What to know about TGL, the new golf league led by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy


We’re still two months away from TGL’s inaugural match, but fans recently got more clarity on what to expect from the new, indoor golf league led by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy that combines simulated and real-life elements.
Earlier this week, the league announced it would introduce a shot clock and Woods would lead the sixth and final team as an owner and player. He’s the latest golfer to commit to a specific team, joining McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Tyrrell Hatton.
A full schedule announcement is still expected before the first-of-its-kind league debuts in 2024, but here’s everything we know about TGL so far.
What’s the format?
Competition in TGL, which stands for Tomorrow’s Golf League, will look different than a traditional golf event. The weekly, two-hour matches will be held in prime time beginning in January at an indoor arena in Florida. The venue will be filled with state-of-the-art simulators and physical greens and bunkers built specifically for the league.
Six teams of four PGA Tour players, all wearing mics, will face off in head-to-head match play. There are expected to be 15 regular-season matches with each team playing five times.
The Athletic’s Brody Miller further breaks down the planned format:
Two teams will play in a 15-hole match with one point earned per hole won.
The matches are broken up into two “sessions.” The first session is nine holes of a three-man alternate shot format. The three players from each team alternate who tees off a hole, and then the three rotate who hits each shot from there. They’re calling it “Triples.” The second session is six holes of “Singles,” where each hole is one-on-one for an entire hole with the three golfers rotating each hole.
Whichever team has more points through 15 holes wins, and if there’s a tie, it will go to overtime. Overtime will operate almost like a soccer penalty shootout, with teams hitting shots until one team hits two shots closer to the pin than their competitors.
Each team will play five matches throughout the regular season in a standings format that is similar to hockey scoring. Teams get two points for any win, whether it be a regulation win or overtime, while an overtime loss still receives one point. A loss earns zero points.
The top four teams will advance to the playoffs with a single elimination semifinals and a best-of-three championship series. If there’s a tie for a spot at the end of the regular season, the tiebreaker will be decided by total holes won. That’s why matches will play all 15 holes even if the winner is decided earlier.
The SoFi Center will host 2,000 fans on match nights. (Courtesy of TGL)
What about the shot clock? Timeouts?
The addition of a shot clock and, yes, timeouts, are the league’s attempts at incorporating the atmosphere of other sports into its golf format.
As Miller wrote, the 40-second shot clock was based on current USGA recommendations for pace of play. If a player fails to hit the ball within the 40-second window, their team will be docked a one-stroke penalty. The clock resets whenever a player completes their shot, a team calls a timeout, there’s a shot clock violation, or other rule issue.
TGL’s shot clock experimentation comes as Major League Baseball experienced a boost in interest while implementing pitch clocks. According to Miller, some golf fans have also called for a shot clock, and European events have experimented with it in the past.
“However, the PGA Tour has not attempted to enact changes with strong pushback from players,” Miller wrote. “Keeping track of time for all the players on the course at any given time would be a logistical challenge, Chris Kirk asserted to The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn earlier this year, and Max Homa argued there were too many outside variables that it would not considerably speed up a round. But many of the ones Homa, who is playing in the TGL, cited are environmental factors that the TGL will not have to be concerned with given its indoor setup.”
Regarding timeouts, each TGL team will get four per match with two per session. Teams can’t call multiple timeouts consecutively on the same shot and there will not be a carryover from unused timeouts. Additionally, there will be a referee and a “booth official” who acts similarly to a tournament rules official.
Where will they play?
TGL matches will be held at SoFi Center on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The league said the nearly 250,000-square-foot arena will fit almost 2,000 fans on match nights. According to TGL, the indoor venue — covered by an air-supported dome — contains a giant simulator screen powered by Full Swing technology and real-life greens and bunkers, with the entire playing surface measuring roughly the size of a football field.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods shake hands during a practice round before the 2023 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. (Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
Who’s involved and what are the teams?
Woods and McIlroy are heavily involved in TGL, as their TMRW Sports venture is the company behind the league.
The TGL teams are Atlanta Drive GC (led by Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank), Boston Common Golf (led by Fenway Sports Group), Los Angeles Golf Club (led by Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams and Venus Williams), TGL New York (led by Mets owner Steve Cohen), TGL San Francisco (led by an Avenue Sports Fund group, which includes Marc Lasry and Stephen Curry) and Jupiter Links Golf Club (led by Woods and David Blitzer).
Twenty-four PGA Tour players were expected to participate, but with Jon Rahm withdrawing — he said the league “would require a level of commitment that (he) can’t offer” — TGL’s roster sits at 23 players. The other committed players in addition to Woods, McIlroy, Thomas, Morikawa, Bradley, Scott and Hatton are Rickie Fowler, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Tom Kim, Sahith Theegala, Cameron Young, Patrick Cantlay, Wyndham Clark, Min Woo Lee, Kevin Kisner and Lucas Glover.
How to watch
TGL’s first match is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET on Jan. 9 on ESPN and ESPN+. The second match is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 16 on the same platforms.
ABC is also planning to air a TGL preview show on Dec. 30, 2023, ahead of the season’s start.
Fans will be able to watch the 15 regular-season matches, as well as semifinals and finals, on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+ as part of the network’s multiyear agreement with TGL. The full broadcast schedule is TBA.
What does the debut of TGL mean for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf?
The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn addressed the dynamic between TGL, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf in his analysis of Rahm’s TGL departure:
“TGL is seen as a sort of rebuff to LIV Golf by those pros loyal to the PGA Tour. TGL is partnering with the PGA Tour and only allows PGA Tour players as participants. It is, as a byproduct, a means to financially reward all those players who turned down LIV mega-deals to remain on the tour. Both Woods and McIlroy are among the six player directors on the tour’s policy board.
“Rahm has remained faithful to the PGA Tour through the turf war with LIV Golf but has never been remotely as outspoken against LIV as some of his contemporaries, notably McIlroy. He said in June he was ‘blindsided’ by the tour’s decision to partner with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) in a commercial business arrangement that will include LIV as a property. He said, ‘I think the general feeling is that a lot of people feel a bit of betrayal from management.’
“The math is hard to ignore, as are Rahm’s longstanding relationships with LIV acolyte Phil Mickelson and fellow Spaniard Sergio García.
“Thus, the guesswork and conspiracy theories are already underway. Could Rahm be heading to LIV?
“As of now, there’s zero evidence. Rahm is one of the two or three best players in the world, is poised to add to his two career majors, and doesn’t need any more money — a fact he repeated often over the last two years. He’s already believed to have declined a LIV offer well into the nine figures.
“It is neither conspiracy nor crazy, though, to assume that LIV is still very much interested in adding Rahm. The league is gearing up for its third season of operation in 2024 and is potentially planning to ‘double down’ on what’s already been over a billion-dollar investment by the PIF. LIV CEO Greg Norman previously said that LIV is still aggressively looking to add players.
“As for TGL, without Rahm, its roster is now headlined by Woods, McIlroy, Thomas, Fowler, Morikawa and others.”
Miller wrote the following answer in response to a question about whether TGL affects LIV Golf:
“No. LIV is competing with the PGA Tour in terms of a stroke play event on weekends. So while this league is absolutely related to LIV in terms of it being a team golf event that happened in response to LIV, it shouldn’t affect LIV even if the PIF-PGA Tour deal goes through.
“Many PGA Tour stars signed up for this league and have been outspoken that they still wouldn’t participate in LIV even if a deal does go through. If anything, this just gives PGA Tour players a fun team option to balance with their normal tour schedules.”
Required reading
(Top photo: Courtesy of TGL)


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