TMRW Sports, the company founded by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and sports executive Mike McCarley which is launching a new tech-focused golf league featuring events at custom-built venues, has broken ground on its first facility in the US town of Palm Beach.
An official ceremony marking the start of work yesterday (Tuesday) was attended by Woods and McIlroy, along with the likes of PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, and Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis. The Tour is partnering with TMRW Sports on the TGL venture.
The arena being developed on land at the Palm Beach State College campus is designed to bring the game of golf closer to fans. The TGL plans to combine some simulator golf with live action in front of arena crowds, with short game and putting taking place in the venue.
“One thing we want to have is sustainability in the introduction of the game of golf,” said Woods, according to PGATour.com. “Having an arena like this, which we’ve never done before, is something where we are going to have excitement, we’re going to have something different, something that is passionate.”
McIlroy said TGL will take the sport beyond the traditional fan experience, with fans being able to see their favourite players in an arena setting, while choosing and backing a certain team. Players will wear microphones, allowing fans to get a better context of the shots they are hitting, as well as the thought process behind them.
McIlroy said: “It’s so rooted in tradition, and that’s a great thing, but to try to deliver golf to the younger demographic, I think, is really important. I’ve been big on that. I come from a place in the world (Northern Ireland) where golf is really accessible. I’ve lived here (in the U.S.) 10 or 15 years. I’d love to see the accessibility of golf sort of mirror what I come from, and just see more kids play the game.”
The CAA Icon agency was last month appointed to oversee the development, design and construction of the Palm Beach venue. In December, the Palm Beach State College District Board of Trustees approved an agreement for TMRW Sports to construct the facility on a 10-acre parcel of currently unused land on the Palm Beach Gardens campus.
TMRW Sports in November unveiled a heavyweight initial investor group featuring a roster of icons across sports and entertainment matched with business titans in technology, sports, media, and finance.
TMRW Sports launched in August with TGL, showcasing team matches combining advanced technology and live action from Palm Beach’s custom-built venue in primetime on Monday nights, complementing the schedule of the PGA Tour, whose events typically run from Thursday to Sunday.
Woods and McIlroy were the first two golfers to commit to competing in TGL, with the inaugural season due to begin in 2024. The league will feature six teams of three PGA Tour players, with the “tech-infused” venue to be enabled by a data-rich, virtual course.
While Woods and McIlroy will be the biggest draws, TGL has now signed up 11 players. The inclusion of Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Adam Scott, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele means that six of the current top 10 will be represented.
McCarley said: “TGL may just be getting started, but we share this common mission to inspire and empower people to dream big and reach their full potential. We’re here today because we feel we can harness the power of technology to introduce sports to kids and families in a way that really was unimaginable a few years ago.
“TGL’s greatest purpose, which makes us most proud, is embracing this technology to provide more access to golf, more access to kids who may not have been able to set foot on a golf course before. They may never have dreamed to be Tiger Woods, or to be Rory McIlroy, but because of the use of technology, they can now have that dream. That’s something we are going to do right here.”