Tiger Woods’ new virtual golf league launches in January — but the competition will be tasked with drawing viewers without the complete presence of its legendary owner.
TGL, founded by Woods and Rory McIlroy, has unveiled more details of its competition format, which will see two teams go head-to-head each week during the two-hour broadcasts on ESPN or ESPN2.
In total, 24 players will be spread across six four-man teams, but every match will only feature three players from each squad, to be determined in the days leading up to each broadcast. With a 15-match regular season, each team will play five times, leaving a number of broadcasts without the active participation of Woods and McIlroy — a potential drawback as the league vies for mainstream sports fans.
TGL told Front Office Sports it is to be determined whether Woods or McIlroy will attend matches in which they’re not competing. There will be no minimum number of matches required for players, so it’s likely some will play more than others.
The league does feature other top golfers like Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler, but the roster doesn’t include LIV Golf players, as TGL has a partnership with the PGA Tour.
The momentum around TGL has been notable, with ownership and investor starpower, an ESPN media deal, and high-profile business pacts with Fanatics and SoFi. But its staying power will be put to the test as the league tries to keep fans interested on a weekly basis, especially without the regular participation of golf’s biggest names.