans.
‘Generally playing golf takes about five to six hours. In today’s world, with all our smartphones, it’s hard for anyone to spend five to six hours without looking at their phone. So the shorter the time, the better it is,” he said.
In each match, three players from four-man teams compete against each other. Woods has not competed since the Masters due to lingering leg injuries following a February 2021 car accident in Los Angeles. But he expects to be center stage for TGL.
“It’s exciting that this group of guys get together for a two-hour period and we’re just going to hit balls, talk a lot of (trash) and people are going to bet on absolutely everything, every shot. Every shot is a bet.”
The last time Woods played a round of golf, he was visibly in pain as he staggered through Augusta
McCarley, the CEO of TMRW Sports and TGL, said a gaming partner and international media rights are being negotiated ahead of the January debut. Other team names and branding must also be completed, along with completing team rosters.
McIlroy does part of Boston Commonled by Fenway Sports Group, and will be joined by New England natives Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Tyrrell Hatton.
The other teams do Atlanta Drive, led by Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons; Los Angeles Golf Club, led by a group led by Alexis Ohanian, Serena and Venus Williams and limited partners including Alex Morgan and Michelle Wie West; New York, led by Steven Cohen of the New York Mets; and San Francisco, led by Avenue Sports Fund with private equity director Marc Lasry and Golden State guard Stephen Curry.
Blitzer is added to the roster of high-end investors for the six teams.
He is the first person to own shares in five North American sports teams – co-managing partner of the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) and New Jersey Devils (NHL), and owns a 25% stake in the Cleveland Guardians (MLB). a minority stake in the Washington Commanders (NFL). He is also a stakeholder at Real Salt Lake (MLS), as well as being a general partner at Crystal Palace FC in the Premier League.
Woods has now revealed that he will play for and own the Florida team that plays in TGL
Blitzer calls himself a sports fanatic, although he was once quoted as saying he would “never make an investment just for the fun side of the equation.”
‘Ultimately I have to believe that there is a return and that the investment makes perfect sense. The fun is part of it,” Blitzer said Tuesday.
“The idea of really creating the next evolution of professional golf seemed very clear to me,” he said. “And when I think about what’s happening in technology today, and the innovations they’re bringing here…
I was sold very quickly.”
The concept of team play – beyond the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup – was introduced last year by Saudi-funded LIV Golf and its 12 teams. Woods thinks TGL will be easier to follow in part because there is only a team competition and because some players will have a connection to the city, such as Collin Morikawa in Los Angeles and Bradley in Boston.
“Some of the stuff I saw in LIV… I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on,” Woods said in a recording of the Saudi-backed series. ‘It’s very simple here.’