TGL, the Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy-led mixed-reality circuit previously scheduled to launch in five weeks, will now be delayed a year after extensive damage to the league’s arena.
Last week the air-supported dome of TGL’s SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida collapsed due to what TGL officials cite as a power failure. “At this time, while we assess the damage, it is too early to determine the impact on our timelines,” a TGL spokesperson said in a statement. “There were no injuries, and no technology was impacted. Other work on site is continuing.”
However, the league is now expected to be pushed back to 2025. According to Sports Business Journal, postponing the league’s launch just by weeks or months was not an option, as ESPN—which is set to present the league on its networks—could not adjust to the shift in schedule for its broadcast windows.
“Following discussions with key partners, including players, our six team ownership groups, PGA Tour leadership and our commercial partners, SoFi, ESPN and Palm Beach State College, the decision has been made to postpone the start of the TGL season until early 2025,” a TGL spokesperson said overnight, Australian time. “This decision came after reviewing short-term solutions, potential construction timelines, player schedules, and the primetime sports television calendar. Despite this new timeline for the venue, we remain excited about the future of TGL and will continue to build excitement between now and the start of the season with our players, fans and teams. We have begun to update plans and timelines and are confident that the extension will only improve our delivery.”
A Statement From TGL. pic.twitter.com/UncQxfk3EI
— TGL (@TGL) November 20, 2023
The six-team league was set to begin play on January 9. TGL previously provided details on the SoFi Center, which will be 23,000 square metres and accommodate about 2,000 spectators. The air-supported dome will be 25 metres high and covers the entire playing surface of 90 metres by 45 metres. TGL matches will feature two teams of three players each—in advance of each match, the teams will designate three active players—competing in both foursomes and singles sessions in a weekly competition. The foursomes session is a three-on-three contest over nine holes followed by six holes of singles in which each player plays two holes in head-to-head competition. The matches are supposed to fit into a two-hour broadcast window.
“I’ve been a believer in TGL, and as the momentum has built this past year, I’m even more excited about what this can become for fans of the game all around the world,” Tiger Woods said in a statement. “Although the events of last week will force us to make adjustments to our timelines, I’m fully confident that this concept will be brought to life by our great committed players.”
Added McIlroy: “The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement. Above all, we are happy that no one was injured. We are looking forward to the launch of TGL. Given the circumstances, while the delay is disappointing, the postponement will allow us to regroup, refocus and return stronger.”
The 24 players who originally committed to compete in the inaugural season were Woods, McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Shauffele, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, Billy Horschel, Shane Lowry, Tyrell Hatton, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley, Sahith Theegala, Wyndham Clark, Lucas Glover, Kevin Kisner, Min Woo Lee, Cameron Young and Tom Kim. However, Jon Rahm ultimately decided to drop out citing scheduling concerns.
Sources tell Golf Digest the league is targeting a similar January timeline for launch in 2025.